CLAREMONT — Scott Hagar is the new interim executive director of the Claremont Opera House (COH). He was named March 1, but is already hard at work programming this season. Former Director Andrew Pinard stepped down to focus more time on pursuing his artistic passions.
In just a few short days at the helm, Hagar has already booked a local showcase at the COH of musicians from the area, to be held on April 15. The concert will feature area favorites Brooks Hubbard, Clint Pecor and Jesse Hughes.
“I had some flexibility with this show and I called around to local artists that I was aware of and they are all people I’ve worked with,” Hagar said. “Each artist on this show will be a solo musician, but we are also having the conversation of looking at all different types of art for local showcases.”
Hagar said the COH plans to bring more local arts and artists to the venue.
“It’s important for local artists to have that platform to come in,” he said. “It’s not only beneficial to the artists, but also for the community – exposing area residents to local artists they might not know about.”
When considering the future of not only the COH but performance venues in general, Hagar said that one of the most important things to focus on is to continue to build and maintain partnerships with other stakeholders and local businesses.
“One of the things we are always trying to do is continue to improve memberships and sponsorships and make it part of the yearly budget,” Hagar said. “To get those new or returning memberships, you have to provide a membership that people want to invest in.”
Determining what programming and performances current and potential members are looking for is the COH board’s goal as they engage with area residents to gauge interests.
Hagar, along with the board of directors and the programming committee, is constantly considering new types of attractions. One example is the recent introduction of monthly movies.
This month will feature 1971’s Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory on March 31 – a family favorite. Hagar said the opportunities are endless if the COH incorporates options such as playing older movies, anime, cult classics, and silent films with live backing musicians.
A consistent and major effort the COH is making is to create a signature marquee. “I had a delivery driver come here and say, ‘I didn’t know this was an Opera House,’ and I thought, how many people don’t know that we are here?” Hagar said, noting that a marquee would help identify the COH, given that currently the marketing for performances is often through social media or word of mouth.
However, adding a marquee could present difficulties due to the city’s ownership and the fact that it is considered a historic building. This will require a series of approvals.
Despite that, “All of the opportunities are there,” Hagar said.
“Hagar Hits Ground Running: COH Interim Executive Director Working to Program Season”
Photo by Dylan Marsh/EAGLE TIMES STAFF
Published by: Eagle Times, March 8, 2023