Popular baritone Nathan Gunn has sung a huge variety of operatic roles in six languages, from Figaro in the Barber of Seville and Marcello in La bohème to Zurga in the Pearl Fishers and Paul in Daron Hagen's Amelia (at the May 2010 world premiere) and Riolobo in Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas. Gunn has also sung Lancelot in Lerner and Loewe's classic Broadway musical Camelot and has appeared on a highly successful crossover Sony Classical CD, Just Before Sunrise (2007), which features numbers by Billy Joel, Sting, Tom Waits, Jimmy van Heusen, and others. But, as many observers have noted, Gunn's popularity can't be fully explained by his rich and powerful baritone voice and broad repertory: throngs of his adoring admirers gush over his handsome looks and charismatic stage presence. Gunn has appeared at the Met in over 100 performances and at most other major American opera houses; overseas he has sung at Covent Garden, the Glyndebourne Festival, Paris Opera, and Bavarian State Opera. Gunn has also regularly appeared on the concert stage and in recital and has made numerous recordings spread across such labels as Arthaus Musik, EMI, Naxos, Sony, Telarc, and Virgin Classics.
Nathan Gunn was born in South Bend, IN, in 1970. He studied music at the University of Illinois under William Miller and John Wustman. In the 1990s he won scores of awards, including the Collegiate MacAllister Award (1993) and the Marian Anderson Award (1996). He also won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition in 1994. By the late '90s, Gunn was a major presence on the vocal scene, having appeared twice at Carnegie Hall with conductor Robert Shaw, first in Brahms' German Reqiuem and then in Haydn's The Creation. Gunn also sang on the Grammy Award-winning 1998 Shaw recordings of Bartók's Cantata profana and Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem on Telarc.
In 2000 Gunn appeared at the Paris Opera as Andrei in Prokofiev's War and Peace, an Arthaus Musik DVD that has received broad critical acclaim. Gunn debuted at Covent Garden in 2002 as Harlekin in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. Since 2007 Gunn has served as professor of voice at the University of Illinois. At the 2008 Glyndebourne Festival Gunn appeared as Father Delura in Peter Eötvös' Love and Other Demons. Gunn's recordings include the 2009 EMI CD American Anthem, a collection of songs by Barber, Bolcom, Copland, and others. He also starred in the premier of Jennifer Higdon's opera Cold Mountain in 2015.