By Lauren Piercey
With a 30-year career launched in a PBS broadcast at the age of 19, Assistant
Professor and Opera Director, George Hogan took on the challenge of directing for New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall.
He made his debut in October as a stage director of four Remarkable Theatre
Brigade’s productions of Opera Shorts. With a career that has brought him performances in nearly every opera house in America, he had no need for an audition.
“I was basically hired by reputation,” he said.
New York was a rewarding experience for him.
“It was really cool because of collaborative effort(s), to be able to work with not just singers and musicians, but composers,” Hogan said.
The performances were 3-6 minute operas, and their success may mean an
“We received really good reviews. I was able to meet new people, which is always fun,” he said.
The biggest adjustments were the compositions.
“I had to learn all the music … (and) do historical research of (the) period of (the) piece and setting,” he said.
Opening night was different this time as a director.
“It’s almost like a coach getting a team up before a game. Then you sit in the audience and try … not to get too nervous,” Hogan said.
Junior music composition major Grant Imbrock has Hogan as a voice teacher and director of the ensemble Opera Cru. He said that Hogan is both intimidating and motivational.
“It is a bit daunting to be taught by someone with such great achievements,
but more often it inspires me …. When he gives me suggestions, it comes from someone who has made a career using those ideas, so they’re tried and true, instead of theoretical,” Imbrock said.
Hogan’s impact on Imbrock has been substantial.
“He’s helped me the most in understanding the beauty music can hold and
the importance of striving for goals, no matter what,” he said.
Imbrock is proud of Hogan’s accomplishment.
“It shows what he’s capable of, and that’s much more than teaching.
Though, if you asked him, he would probably say that teaching is by far the greater calling , ” he said.
Senior vocal performance major Kathleen Shelton feels blessed to work with
Learning about his role at Carnegie, “made me feel awesome to be his student,” she said.
Hogan’s counsel helps her get through the tough moments.
“He has given me tons of great advice, like, when you are singing and your mind is telling you to give up, or that you can’t do it, you have to take control and say ‘oh yes you will,’” she said.
She believes his abilities are what make a show.
“I love watching Mr. Hogan stage a show because it is like watching the best actor you could ever imagine. The way he can tilt his head or walk with the slightest limp or how he will position his hands, are all things that you never really think of, but that importance to detail is what’s needed to create the character.”
This strive for excellence inspires Shelton.
“He’s … always pushing me for my best. I know he would never be satisfied with less; therefore, I can’t be,” Shelton said.
Hogan offers advice for pursuing a career in music.
“First thing is dream a dream, love what you do and then you have to work
hard,” Hogan said. “Have a little luck and a lot of patience. All that rolled up with God’s blessings is a pretty good combination.”