Nathan Gunn FLYING SOLO
May 23 - June 10, 2018
(Press Opening: Friday, May 25, 2018 at 8:00 PM)
In the Lyceum Stage
Written and directed by Hershey Felder
ABOUT THE SHOW
Nathan Gunn, America’s leading baritone (Carousel, Camelot, Showboat with the New York Philharmonic, and many more international operas), is known throughout the world as the first HUNKITONE. A Grammy winner, Metropolitan Opera star, musical theatre star and named by People Magazine as a “Sexiest Man Alive“ –“Naked Opera” started with him. But there’s a whole lot more to this story about a boy who wants nothing more than to please his Dad and who ends up realizing what life is really about.
Written and directed in his signature style by Hershey Felder (Our Great Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Bernstein, Berlin, Beethoven) Nathan Gunn FLYING SOLO features the true story of one of America’s greatest baritone voices singing selections from classic American musicals, contemporary songs and a little bit of opera fun.
From left: Michael Bagby, Nathan Gunn.
From left: Michael Bagby, Nathan Gunn.
Nathan Gunn. Photo credit Ed Krieger. Download
Nathan Gunn has made a reputation as one of the most exciting and in-demand baritones of the day. He has sung around the world in nearly every major venue and with every major conductor. His repertoire includes Opera, Operetta, Musical Theater, Recital Oratorio and the cultivation of new works. He is a recipient of the Rose D’Or Award (Montreux Festival, Lucerne), the first annual Beverly Sills Award, two Grammys for Best Opera recording and was a Metropolitan National Council winner. A noted supporter of new works, Mr. Gunn most recently created the role of Inman in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at the Santa Fe Opera. He is working on a number of creative projects that will premiere over the next three seasons, in which he is a collaborating artist with the creative teams. He has recently ventured outside the standard opera repertoire with appearances in performances of the title role in Sweeney Todd with the Houston Grand Opera, Camelot and Carousel with the New York Philharmonic (both broadcasted on PBS) and Show Boat at Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He also appeared in the New York Philharmonic’s 80th birthday gala celebration for Stephen Sondheim. Mr. Gunn is featured on numerous recordings (including his solo album Just Before Sunrise, Sony/BMG Masterworks) and DVDs and is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he is currently a Professor of Music as well as the General Director of the Lyric Theatre @ Illinois.
Hershey Felder (Director/Playwright) Named to Time Magazine’s 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals, Hershey Felder has played over 4,500 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has broken box office records consistently. American Theatre Magazine has said, “Hershey Felder is in a category all his own.” His shows include: George Gershwin Alone (Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven; Maestro (Leonard Bernstein); Franz Liszt in Musik, Lincoln: An American Story, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, and Our Great Tchaikovsky. His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. Hershey is the adaptor, director and designer for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane; and producer and designer for the musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford. Upcoming projects include The Story of My Cello, a solo work for cello virtuoso Antonio Lysy. Composition projects include EDITH, an opera, based on the story of British nurse Edith Cavell; a Washington Irving musical, and Chosen by God, a musical journey based on journalist Joshua Hammer’s memoir. Hershey has operated a full-service production company since 2001. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.
Michael Bagby (Musical Director/Pianist) A native of Iowa, Michael earned a DMA in vocal coaching and accompanying from the University of Illinois under the direction of Julie Gunn. He completed his master’s at the University of Michigan where he studied with Martin Katz. He also holds bachelor degrees in piano performance and K-12 vocal education from Iowa State University. Bagby has been afforded opportunities not only as a pianist and coach but also as a singer and conductor. Most recently he worked as the music director for Coastal Carolina’s production of The Color Purple and made his NYC debut as the assistant music director and co-arranger for Musicals Tonight’s production of The Boys from Syracuse. In July, he will return to Opera North to work as the assistant conductor on Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Among his various awards and achievements, he premiered his composition for solo piano, “Bells,” in the Issac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. He is honored to be a two-time recipient of the Nancy Wustman Memorial Award in Vocal Accompanying, established by John Wustman.
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