Nathan Gunn

Torggler Summer Concert Series - Nathan Gunn - Wednesday, July 9 - Get tickets now

Nathan Gunn

Professor of Voice
University of Illinois, School of Music


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 Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. His many roles include the title roles in Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Hamlet; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucetia, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore, and Ottone in L'incoronazione di Poppea. A noted supporter of new works, Mr. Gunn most recently created the role of Paul in the world premiere of Daron Hagen's Amelia at the Seattle Opera. He also created the roles of Alec Harvey in André Previn's Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera, Father Delura in Péter Eötvös' Love and Other Demons at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera. In the summer of 2013 he returns to the San Francisco Opera for the premiere of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and in the summer of 2015 he will return to the Santa Fe Opera for the premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain.

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 Rundfunkorchester, 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 Theatre 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 Camelot with the New York Philharmonic (broadcast live on PBS's Great Performances) and Showboat at Carnegie Hall. 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 and at the Ravina Festival, a series of cabaret shows at the famed Cafe Carlyle in New York City and at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, and a performance of Sting and Trudie Styler's work, Twin Spirits in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center 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), 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 returned to the Metropolitan Opera for Billy Budd , the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Show Boat and the Houston Grand Opera for Il Barbiere di Siviglia, was the special guest artist in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's annual Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, and appeared twice at the Krannert Center; in a recital with his wife, Julie Gunn, and in a concert with Mandy Patinkin. This summer he returns to both the San Francisco Opera and the Ravinia Festival for Die Zauberflöte, and next season he appears at the Dallas Opera in The Aspern Papers, the Metropolitan Opera in Le Comte d'Ory, and in recital in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall.

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 the 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.