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Profile: Kerryn Hurley, Press Manager

Can you describe your job in 1 sentence?
I’m responsible for co-ordinating everything that appears in the press about Scottish Opera and the operas we perform. This includes finding the interesting angles about what we’re up to, convincing press they want to write/broadcast about the shows or the company, booking photographers to take photographs of the operas, writing press releases, providing quotes to journalists, arranging interviews with artists, being present at shows to greet press guests, responding to requests to comment on news stories and making sure critics come to review the operas. One of the biggest tasks is maintaining good relationships with our press contacts. And I’m constantly looking for new and interesting ways to not only get press interested in what we’re doing, but the general public.

 

What do you love about working in opera?
I’m fairly new to opera and completely surprised by how much I’ve fallen in love with it. I love that every day is different. And that it’s busy, but also good fun. We work really hard behind the scenes to support what happens on stage. And when you see it up there on stage, it’s an amazing feeling to know you’ve done your wee bit to help make it all happen. I love that opera is a culmination of the very best of performing arts – singing, acting, live music, amazing sets and costumes, completely over the top emotion. It is absolutely inspiring. I guess it appeals to the drama queen in me!

 

10 years ago, did you imagine that you would be working for this Company?
Ten years ago I lived in North Queensland, Australia. Not far from where Steve Irwin said his final Crikey! So no, I didn’t imagine it at all. I was doing a journalism degree and went on to work in federal politics. It was only after arriving in Scotland in 2002 that I crossed over to the arts. And I’ve come to realise that politics and the arts are not so different…

 

What has been your most memorable opera experience so far?
Being full of pride and completely overwhelmed at the last performance of our La traviata in Edinburgh in 2008 – and looking around the audience to realise that everybody else was as well.

 

What do you do when you're not working?
I love cooking and having people over for dinner and drinks. I also love to drink civilised amounts of red wine and eat uncivilised amounts of cheese; play poker and scrabble, read trashy novels and recipe books, watch box sets (currently The Sopranos), trashy tv and good films, dream of sunshine and the beach, and attempt the gym (mainly the pool bit).

 

I do always have my Blackberry with me though – just in case!

 

What 3 things might people be surprised to learn about you?
I love rap and hiphop. The more offensive the better really. And I know all the words to such classics as Ice Ice Baby, Baby Got Back, Bust a Move, Baby I Got Your Money, Big Pimpin and The Next Episode.
I still watch Neighbours obsessively. Have done since it began. I was 8.
I had many mullets as a child, all of which I specifically asked for, and the last one of which was at age 12.

 

What is your favourite place in the world to be?
Too many to choose from! Anywhere in North Queensland or La marche in Italy. Edinburgh. New York. Or, thinking about it differently: in my grandparents kitchen; around the table with friends; on the back deck with a bbq on the go, a glass of vino in hand, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach across the road and my boyfriend close by.