Fremont native Kunkle performing at Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary

Kirsten Kunkle, a Fremont native who lives in Sandusky, will be performing later this month as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of Yellowstone National Park.  (Photo: Courtesy of LaVonda Josett Photography LLC)

SANDUSKY — For Kirsten Kunkle, singing has always been a focal point in her life.

She grew up in Fremont and began taking voice lessons at 12 in Toledo.

There, she saw her first opera, “Faust,” at the Toledo Opera and witnessed the heights of what the human voice could do.

“I was just blown away,” Kunkle said.

Her singing career has flourished, with Kunkle, a citizen of the Mvskoke (Creek) Native American Nation, considered the leading Native American soprano in the classical music world.

Later this month, Kunkle will bring her passion for music to a historic event, as she performs at Yellowstone National Park’s 150th Anniversary celebration.

At Yellowstone, Kunkle will be premiering an art song, “Reclaim the Land,” for soprano and piano that she was commissioned to write for the event.

Kirsten Kunkle, a Fremont native and citizen of the Mvskoke (Creek) Native American Nation, is considered the leading Native American soprano in the classical music world.  (Photo: Courtesy of Kirsten Kunkle)

She said the song focuses on the relationship between indigenous peoples and Yellowstone.

Michael Sakir of Intermountain Opera Bozeman will be premiering these pieces with Kunkle by the mountains of Yellowstone on Aug. 24 and 25.

Additionally, Kunkle will be singing Scott Bradley Joiner’s “Anna’s Moon Aria,” based on a portion of the “Killers of the Flower Moon” story.

She said she premiered this aria at Minton’s Harlem in December 2021 and is delighted to bring it to a new audience.

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