Pianist, song arranger & music director
It looks like I haven’t written for a couple of years! There’s a New Year’s Resolution—I will be better in 2020.
The fall of 2019 was full of happy collaborations—our production company Shot in the Dark premiered its second show ever—Drytown: A living room vaudeville. Nathan and I were joined with our Lyric Theatre colleagues Michael Tilley and Sarah Wigley in making a show about making a show. The hilarious Susan Werner wrote us some songs for it, memorably “Hey! You look tired”– a song about beloved guests who have overstayed their welcome. We’ve used it at home a few times since, as needed.
Lyric Theatre @ Illinois continues to thrive and grow, with five new productions a year and a new fund: the Krannert Center/Lyric Theatre Student Excellence Fund. We will launch that on January 30th at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with an encore performance of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World.
In December, I had the privilege of helping lead a workshop of Paola Prestini’s new opera Sensorium Ex, in collaboration with Brenda Shaughnessy and Beth Morrison Projects. Tackling disability, motherhood, and artificial intelligence all at once, this piece challenges our emotional, social, and intellectual selves. It’s wonderful to live in a community where we have such expertise spread out among us.
Off for a quick visit to New York to visit the Prototype Festival, where Nathan is performing in Ricky Ian Gordon’s setting of Ellen West. And back to Illinois for rehearsals of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret and classes at the Krannert Center.
Happy New Year everyone! May it be a wonderful adventure.
Julie and Nathan Gunn are the featured artists for Gulfshore Opera’s signature fundraising event. Joined by GO’s Professional Artists in Residence during the first half of the program, they will present popular opera scenes Including Mr. Gunn’s famous Papageno Suicide scene. in the second half, Nathan and Julie Gunn will perform American music. Join us for the concert only or the Gala Package which includes the concert, Meet the Artist Reception, and Gala dinner at The Club at the Strand.
Wilkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! This joint production celebrates Krannert Center’s 50-year partnership with the School of Music, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, Illinois Theatre, and Dance at Illinois. Come to the Cabaret and see the sexy, seedy Kit Kat dancers, doomed lovers Frau Schneider and Herr Schultz, and the inimitable Sally Bowles. With classic songs (“Maybe This Time,” “Two Ladies,” and of course the title song), fresh choreography, and an emphasis on the humanity of life in the Weimar Republic, this collaboration is sure to enchant.
Julie Gunn, conductor