Nathan’s official biography
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Nathan Gunn commands an operatic baritone whose mighty heft and richness confer an outsize authority on everything it touches ..."The New York Times
Nathan Gunn has made a reputation as one of the most exciting and in-demand baritones of the day.
He has appeared in internationally renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. His many roles include the title roles in Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Hamlet; Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucetia, Danilo in The Merry Widow, and The Lodger in The Aspern Papers.
A noted supporter of new works, Mr. Gunn most recently created the role of Inman in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at the Santa Fe Opera. He also created the roles of Sid Taylor in Jake Heggie’s Great Scott, James Dalton in Iain Bell’s The Harlot’s Progress at the Theater an der Wien, Yeshua in Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene at the San Francisco Opera Paul in Daron Hagen’s Amelia at the Seattle Opera, Alec Harvey in André Previn’s Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera, Father Delura in Peter Eötvös’ Love and Other Demons at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera. Because of this dedication to new works, Mr. Gunn held the title of Director of the American Repertoire Council at the Opera Company of Philadelphia, a steering council that focused on advancing the company’s American Repertoire Program which was committed to produce a new American work in 10 consecutive seasons. Mr. Gunn is working on a number of creative projects that will premier over the next three seasons, in which he is a collaborating artist with the creative teams. These include projects with producing companies such as the Pittsburgh Opera and Beth Morrison Projects, and are created with some of today’s leading and cutting edge composers.
Also a distinguished concert performer, Mr. Gunn has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Rundfunkorchster, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The many conductors with whom he has worked with include, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Mark Wigglesworth.
A frequent recitalist, Mr. Gunn has been presented in recital at Alice Tully Hall and by Carnegie Hall in Zankel Hall. He has also been presented by Roy Thomson Hall, Cal Performances, the Schubert Club, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Vocal Arts Society in Washington, DC, the University of Chicago, the Krannert Center, the Wigmore Hall, and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. As a student, he performed in series of recitals with his teacher and mentor John Wustman that celebrated the 200th anniversary of Franz Schubert’s birth.
Mr. Gunn has recently ventured outside the standard opera repertoire with appearances in performances of the the title role in Sweeney Todd with the Houston Grand Opera, Camelot and Carousel with the New York Philharmonic (both broadcasted on PBS) and Show Boat at Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He also appeared in the New York Philharmonic’s 80th birthday gala celebration for Stephen Sondheim and appeared with the orchestra in an evening of Broadway classics with Kelli O’Hara. Other engagements have included appearances with Mandy Patinkin in Rochester, the Krannert Center the Ravinia Festival and on tour in Australia and New Zealand, a series of cabaret shows at the famed Café Carlyle in New York City and at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, special guest artist in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, and a performance of Sting and Trudie Styler’s work, Twin Spirits in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Gunn’s baritone is an object lesson in beautiful technique, vowels perfectly placed, the color balanced between bright and dark, consistently rich from top to bottom."Boston Globe
Mr. Gunn’s solo album, Just Before Sunrise, was released on Sony/BMG Masterworks. Other recordings include the title role in Billy Budd with Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra (Virgin Classics), which won the 2010 Grammy Award; the first complete recording of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Allegro (Sony’s Masterworks Broadway), Peter Grimes with Sir Colin Davis and London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live!) which was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (SONY Classics), Cold Mountain (Pentatone Music), The Hubble Cantata (Naxos), Kullervo with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Telarc), and American Anthem (EMI). He also starred as Buzz Aldrin in Man on the Moon, an opera written specifically for television and broadcast on the BBC in the UK. The program was awarded the Golden Rose Award for Opera at the Montreux Festival in Lucerne.
This season, Mr. Gunn returns to the Metropolitan Opera in The Magic Flute, appears in concert with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and presents recital in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Kalamazoo, and Thomasville, and at Vanderbilt and Notre Dame universities. He also performs Paola Prestini’s The Hubble Cantata at the Ford Theater in Los Angeles, appears in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Bernstein celebration, and premieres his one-man show, Flying Solo, at the Laguna Playhouse and the San Diego Repertory Theater.
Mr. Gunn was the recipient of the first annual Beverly Sills Artist Award, and was awarded the Pittsburgh Opera Renaissance Award. He is an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program and was a winner of the 1994 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. Mr. Gunn is also an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he is currently a professor of voice and the General Director of the Lyric Theater @ Illinois. Mr. Gunn is a partner in the Los Angeles City Club, RVCC, which is a forward thinking analog space for artists and entrepreneurs changing the downtown of Los Angeles.