Reviewed by Paula Citron
Clearly American baritone Nathan Gunn has inherited the mantel of Thomas Hampson. Both have light lyric voices, and share the same repertoire. They are matinee idols in terms of good looks, and both are expressive singers.
Gunn’s voice is sweet, yet he can crank out the power when needed. It is the kind of voice without any jarring hiccups. Gunn caresses both the ear and the eye.
Wife Julie Jordan Gunn was his accompanist. While she didn’t do anything wrong, she also did not bring a lot of nuance or shading to her interpretation.
Gunn performed a gutsy program. The first half contained six demanding Schubert lieder grouped as the song cycle Viola, or violet. The second half included English songs by Benjamin Moore, Charles Ives, and would you believe, Tom Waits. The evening concluded with Julie Gunn’s arrangement of traditional folk and gospel songs.
There was only one encore – Buddy can you spare a dime – and Gunn nailed it with passion.
Nathan Gunn, baritone
Julie Jordan Gunn, pianist
Roy Thomson Hall International Vocal Series
Roy Thomson Hall, Mar. 10, 2010