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Nathan Gunn to lead repertory council for Philadelphia opera company

Nathan Gunn
Photo courtesy
Opera Company of Philadelphia

Voice professor Nathan Gunn has been appointed the director of the American Repertoire Council of the Opera Company of Philadelphia.

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9/21/2012 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568; rhodes8@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —University of Illinois voice professor Nathan Gunn has been appointed the director of the American Repertoire Council of the Opera Company of Philadelphia. The council began in June and is dedicated to commissioning and performing new American operas for 10 consecutive seasons.

Gunn, an internationally renowned lyric baritone, will work with the opera company on artistic planning, serve as artistic adviser to two composers in residence, and star in one of the four new operas already commissioned by the council – a work based on Charles Frazier's best-selling novel "Cold Mountain," with music by 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon and libretto by Gene Scheer.

At a news conference in Philadelphia announcing his appointment, Gunn called the new position a privilege.

"I know firsthand, the many challenges of creating lasting new work – the importance of putting together complementary creative partners, choosing the right artists and identifying the resources to create something meaningful and relevant for today's audiences," he said.

Gunn has starred in performances at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago Covent Garden and Paris Opera. His performance of "Camelot," with the New York Philharmonic, was broadcast live on the PBS program "Great Performances." His recording of "Billy Budd," with the London Symphony Orchestra, won a 2010 Grammy Award.

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