The much sought-after Heldentenor Brenden Gunnell is renowned in opera and in concert. Born in the USA, he has gained an international reputation for his clarion and carefully nuanced tone, effortless upper tessitura, clear articulation, and intense acting style.
Core roles of his opera repertoire include the title roles in Peter Grimes, Lohengrin, Parsifal, Oedipus Rex and Der Zwerg as well as Siegmund in Die Walkure, Laça in Jenufa, the Prince in Rusalka, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Erik in Der Fliegende Hollander. Brenden Gunnell is an ensemble member of Oper Leipzig from the 2022/2023 season onwards, where he makes his debut as Herodes in Salome, and will reprise the title role in a new production of Peter Grimes.
On the concert stage he is particularly noted for Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, which he debuted with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Jeffrey Tate at Laeiszhalle Hamburg, and has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at King’s College Cambridge, with Dortmund Philharmoniker, and at Bremen Glocke, Domkirke Oslo, as well as Rheingau Musik Festival at Kloster Eberbach. Further core works include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Symphony no. 9, Britten’s War Requiem and his works for tenor and chamber orchestra, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Das Klagende Lied and Symphony No. 8 (performed with the Filarmonica della Scala conducted by Riccardo Chailly; at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, conducted by Fabio Luisi; and recorded with the Dortmund Philharmonic for Dreyer Gaido, conducted by Gabriel Feltz), Frank Martin’s Golgotha, Franz Schmidt’s Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem.Read more
Additional recent and upcoming highlights include Verdi’s Requiem in the Pisa Cathedral, with Staatskapelle Halle and conducted by Hartmut Haenchen, a concert performance of Die Walkure with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland in Eindhoven, conducted by Hartmut Haenchen, The Dream of Gerontius in the Hauptkirche St. Michaelis in Hamburg, conducted by Jörg Endebrock, as well as with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, Erik in Der Fliegende Hollander at the Komische Oper Berlin, Idomeneo at the Opéra National de Lorraine, Paul in Die Tote Stadt and Florestan in Fidelio.
Guest performances have taken Brenden Gunnell to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (the title role of Lohengrin), the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (Duke of Kent in Reimann’s Lear), Bergen National Opera (Prince in Rusalka), the Birmingham Opera Company (Loge in Das Rheingold and Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), the Teatro La Fenice in Venice (Idomeneo), the Munich Opera Festival (Hüon in a new production of Oberon), the Gothenberg Opera (Loge and Siegmund), to the Glyndebourne Festival (Prince in Rusalka (2019) and Pedrillo in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (2015)), the Garsington Festival Opera (Jenik in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride), the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Jimmy Mahoney in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and the Painter in Berg’s Lulu), the National Centre for Performing Artis, Beijing (David in DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG), the Staatstheater Saarbrücken (Peter Grimes) and the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari (Erik in Der Fliegende Hollander).
After successfully completing his professional studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2006, Brenden Gunnell was a member of the ensemble at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck from 2007 to 2011, under artistic director KS Brigitte Fassbaender, and from 2011 to 2013 a member of the ensemble at the Den Norske Opera and Ballet in Oslo.
Brenden Gunnell has worked closely with the conductors Sir Jeffrey Tate (+), Riccardo Chailly, Antonio Pappano, Daniele Gatti, Fabio Luisi, Juraj Valčuha, Ivor Bolton, Evan Rogister, Alpesh Chauhan, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Jaap van Zweden, Steuart Bedford (+), and Hartmut Haenchen as well as with stage directors Sir Graham Vick (+), KS Brigitte Fassbaender, Stephen Langridge, Thaddeus Strassberger, Christoph Marthaler, François Girard, Paul Curran, William Kentridge, and Sir David McVicar.