The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
By Alejandra Serna, Florida Grand Opera
The Logan-Hynes family is taking the idea of growing up with classical music to another level by raising their children not just around operas, but in them! The family’s opera journey began in 1999 with Florida Grand Opera’s production of The Tales of Hoffmann and a call for child supernumeraries. “Supers,” as they are called, serve much the same purpose as extras on a movie set. Just eight years old at the time, Lucy Logan-Hynes, the family’s oldest, made her opera debut with FGO as a tavern dwelling dwarf. It didn’t take long for all four members of the Logan-Hynes family to jump in at FGO.
Lucy, Kimberly, Tony and Michael Logan-Hynes at the FGO costume shop.
Shortly after her daughter Lucy’s FGO debut, Kimberly Logan-Hynes, a proud mother of two, joined the opera’s company costume department. She has been working there since 2000, and was promoted to Shop Head in 2005. For those who don’t know costume lingo, that means she manages the FGO costume shop and is responsible for making sure performers, including at times members of her own family, “wear their costumes with ease,” as she puts it.
Lucy, now 20 years old, has been in nine FGO productions and is currently working alongside her mother in the FGO costume department as a craft girl. Her brother Michael, age nine, continued the family super tradition, making his FGO debut in 2011 in the same role in which his sister debuted at FGO years earlier—the tavern dwarf in The Tales of Hoffmann. Even though Michael has only been in two productions so far, both French operas, that has been enough to peak his interest in learning French.
The father, Tony, discovered his love for opera while sitting in on his daughter’s dress rehearsals. A professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of Miami, Tony has taken to the stage himself, making his FGO debut in the 2009 production of Salome, and currently holding the Logan-Hynes family record for the most operatic parts. Twelve roles later, he is still intrigued by the theatrical process, the music, and he looks forward to continuing to appear on the FGO stage.
Kimberly has helped dress each of her family members in almost all their roles. She expressed how “they have certainly gained a better understanding of the amount of work an opera production requires and a real respect for the performers and production crew.”
As for Kimberly, every stitch is worth the time. She recalls a particularly emotional reaction to seeing FGO’s 2006 production of Aida on the stage. “After the magnificent second act, I just started crying. Knowing how much work had gone into the new theater, the new production of Aida, and hard work by put in by singers and production staff … it just got to me.”
The impact and influence opera has had on this family can be seen in so many ways—from tunes whistled while they walk their dog to how opera has become regular dinner conversation. “We certainly talk about opera more than most families,” said Kimberly.
For more information on Florida Grand Opera performance dates and rates or how to become a supernumerary, please visit the company’s website at www.FGO.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.