Nathan Gunn headlines Gulfshore Opera Gala

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Baritone Nathan Gunn, seen on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Theater an der Wien and Teatro Real in Madrid, comes to Southwest Florida for Gulfshore Opera’s sixth annual signature fundraising event, the Gulfshore Opera Gala Feb. 16.
Gunn is most famously known for his charismatic performance of Papageno in the Julie Taymor led Metropolitan Opera production of The Magic Flute. Gunn is no stranger to the dashing leading man role, playing Danilo in The Merry Widow opposite soprano Renée Fleming. Mr. Gunn has made the seldom performed role of Billy Budd ¬– the bare chested sailor – his own, earning his first Grammy nomination and win in 2009 for Best Opera Recording.
Gunn, with his wife and collaborative pianist Julie, will perform choice opera favorites and beloved American song. In a review of their recital work Musical Theatre Review wrote: “They present a handsome couple…It is clear that they both love performing, and are at one in their domestic and academic partnership at the music faculty of the University of Illinois.”
The first half of the program will consist of opera arias and scenes performed with the Gulfshore Opera Artists in Residence. Soprano Chelsea Lehnea, soon to be seen as Musetta in La Bohème, will join Mr. Gunn for a performance of Papageno’s Suicide Scene [Pa-Pa-Pa-Papageno] from The Magic Flute. Tenor Peter Lake and bass-baritone Neil Nelson, who will be seen as Rodolfo and Marcello respectively in La Bohème, round out the performances with pianist Doug Han.
The concert will take place in the generous sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs, known to discerning music lovers as “the Carnegie Hall of Southwest Florida.” Post-concert, gala package ticket holders may join the artists for Gulfshore Opera’s signature fundraising event, reception, silent auction which includes exciting travel packages, and gala dinner at The Club at the Strand, conveniently located just off the Immokalee exit of I-75, in North Naples.
Tickets are $250 for the gala package. Concert tickets only are $28, $48 and $68. For tickets and information, call 239-529-3925 or visit www.gulfshoreopera.org.

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