Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nathan Gunn to lead University of Illinois opera program

Nathan Gunn with wife Julie (left) and Patricia Racette (right)
Barihunk Nathan Gunn can add "artistic director" to his list of credits, as he is scheduled to lead the new Lyric Theatre program at the University of Illinois. The program, which will focus on opera, operetta and musical theater, is replacing the former program run by artistic director Eduardo Diazmunoz, who is embarking on a new career in Australia.

Nathan Gunn, is a University of Illinois graduate who has maintained a longtime association with the school. Gunn joined the school's faculty as a voice professor in 2007. His wife, Julie Jordan Gunn, who is a pianist and vocal coach, will be the director of Lyric Theatre studies. He will be in charge of the artistic direction and fiscal integrity of new program.

Gunn is not giving up his performing career.  In fact, the will be touring Australia with Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin, as well as performing his signature role of Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute with the Metropolitan Opera in December. In February, he will also return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. In the summer of 2014, he takes on the role of Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat at the San Francisco Opera. He'll be directed by Francesca Zambello, who allegedly coined the term "barihunk" to describe Nathan Gunn.

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