Washington National Opera Welcomes Nathan Gunn in Concert Today, 9/23

Washington National Opera (WNO) presents American baritone Nathan Gunn in concert as part of its Celebrity Series today, September 23 at 4 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Accompanied by the WNO Orchestra under the baton of Tony Award winner Ted Sperling, Gunn will perform selections from operas by Mozart, Rossini, and Bizet, plus songs by Sondheim and other Broadway composers. American tenor William Burden will join him for a few duets. All three artists will make their WNO debuts with this performance.

Nathan Gunn is the rare singer equally at home on both the classical and musical theater stages. In opera, his repertoire includes the title roles in Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, IL Barbiere di Siviglia, and Hamlet; Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte; the Count in Le nozze di Figaro; Papageno in Die Zauberflote; 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, he most recently created the role of Paul in the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s Amelia at Seattle Opera. He also created the roles of Alec Harvey in Andre Previn’s Brief Encounter at Houston Grand Opera, Father Delura in Peter Eotvos’ Love and Other Demons at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera. In the summer of 2013 he returns to 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 Santa Fe Opera for the premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain.

He has recently ventured outside the standard opera repertoire with appearances in Show Boat at Lyric Opera of Chicago and concert versions of Camelot with the New York Philharmonic and Show Boat with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, both at Carnegie Hall. He also appeared in New York Philharmonic’s Sondheim: The Birthday Concert and appeared with the orchestra in an evening of Broadway classics with Kelli O’Hara. He has also performed a series of cabaret shows at Cafe? Carlyle in New York. His solo album Just Before Sunrise, a collection of introspective and romantic songs by the likes of Sting, Tom Waits, and Billy Joel, was released on Sony/BMG Masterworks in 2010.

He was the recipient of the first annual Beverly Sills Artist Award from the Metropolitan Opera. He is an alumnus of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and was a winner of the 1994 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He is also an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is currently a professor of voice.
Conductor Ted Sperling won a Tony Award® for his orchestrations for The Light in the Piazza in 2005 and was music director of the smash Tony-Award®-winning revival of South Pacific in 2008, both for Lincoln Center Theater. He is also a longtime collaborator with Broadway leading ladies Audra McDonald, Victoria Clark, Patti LuPone, and Deborah Voigt.

Tenor William Burden appeared in two world premieres last season: Christopher Theonidis’ Heart of a Soldier at San Francisco Opera and Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night at Minnesota Opera. He also created the roles of Gilbert Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera and Dodge in Daron Hagen’s Amelia at Seattle Opera, both with Nathan Gunn. This summer he sings the role of the Shepherd in King Roger at Santa Fe Opera, and next season returns to the Metropolitan Opera for the new production of Thomas Ades’ The Tempest.

The September 23 concert is the first of WNO’s 2012-2013 season’s Celebrity Series performances. On Monday, April 8, 2013, WNO presents acclaimed German soprano Diana Damrau in her WNO debut, accompanied by the WNO Orchestra conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson.

Nathan Gunn will perform in concert today, September 23, 2012 at 4 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324, or online at www.kennedy-center.org.

Washington National Opera (WNO) is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. Founded in 1956 and now an affiliate of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The company boasts numerous artistic highlights, including world premieres, commissioning of new works and new productions, international tours, and performances by some of opera’s most admired artists. WNO productions have been heard around the world, through radio and television broadcasts on WETA-FM, NPR, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and PBS, as well as through audio and video recordings.

This season, WNO launches the American Opera Initiative, a comprehensive new commissioning program that brings contemporary American stories to the stage while fostering and developing the talents of new American composers and librettists. WNO contributes to the future of opera through two other signature artist-development programs: the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is a leading resident-training program for artists on the verge of international careers, and the WNO Opera Institute nurtures the ambitions of high-school-age singers and pianists from across the nation during an intensive three-week summer program.

WNO’s education and access initiatives include year-round programs in public schools throughout the region; Generation O, a popular discount-ticket initiative for young people; and a variety of lectures and discussions for every production on the season calendar. Among the most popular of WNO’s community programs is Opera in the Outfield, which brings free, live simulcasts of opera to Nationals Park for thousands of opera fans as well as new audiences.

For more information about Washington National Opera, visit www.kennedy-center.org/wno.
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