Representation: General Management
American tenor John McMunn was educated at the Boston University Opera Institute; Harvard University; King’s College, Cambridge, where he served for two years as a Choral Scholar; and the Royal College of Music, where he was awarded the Cuthbert Smith and Lucy Ann Jones Scholarships. A former Paine Traveling Fellow of Harvard University, he is generously supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, and was the winner of the 2009 National English Song Prize awarded by the Association of English Singers and Speakers. In 2008, he joined the Royal College of Music International Opera School where he studied with Tim Evans-Jones.
Operatic credits include Lucano L’Incoronazione di Poppea, il Podestá La finta giardiniera, and Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the RCMIOS; Madwoman Curlew River and Stravinsky Renard for Mahogany Opera; Evil Counselor Ludus Danielis for the Harp Consort at the York Early Music Festival; cover Allegro L’Allegro for Les Arts Florissants at L’Opéra National de Paris; Acis Acis and Galatea for Bampton Classical Opera; Magnus The Martyrdom of St. Magnus for the Hebrides Ensemble at the Magnus Festival; cover Emilio Partenope at the English National Opera, Ugone Flavio and cover Lurcanio Ariodante for English Touring Opera; Leonato Alessandro, Silvio Il Pastor Fido, Cosroe Siroe, and Tempo Il trionfo del Tempo for the London Handel Festival.
Oratorio appearances include Handel’s Messiah, Solomon, Samson, Saul, Israel in Egypt and all of the Chandos Anthems; Mozart’s Requiem and Solemn Vespers; Haydn’s Creation, and numerous masses; Britten’s Cantata Misericordia, War Requiem, and St. Nicholas; Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions, and numerous cantatas; Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise, and Elijah; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater; Monteverdi’s Vespers, and many others.
An accomplished recitalist, he has appeared with pianists Paul Kwak (Britten’s Canticles and The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Paine Hall, Boston), Tom Winpenny (The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London), Christina Lawrie (Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Strathearn, Scotland), Simon Lepper (Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, Kirker Music Festival; Schumann Liederkreis Op. 39 and Dichterliebe, North Norfolk Music Festival), Gary Matthewman (Die schöne Müllerin, Lied in London), and Christopher Glynn (Dichterliebe, Ryedale Festival), as well as with the Doric Quartet (Warlock’s The Curlew, NNMF), and the Xenia Ensemble (The Curlew and Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge, MITO Festival, Milan and Turin).
A proponent of new music, he has premiered operas by Anthony Cheung, Christoper Hossfeld, Nicolas Shardlow, and appeared in the premiere production of Robert Zuidam’s Rage d’amours at the Tanglewood Music Center, where has twice been awarded vocal fellowships. Notable 20th century performances include Helmut Lachenmann’s Consolation 1, Messiaen’s Cinq Rechants, and the Transfiguration (BBC Proms 2008), as well as Huw Watkin’s In my craft or sullen art (RCM Haydn, Mendelssohn and Beyond Series). He sang the first tenor solos in the UK premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s Graffiti with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, and was named a Park Lane Group Young Artist for 2010. In May 2010, he created the role of Macroom in Klaas de Vries’s Wake at the Nationale Reisopera of the Netherlands, and he recently created the title role in the world première of Emily Howard’s Zátopek, a new opera for the Cultural Olympiad commissioned by Second Movement in partnership with Liverpool Philharmonic
Recent engagements include 1st Elder Susanna for the Early Opera Company at Iford Arts, Handel’s Messiah for Ulster Orchestra, Jason and 2nd Corinthian/Captive/Jealousy in Charpentier’s Médée for ENO. Subsequent engagements include Britten’s Parables with Mahogany Opera in St Petersburg, Aldeburgh, Buxton, and London; Bach’s St. John Passion in London, Oxford, and Kent; and the St. Matthew Passion with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum in Boston, MA.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.
Email: James Oliver