The young bass Andrew Robert Munn graces international opera and concert stages with an elegantly guided warm voice and keen dramatic instincts. Having recently gained recognition as a finalist at the Innsbruck Cesti Competition, several important debuts are scheduled for the current season: In New York's Carnegie Hall and at Stanford University's Bing Concert Hall, he will appear as soloist in the world premiere of Zhou Long's scenic oratorio Men of Iron and the Golden Spike, followed by his first recital in Paris. Andrew will also debut with Deutsche Oper Berlin in Chaya Czernowin’s Heart Chamber and return to Opera na Zamku in Poland as Frère Laurent in Gounod’s Romèo et Juliette. To round out a season of firsts, he will make his Scandinavian debut in Salome with the Malmö Symphony under Robert Trevino in May.
After completing his studies at The Juilliard School and the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program, the student of Dawn Upshaw and Sanford Sylvan moved to Berlin in 2018. During his first season in Europe, he appeared as Seneca in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, as Inspector and Uncle Albert in Philip Glass' The Trial (based on Kafka's novel of the same name) and as Sarastro in Mozart's Magic Flute. In 2019, he founded the duo+ and collaboration hub Chimera with long-time collaborator, pianist Rami Sarieddine. They presented recitals in Abu Dhabi, Athens, Berlin, and Cyprus, performing repertoire including Purcell, Schubert, Wolf, Barber, and world premieres of works composed for the duo+ by Andys Skordis and Conrad Winslow.
Passion and a deep sense of social and ecological responsibility have propelled Andrew on an unconventional artistic, and at times activist, path. Following his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan he moved to the coalfields of Appalachia, where from 2008 to 2014 he organized movements for climate justice. During this time, he worked with communities in West Virginia to oppose mountaintop removal coal mining and to address local environmental issues in the context of climate change and globalized capitalism. His work on land reform, economic transition in coal-dependent areas, and civil disobedience was published and analyzed in The Journal of Appalachian Studies and Applied Anthropology; books published by Punctum, AK, and Atlantic Monthly Presses; and was featured in documentaries including The Last Mountain and Battle for Blair Mountain on CNN. His activist work influences his artistic inquiry into social and ecological questions alongside leading young composers. He is the librettist and leading soloist for composer Nina C. Young’s forthcoming Making Tellus, an operatic meditation on the advent of our human-made geologic epoch, the Anthropocene. Nate May composed the dramatic song cycle Dust in the Bottomland, about the intersection of opioid addiction and ecological decay in rural America, for Andrew in 2014.
Prior to crossing the Atlantic, Andrew was a 2018 Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he sang Doctor Grenvil in Verdi's La Traviata and Specialist Swanson in the world premiere of Huang Ruo's An American Soldier. 2017 saw his Lincoln Center debut with Juilliard Opera under the direction of Laurence Cummings in Handel's Agrippina. Additional operatic roles include Dr. Cajus and Falstaff in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor by Otto Nicolai; Rocco in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Gremin in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, The Lion in Oliver Knussen’s Higglety Pigglety Pop!, and Beethoven in the world stage premiere of Steven Stucky’s and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style.
In concert, Andrew has performed Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Ádám Fischer, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein, Handel’s Messiah with Mr. Botstein’s The Orchestra Now, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with The Orchestra of the Triangle, and Jesus in Bach’s Johannes Passion with Cathedral of All Saints and Handel and Haydn Society. He debuted at Merkin Concert Hall in New York Festival of Song's acclaimed program of politically inspired music, Protest! with pianist Steven Blier in February 2018. He was a Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2017, where he was featured as a soloist in Bach's Liebster Jesu mein Verlangen conducted by John Harbison, excerpts from Heinrich Schütz's Symphoniae Sacrae, as well as in recital programs.
Andrew’s dual fascination with classic texts and the process of social change stem from his upbringing as the son of two historians and classical archaeologists. He was born in Palo Alto, California, and as a young child spent summers in Greece where his parents directed an excavation. They encouraged his musical education as a trumpet player and choral singer in the State College, Pennsylvania public school district.
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