As an avid performer of opera, oratorio, art song, and musical theatre, baritone Nathaniel Sullivan “works to infuse each performance with his unique, personal vitality.” (arts.unl.edu) Comfortable with classical and contemporary operatic repertoire, Sullivan has performed roles ranging from Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), the Count (Le nozze di Figaro), and Sid (Albert Herring) to the role of Martin in the world premiere of MacArthur Fellow Mary Zimmerman’s reimagining of Bernstein’s Candide, which won first place in the National Opera Association’s 2012-13 Opera Production Competition. In 2016, Sullivan joined Beth Morrison Projects to cover the roles of the Young Monk and Gilgamesh in Scott Wheeler's Naga and Paola Prestini's Gilgamesh, as part of the world premiere of the Ouroboros Trilogy in Boston. Sullivan has attended the opera studio program at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, where he had the opportunity to work with Puerto Rican tenor Antonio Barasorda.
Sullivan frequently engages in oratorio and other concert performances around the country. In 2014, he joined Maestro Edward Polochick and the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring scenes from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, performing the role of the Count. He has joined Maestro James Bagwell and the Bard Conservatory Orchestra and Chorus as the baritone soloist in Mozart's Coronation Mass (2015) and in the Winter portion of Haydn's The Seasons (2016). The following year, Sullivan performed the roles of Dr. Pangloss and Martin in a concert production of Bernstein's Candide with The Orchestra Now, conducted by Maestro Bagwell. Sullivan has been featured repeatedly as a soloist in the Michigan-based sounding light touring choral ensemble, led by conductor Tom Trenney. As a winner of the Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition, Sullivan will join Maestro Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now in a performance of Frank Martin's Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann in October, 2017.
In addition to large ensemble and choral repertoire, Sullivan takes great interest in the art song and chamber repertoires, particularly recently composed works. In 2016, he premiered five new pieces by students of composer Aaron Jay Kernis, alongside a nine-part chamber ensemble made up of members of the Albany Symphony, conducted by Maestro David Alan Miller. Sullivan's first foray into chamber music was a performance of Milton Babbitt's Two Sonnets for baritone, clarinet, viola, and cello, performed at Bard College in 2016. The following year, Sullivan premiered the piece "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For" by composer Gregory Spears, as part of a recital of premieres at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.
Passionate about incorporating musical theatre performance into his classical vocal studies, Sullivan has performed in five concerts in the Celebration of American Song series, an annual historical survey of the American influences on the musical theatre and classical vocal repertoires, curated by Alisa Belflower at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He has appeared in four world premieres of new musicals: Big Red Sun by Georgia Stitt & John Jiler, Cross That River by Allan & Pat Harris, A Year in Jackson by Joey Contreras & Laura Kleinbaum, and American Smoothie by Nick Jester & David von Kampen. Other musical theatre roles Sullivan has performed include Stine (City of Angels), the Wolf (Into the Woods), Daddy Warbucks (Annie), and Sky Masterson (Guys & Dolls).
Sullivan has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the 2014 Orpheus Vocal Competition’s Bizet Award and several NATS regional and national awards in both classical and musical theatre competitions. He has received two encouragement awards from the Nebraska District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, in 2012 and 2013. Sullivan received his bachelor’s of music degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he graduated in 2014 as a Chancellor’s Scholar and was the recipient of the Presser Foundation Scholarship, the Donald Walter Miller Scholarship, the Don & Carole Burt Scholarship for Vocal Excellence, and the George Beadle Scholarship. In 2017, Sullivan received his master's of music degree from the Bard College Conservatory of Music's Graduate Vocal Arts Program, led by soprano Dawn Upshaw. He is currently based in New York City, where he participates in various opera and concert opportunities, performs in the professional choir at The Brick Presbyterian Church, and acts as Operations Administrator for the Resonant Bodies Festival.
Edited May 28, 2017