The Bottom Line
Cross-over albums, especially for classical performers, are never easy to accomplish. There are only a few I can think of that were hit out of the ballpark, like Renee Fleming's Haunted Heart
. Nathan Gunn has an extremely beautiful, rich, and well-rounded baritone voice, but Just Before Sunrise
falls short of creating a unique and believable listening experience. Maybe not to this extreme, but it's like if LeAnn Rimes decided to create an album covering the songs of 50 Cent. Bottom line: you can take a man out of the opera, but you can't take the opera out of a man.
- Nathan Gunn's voice is smooth as silk, yet crisp and clear
- Easy to sing along
- Familiar and well-known songs
- Though he has an impeccable voice, his operatic qualities do not fit the songs on this album
- Released: August 7, 2007, Sony BMG
- 1 Disk, 15 Tracks
- Total Play Time: 47:38
Guide Review - Nathan Gunn, Just Before Sunrise
Nathan Gunn's good looks, spectacular voice, and artistic abilities make him one of the leading baritones in opera today. Born in South Bend, Indiana, the Gunn is best known for his roles in Mozart's operas Die Zauberflöte
, Il Barbiere di Siviglia
, and Così fan tutte
. Gunn has appeared on many famous stages including The Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, and Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, as well as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1994, Gunn won the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
This is Gunn's debut solo album. On it, you'll find contemporary works by Sting, Billy Joel, Tom Waits, as well as, Gene Scheer. Gunn's inspiration for the album came from his pre-dawn jogs in New York City. The song selection consists of mostly soft romantics, which blend nicely together as no one is dramatically different from the other. The album is truly "easy-listening." Though, it is far from classical, Gunn's somewhat suppressed operatic qualities are still apparent and a little distracting. His voice is amazing, but it doesn't shine as bright as it would if he were singing Mozart's Figaro.