American bass Andrew Munn is cutting an exciting profile in his budding career as an acclaimed performer and creator. This season he will debut as Doctor Grenvil in Verdi's La Traviata and as Specialist Swanson in the world premiere of Huang Ruo's An American Soldier with The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. As featured soloist and librettist, he is collaborating with Rome Prize winning composer Nina C. Young on Making Tellus, an operatic exploration of humanity's relationship to the Earth, commissioned by The Library of Congress. He completes his graduate studies at The Juilliard School in May 2018.
He was a 2017 Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was featured as a soloist in Bach's Liebster Jesu mein Verlangen conducted by John Harbison, excerpts from Heinrich Schütz's Symphonaie Sacrae, and recitals curated by Stephanie Blythe and Dawn Upshaw. Other recent performances include Bass Soloist in Rossini's Stabat Mater with The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Songs of Protest with Steve Blier and The New York Festival of Song, and Prince Gremin's aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in a program of opera scenes with Juilliard Vocal Arts.
In 2016 Mr. Munn debuted as a Young Artist with Bel Canto at Caramoor, covering Rocco and singing the Second Prisoner in Beethoven’s Fidelio under Pablo Heras-Casado and singing Il Pastore in Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira under Will Crutchfield. Also on the operatic stage, he sang Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and the Lion in Oliver Knussen’s Higglety Pigglety Pop! at Bard College. In concert, he was the Bass Soloist in Handel’s Messiah with The Orchestra Now under Leon Botstein, performed Winterreise with pianist Rami Sarieddine at Bard College and other Hudson Valley venues, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Tierkreis, and was featured in a recital of Beethoven lieder by Caramoor and Friend of Mozart.
In the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Munn joined the Aspen Opera Theater Center where his portrayal of Beethoven in the world stage premiere of Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s opera The Classical Style was hailed as “sonorous” in his “moody” (Aspen Times) and “suitably gruff” (Opera News). On the concert stage, he was the Bass Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Ádám Fischer, Raphael in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung conducted by Mr. Botstein at Bard College, and Jesus in Bach’s St. John Passion with the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany, NY.
Mr. Munn works with composers and interdisciplinary artists to create works that shed light on the interrelationship of human and natural systems. He is collaborating with 2015-2016 Rome Prize in Musical Composition winner Nina C. Young and the Nouveau Classical Project to create Making Tellus, an operatic exploration of the Anthropocene. Mr. Munn’s work as a performer, librettist, and co-producer of these works represent his conviction that in addition to a performer’s aesthetic responsibilities, performers play a vital role in connecting the public to forces greater than ourselves; be they geologic, divine, political, ecological, or personal.
These convictions are born of Mr. Munn’s work as a community organizer for climate justice from 2007 to 2014. During this time, he worked with communities in West Virginia to oppose mountaintop removal coal mining and to place 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 The Last Mountain and Battle for Blair Mountain on CNN.