President Raab Honored at Opera Foundation Gala
The Martina Arroyo Foundation - which prepares young opera singers for professional performance - honored Hunter President Jennifer Raab at its annual gala on November 9. Raab accepted the award "on behalf of Hunter College and our new partnership with Prelude to Performance," the Foundation's training program that culminates with fully-staged operas performed on the stage of Hunter's Kaye Playhouse.
The Foundation's president and artistic director, legendary soprano Martina Arroyo, is a 1956 graduate of Hunter College. She also graduated from Hunter College High School, where her career was launched after a professor overheard her singing and encouraged her to attend the famous Opera Workshop that was then conducted on the Hunter campus.
Prelude to Performance is in many ways modeled after the Opera Workshop and is an important part of Hunter's current role in training opera singers, introducing opera to students in every field, and creating lifelong audience members.
"Our goal is to bring a passion and appreciation for opera to as many New Yorkers as possible, and to fill every seat," said President Raab.
Hunter student Dewey Moss sang at the event, along with opera stars Paquito D'Rivera and Eric Owens. Also in attendance were the vice chair of the Metropolitan Opera Association and former Hunter professor Frayda Lindemann, singer and radio host Midge Woolsey, and other luminaries of the New York performing arts world.
In her acceptance remarks, President Raab pledged that Hunter would continue to place a high value on its role in public arts education. "We are committed to ensuring that every Hunter student develops an appreciation for the importance and pleasure of the arts in public life," she said.