We had the good fortune of connecting with Marina Renée Hogue Nuñez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marina Renée, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
We’ve all heard the saying, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s how I feel about pursuing a career in the arts. As a classical singer, I get the privilege to serve as the interpreter and teller of people’s stories. I love being able to transport someone into a different world, give a different perspective, or provide some solace and joy even if for a moment. For me, all the work that goes into being able to do that is just plain fun! Why would I want to do anything else?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I would definitely say that I am still on the journey with my profession. There really is no end game in the arts when you are striving to continuously create new and exciting projects. As a classical singer and performer, there is always something new to learn. I am constantly working to improve my technique, learn a new language, and bring new perspective to a character and the music. That being said, I am proud of where I am at in my journey at this moment. I have been involved in various meaningful projects and productions that I am extremely proud of. At times, this journey and career has not been easy. A career in the arts is not guaranteed, nor is it a stable one. Yet, I could not see myself doing anything else. I am grateful for the setbacks and instability because they have given me a greater appreciation for the successes and the art form itself. Some recent projects that I’m extremely proud to have been a part of were the New York premiere of a contemporary opera called, Who Married Star Husbands, by Shuying Li with Four Corners Ensemble at the beautiful Polish Consulate General. It was an honor to sing this music and be able to work with the composer to execute it well. Pre- Covid, I was cast as the title role in L’incornazione di Poppea with Killer Queen Opera Company, a company looking to give more representation, accessibility, and relevance in opera. Due to the pandemic, the live show was postponed. But as true artists, the directors of the company decided to take this opportunity to create this opera as film that will be distributed. It was such an enjoyable experience portraying this character and getting to use our voices and art in a new medium. Participating in this film reminded me that no matter what is going on globally, the world needs art. To that matter, during the beginning of the pandemic I co-created a classical duo with my colleague and friend, Jessika Roy, called Universal Song (us) Project. Through innovative collaborations with various art forms, we aim to present classical music in a new way that is inclusive and accessible to everyone. I by no means feel that I or anyone is ever a finished product, but we have to continue to put art out there. Now more than ever, the world needs people to create and make sense of everything. The artist does matter, and we are essential.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take them to La Carreta and Versailles for a café con leche and pastelitos. I also love Coyo Taco and Panther coffee in the Wynwood arts district! It’s such fun area to walk around and check out all of the art. Lagniappe is another very cool wine and charcuterie bar with tons of outdoor space and live jazz.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So much gratitude for the support of my amazing family-my mother, Lhisa Almashy, and sister, Maia Montgomery. I would also like to thank my mentor and teacher, Beth Roberts for all of her help and endless support.
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Jovani Demetrie Maia Montgomery Angelica Perez