Budding opera star Leah Hunt will return to the Mercer campus March 4, 7:30 p.m., for a free performance. Recently, Hunt has created quite a buzz as a rising opera star while performing around the country and abroad. With Carol Goff of Mercer's music faculty accompanying her on piano in Neva Langley Fickling Hall, she will perform operatic arias by Verdi and Donizetti, a set of Hugo Wolf's Italienisches Lieder, French Melodies by Claude Debussy and a set of English character songs.
The Lincolnton, Ga., native graduated from Mercer University's College of Liberal Arts in 1997, receiving a bachelor of music in voice performance. Thereafter, Hunt gained her master of music in voice performance from Indiana University.
Her recent accomplishments include winning the Palm Beach International Voice Competition in April 2002 and performing the title role of Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor with Palm Beach Opera in January 2003.
The reviewer for South Florida's Sun-Sentinel said her performance "showed why there is such a buzz about this gifted young singer." He also indicated that Hunt "clearly has a great future ahead of her."
Hunt is more humble about the praise. "I am not really at the level yet where there is a lot of attention," she said. "If I make it to the Met [The Metropolitan Opera in New York], then there will be attention."
The talented young soprano also received high marks for her recent debut of the title role in La Traviata with Florida Grand Opera. A reviewer for El Nuevo Herald gave her enthusiastic praise, saying "One of the most demanding roles written by Verdi, La Traviata served soprano Leah Hunt in proclaiming her stature as a new born Diva."
Other recent performances by Hunt include "Three Landmarks Sopranos" with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, a concert of arias with the South London Philharmonic Orchestra, and a program of Spanish arias with the Nord Deutsche Philharmonic in Rostock, Germany. For Florida Grand Opera, she has played the roles of Serpetta in La Finta Giardinera, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Madame Herz in The Impresario.
While at Indiana University, she was the recipient of the prestigious Wilfred C. Bain opera fellowship. Other awards include: first place in the Opera Birmingham Competition, nomination for a Sara Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and a finalist in the George London Competition, the Heinz Rehfuss Competition and the Eleanor McCollum Competition for singers with Houston Grand Opera.
For more information about the performance, call 478-301-2748.