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). Having performed works in both the classical and contemporary operatic repertoires, Sullivan's roles have ranged from Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), the Count (Le nozze di Figaro), and Sid (Albert Herring), to the roles of Dr. Pangloss/Martin (Candide) and the Baritone in Philip Glass's Hydrogen Jukebox. 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. He has participated in the opera studio program at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria (2013), and will join the Tanglewood Music Center as a baritone vocal fellow in 2018.
In addition to opera performance, 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 bass soloist in Mozart's Coronation Mass (2015) and in the Winter portion of Haydn's The Seasons (2016). For his October 2017 performance as the chansonnier in HK Gruber's orchestral pan-demonium Frankenstein!!, Sullivan was regarded as "ebullient" and "a marvelous actor," having given "allegiance to both music and words" (ConcertoNet). Later that month, he performed as the bass soloist in J. S. Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Blanche Moyse Chorale & Memorial Orchestra, bringing "natural expressiveness and warmth" to the "Et in Spiritum Sanctum" (Rutland Herald).
Sullivan also takes great interest in the art song and chamber repertoires, with a particular focus on 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 premieres/workshops 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 also won first place in two national NATS musical theatre competitions, at both the student level (2014) and at the emerging artist level (2018).
Sullivan has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the 2014 Orpheus Vocal Competition’s Bizet Award and numerous 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. He is currently based in New York City, where he participates in various performance opportunities, sings in the professional choir at The Brick Presbyterian Church, and acts as Director of Operations for Resonant Bodies Festival.
Edited January 13, 2018