The Hunter Opera Theater (HOT) is the resident opera company of Hunter College. HOT specializes in contemporary opera, and is dedicated to performing the music by composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. HOT has presented numerous performance premieres since its inception, and their productions provide unique opportunities for talented, young artists to sing leading roles in contemporary masterworks while studying and performing roles from the standard repertoire through repertoire and scenes classes. HOT’s biannual Pocket Opera Project supports the work of up-and-coming composers and librettists and fosters interdepartmental collaborations between Hunter students. In addition, HOT singers have the opportunity to work with some of the finest professionals in the business in our annual series of Master Classes. Recent guest teachers on this series include such luminaries as Martina Arroyo, Claudia Catania, Warren Jones, Andreas Scholl, Ira Siff, and Willie Anthony Waters. HOT alumni are engaged as performers in excellent venues around the world from the Metropolitan Opera to festivals and opera houses in France, Germany, and beyond. Many alums have continued on to pursue doctoral degrees and work in higher education while others have made careers in arts administration and work as producers, directors, and more. HOT was founded in 2007 by Professor Susan Gonzalez and the late Professor Richard Burke, and has been a proud member of the NY Opera Alliance since 2014.
Susan Gonzalez, soprano is Director of the Vocal Performance Program and the Hunter Opera Theater which has been showcasing fully staged productions of new works in the Kaye Playhouse since 2007. Among these include the premieres of Nicholas Flagello’s opera The Sisters, Richard Burke’s Game of Poker and The House as well as various student compositions featured in our Pocket Opera Project. As a singer, Susan has appeared in leading roles with numerous opera companies and symphony orchestras including the Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Lake George Opera, Eugene Opera, Dayton Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Bolshoi Opera. She most recently headlined at the Festival de Musique de Huy in Belgium, among performers ranging from classical singers to reggae artists. Susan received an Emmy nomination for the role of Rosina in il Barbiere di Siviglia filmed for television under the direction of Richard Pearlman. She has appeared as featured soloist in major concert halls such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. Some of her honors and awards include the Metropolitan Opera, the George London Foundation, Leonard Warren and Baltimore Opera Competitions as well as the Liederkranz Foundation and American Opera Association. Susan’s love of new works is reflected in her recordings of works by Nicholas Flagello, Ruth Schonthal, Elizabeth Fabregas and Elizabeth Austin on the Artek, Naxos, and Leonarda labels as well as two projects for the ROUSSEL Foundation in Paris, France on the Azur label. She currently serves as New York State Governor for the National Opera Association and sits on Opera America’s Singer’s Training Forum. In addition Susan is on the board of the New York Opera Alliance (NYOA)’s New York Operafest 2016. Hunter Opera Theater has been an active member of NYOA since 2014.
Winner of the 2019 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, David Fulmer has garnered numerous international accolades for his bold compositional aesthetic combined with his thrilling performances. A Guggenheim Fellow, and a leader in his generation of composer-performers, the success of his Violin Concerto at Lincoln Center in 2010 earned international attention and resulted in immediate engagement to perform the work with major orchestras and at festivals in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, and Australia. Fulmer made his European debut performing and recording his concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Matthias Pintscher in 2011. That same year, Fulmer made his debut at Tanglewood appearing with the work. A surge of recent and upcoming commissions include new works for the New York Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt, BMI Foundation, Concert Artists Guild, Washington Performing Arts, Kennedy Center, Fromm Music Foundation, Koussevitzky Foundation, and Tanglewood.
As conductor, Fulmer recently led the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Elision Ensemble, Sydney Modern Music Ensemble, along with appearances at the New York Philharmonic Biennial, Tanglewood Music Festival, and Lucerne Festival. Recent and upcoming highlights include important debuts leading the Ensemble Intercontemporain, ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble, South Netherlands Philharmonic, and assisting concerts and projects with the New York Philharmonic. Fulmer made a triumphant return to the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra last season, which included a collaboration with IRCAM. This season he will return as Director, curator and conductor of the Mannes American Composers Ensemble in programs of 20th and 21st Century music, and continue his close collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble. Recently appointed as the Music Director and Conductor of the Hunter Symphony, Fulmer will lead the orchestra in his second season featuring the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Debussy, Schubert, and Fauré. He made his debut appearance in 2014 on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series at Walt Disney Concert Hall. During the summer seasons, Fulmer has led concerts at the Chamber Music Northwest Festival, and Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
Fulmer was recently the recipient of both the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Carlos Surinach Commissioning Award from BMI. He is the first American recipient of the Grand Prize of the International Edvard Grieg Competition for Composers. He has also received the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the BMI Composer Award, the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a special citation from the Minister of Education of Brazil, the Hannah Komanoff Scholarship in Composition from The Juilliard School, and the highly coveted George Whitefield Chadwick Gold Medal from the New England Conservatory. Fulmer appears regularly and records often with the premiere new music ensembles in New York, including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Argento New Music Project, Speculum Musicae, the Group for Contemporary Music, and the New York New Music Ensemble. His work has been recorded by the Ensemble Intercontemporain. He has appeared recently on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts. He graduated from The Juilliard School.
David Ward, Stage Director, recently directed La Finta Giardiniera for Portland State University, Madama Butterfly in Little Rock, La Bohème for Opera in the Ozarks and Così fan tutte for Houston's Opera in the Heights. He directed Gianni Schicchi, Buoso’s Ghost and The Pirates of Penzance for the Crane School of Music and his contemporary Hollywood production of Don Giovanni was seen at the University of Nevada. For the University of North Texas he staged Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Mother of Us All, The Coronation of Poppea, A Little Night Music and The Dialogues of the Carmelites. For the University of Arizona Opera Theater he directed Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute, The Medium, The Impresario, La Canterina, L’Ivrogne Corrigé and The Old Maid and the Thief. He directed Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Pirates of Penzance, La Cenerentola and Cinderella for Opera in the Ozarks. David holds his Master of Music from the University of Houston where he directed Le nozze di Figaro and Tartuffe (Second Place, American Prize); and Falstaff and La Cenerentola for Opera in the Heights. An accomplished basso buffo, David’s highly-acclaimed Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville has been heard in over 25 productions with New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera, as well as companies in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. Other roles include Dr. Dulcamara, Don Pasquale, Don Magnifico,
Falstaff, Osmin, Baron Ochs, Sir Joseph Porter, Dick Deadeye, Pooh-Bah, Major General Stanley, and Baron Zeta. An alumni of the Vocal Company 1982-1983, he is remembered for his Hajj in Kismet, Tevye, Nathan Detroit, Pseudolus and J.W. Wells. He made his CLOC directing debut in 2014 with H.M.S. Pinafore and has since directed Hello, Dolly!, The Gondoliers, The Merry Widow, The Desert Song, Iolanthe and CLOC premieres of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Beauty and the Beast. Next season he directs The Merry Wives of Windsor in Portland, La Traviata in Little Rock, Cendrillon for Ozarks and sings Dr. Bartolo for Opera
Orlando. He teaches at Hunter College, CUNY, is a member of Actors’ Equity, and serves on the American Guild of Musical Artists Board of Governors.
Director of the Scenes Program
Albin Konopka has enjoyed an international career, spanning 40 years, as a pianist, producer, composer, musical director, vocal and dance arranger, and orchestrator. Albin is currently the music supervisor and arranger for the new musical Come Get Maggie. His most recent credits include pianist for King Lear (with Glenda Jackson), Wicked, Amazing Grace and Billy Elliot on Broadway, and associate musical director on the National Tours of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Anything Goes Albin speaks 5 languages and has performed in 26 countries. He music directed Suites by Sondheim in Bucharest, Lies My Father Told Me in Montreal,Quebec, where he also orchestrated The Jazz Singer, and he has been music supervisor/director for numerous productions of A Chorus Line in many countries and languages. He was the music director, arranger and orchestrator for a musical in Spanish No Volveré, La Cage Aux Folles in Italy and toured the globe with Liza Minelli. Producing credits include Magic in the Mirror in Korea, Smart Women, Foolish Choices in Tokyo, and two shows for the White House.
Albin's musical, The “Gay No More” Telethon was performed in the 2008 NYC Fringe Festival and he has written two other shows: Ambra (in Italian) and She Shtups To Conquer! Albin’s classical New York engagements include music directing a condensed version of Der Ring des Nibelungen with New York Lyric Opera and recitals in New York, Los Angeles and Copenhagen with Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Jennifer Roderer and international opera singers Elsebeth Dreisig and Ivan Dimitrov.
Albin was born in Los Angeles, where he received his Bachelor of Music in piano from Immaculate Heart College. He holds a Master of Music in Piano from The Juilliard School and won the Debussy Grant, enabling him to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Albin has taught music theory and was a staff pianist at AMDA and has been coach/pianist for Acting the Song at Barnard College. Albin joined the Hunter College musical staff in 2017, working with Professor Susan Gonzalez on Hunter’s Opera/Music Theatre Scenes.