American conductor Matthew Abernathy is currently on staff at Minnesota Opera where he is Music Director of Project Opera, the company’s nationally recognized youth opera program, and Chorus Master for the Minnesota Opera Children’s Chorus. In addition, he conducts Voices of Opera, an amateur opera chorus for adults over 55, and is a Co-Director of the High School Vocal Arts Program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Opera.
As Chorus Master, Mr. Abernathy has conducted the Minnesota Opera Chorus for productions of Don Pasquale and La Bohème, and has prepared choruses for conductors including Michael Christie, Leonard Slatkin, Jonathan Brandani, Kenneth Kiesler, Larry Rachleff, and Christof Perick. He has appeared as a conductor with Opera MODO, Arbor Opera Theater, UMS Choral Union, and the University of Michigan Choirs, and served on the music staff for The Boychoir of Ann Arbor and Crane Opera Ensemble.
A fierce advocate for contemporary music, Abernathy has collaborated with composers including Ben Moore, Imant Raminsh, Jonathan Dove, and Michael Sitton. He played an integral role in the creation of Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed with the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, and in upcoming youth opera commissions for Project Opera.
Mr. Abernathy has been a Conducting Fellow at the inaugural Chorus America Conducting Academy, a Fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Choir and Choral Conducting Workshop at Yale University, and a Conducting Fellow at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival. He holds degrees from SUNY Potsdam - Crane School of Music and the University of Michigan, where he was the recipient of the Brehm Fellowship for "...a promising young choral conductor". His teachers include Jerry Blackstone, Duain Wolfe, Michael Christie, and Kenneth Kiesler.
Lakes Area Music Festival
715 Laurel Street
Brainerd MN 56401
Hours: T, W, F 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.