Meet the Member: Corsara Artists
Gene Sticco: Corsara Artists
In your words... Tell us about your organization, business, initiative.
Corsara Artists is an international ensemble featuring the finest professional talent in opera and classical music. We produce opera and classical concerts as well staged opera classics to promote & preserve operatic and classical music as an art; develop local Young Artists in the highest standards of performance and technical skills by creating opportunities to participate in all aspects of productions and learn directly from the professional singers in the ensemble; build cultural awareness and create cross-cultural exposure, and help revitalize communities by repurposing or restoring underutilized venues/spaces for the arts.
Tell us a bit about you and why you do what you do? Share your passions for your business, initiative, organization.
I've always been a fan of the performing arts but don't have a professional background in the arts myself; far from it. I spent over 25 years working as a geopolitical and transnational security strategist for governments and private corporations, ultimately retiring in 2016, shortly before meeting the woman who has become my wife - who IS a professional opera singer. Experiencing and learning the "business" through her and her/our friends; understanding the challenges of establishing a sustainable career in the arts; and familiarizing myself with the "community" here as well as what is available as far as Opera productions go in New England; it became apparent quickly that there a new approach is needed towards preserving and promoting opera. I'm passionate about this because I see the importance music plays in everything around us and in our daily lives. I see opera and classical music as an important part of the foundation of even today's music and it is at-risk of being lost to future generations - and that is leading to artists being undervalued for their talent and the contributions the performing arts do make to societies. So it is from a combination of my own exposure and experience and hearing the stories of amazing vocal artists and their desire to share this music with the world which led me to volunteer to organize them and provide the structure and business model that is now Corsara Artists.
What role do you think your business plays in supporting a more creative community? OR your community in general. (Bonus! Why do you think a more creative community is important?)
I suppose I answered this in part above. The arts is about artists. It's about their own stories or the stories they're telling through the work they produce; and to be an artist is to be a "business." The product is a combination of the individual and the "art" itself. They're inseparable. So I think a more creative community is important not so much in that there's a "need" for more "artists" in the world but I think professional artists can help people better understand themselves, as individuals, and how the reflect what's important to them or who they outwardly. Artists have a unique opportunity to challenge people to challenge themselves to think about, examine and explore the world around them from multiple perspectives.
What was the last book you read that made an impact on you?
Im in the middle of reading "The Politics of Piracy - Crime and Civil Disobedience in Colonial America." (I'm a big fan of Pirate history thus if you ever ask what I'm reading it's likely Pirate related)
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?
Here are a few "fun facts" About me - I once accidentally became a semi-famous Fashion Photographer in Slovenia. About our ensemble's name - "Corsara" is an Italian word for "Pirate." About our productions - They're loaded with inside jokes, intriguing bits that give clues to character backstories, and small elements which tie other productions from our season together.