Briana Hunter hails from Malvern, Pennsylvania where she was a student in the Great Valley School District, recognized for their strong music and theater programs. In 2000 she had the unique pleasure of working with Tony and Academy Award winning playwright Mark Medoff in a production of his play Gunfighter--A Gulf War Chronicle.
Ms. Hunter attended Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina and found herself on the stage once again, this time under the direction of the Royal Shakespeare Company in an original production double billed Infinite Variety/For Every Passion Something. The show would also have her call upon her vocal abilities as she presented “The Willow Song” from Rossini's Othello in addition to playing the roles of Hippolyta in Midsummer Nights Dream and Lord Westmorland in Henry IV: Part I. The show debuted on the campus of Davidson College, and continued performances in the Fringe Festival in Scotland for an additional two week run. Back in North Carolina, Ms. Hunter went on to play Livia in Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton, J.S. in Necessary Targets and “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could” The Vagina Monologues both by Eve Ensler, Karla Wonder of the World by David Lindsey-Abaire. No stranger to the music department, she also performed in opera scenes including 2nd Lady Die Zauberflote and Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, and the title role of Josephine in a full production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. The Davidson Concert Choir awarded her the solo in John Corigliano's Fern Hill.
She went on to attend the prestigious Manhattan School of Music for Classical Voice where she performed in mainstage productions with the opera department (Summer and Smoke, La vida breve, Of Love and Loss: Opera Scenes, The Ghosts of Versailles), the American Musical Theater Ensemble (Godspell, Ragtime), Outreach concerts, Independent projects (Trouble in Tahiti), as well as producing, directing, and performing (“Because He Liked to Look at It”) in MSM’s very first production of The Vagina Monologues which to her delight included faculty and staff members in addition to students in its cast. While at MSM she joined La Lingua della Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy two consecutive years performing concerts throughout the Emilia-Romagna region and receiving intensive coachings in Italian language, diction, and acting.
In February 2012 she was awarded 2nd alternate in the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition (Sieben frühe lieder by A. Berg), performed in Marilyn Horne’s public masterclass at MSM, and in April competed in the Lotte Lenya Competition finals at Eastman.
Since graduating from MSM Ms. Hunter has been on the rosters of many notable programs and companies. In 2012 it was off to Beijing, China for two months with Hao Jiang Tian’s I SING BEIJING program where she studied Mandarin, coached both Chinese and Western repertoire, and performed in several Beijing venues including the city’s top performance hall, The National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA). To close out the year she performed the role of Rachel in Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom presented by American Opera Projects in Brooklyn.
2013 she joined Sarasota Opera as an Apprentice Artist, and performed her first Cendrillon as Cendrillon with New York Lyric Opera. That summer she studied with French tenor Michel Sénéchal and performed four concerts in the southwest Périgord region of France, and then tackled the Russian language back in NYC in Tchaikovsky's Iolantha as Laura with Opera Slavica. Ms. Hunter returned to Sarasota Opera for their fall season to sing the role of Ida in Die Fledermaus and cover the role of Prince Orlofsky. Upon her return to NYC, she had the incredible honor to sing beside Hao Jiang Tian and her fellow ISINGBEIJINGers at Carnegie Hall to a full house.
2014 she reprised the role of Rachel in Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom with AOP in the piece's full world premiere, followed by the premiere of a new work BUM PHILLIPS! with Monk Parrot, Inc. Summer took her to Santa Barbara, CA to sing the title role in Carmen with Marilyn Horne's prestigious program Music Academy of the West. That winter she traveled to Knoxville, TN to sing the role of Mercedes in Knoxville Opera's production of Carmen, and then reprising the title role with Opera in the Heights in March 2015. This summer Ms. Hunter joins the Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist covering the roles of Lucinda in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and performing the role of Giulietta in Act III (Schirmer edition) of Les contes d'Hoffmann in the Apprentice Artist scenes. In September she returns to Houston, TX to revive the Monk Parrot production BUM PHILLIPS! and reprise her role as Play by Play for the Texas premiere.
See all of Briana's upcoming and previous engagements here.