Internationally renowned opera pedagogue Samuel Mungo has been appointed managing director of the Peabody Opera Theatre following an extensive search. Beginning in fall 2017, he will shape the Peabody Conservatory’s opera curriculum, lead student recruitment efforts, and oversee the program’s two mainstage productions and other performances each academic year.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Mungo to our faculty, where his unique artistic vision and pedagogical experience will strengthen Peabody’s robust opera program,” said Abra Bush, senior associate dean for institute studies at Peabody. “Peabody Opera Theatre has a long history of producing both outstanding young singers, well-prepared for success in the opera world, and acclaimed productions, popular with Baltimore audiences. Dr. Mungo’s dedication to melding beautiful singing with complete character development will enhance our program on all fronts.”
Involved in opera as a director, singer, and teacher for more than 30 years, Mungo is particularly well-known for his skill adding strong acting technique to singers’ vocal skills to create a true opera theatre. As the director of Texas State Opera Theatre at Texas State University, he created a comprehensive undergraduate opera preparation program with interdisciplinary training from professionals in acting, theater tech, movement, combat, and dance. While there, he produced and directed more than 25 operas, including Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Hänsel und Gretel, The Turn of the Screw, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Candide. He has directed professionally across the country and around the world, and his honors include Classical Performance of the Year from the San Antonio Express-News and Opera Production of the Year from the National Opera Association.
Mungo’s appointment comes as the Peabody Conservatory prepares for the fall 2017 launch of the new Breakthrough Curriculum in Music Leadership, a model at the forefront of arts training in the United States. The Breakthrough Curriculum is designed to help students develop skills in performance, career development, and citizen artistry to meet the demands of today’s changing musical landscape. Other recent additions to the Conservatory’s faculty have included vocalists Tony Arnold, William Burden, and Elizabeth Futral.
“It is an honor and privilege to join such talented and dedicated faculty at the Peabody Conservatory,” noted Mungo about his appointment. “I am inspired by the school’s exciting new initiatives, and I look forward to working with the whole Peabody community to make Peabody Opera a leading component of this enterprise.”
Prior to his directing and producing career, Mungo had an extensive performing career for more than 20 years. His performing credits include Don Giovanni for Minnesota Opera, Augusta Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater; Falke in Die Fledermaus for Vancouver Opera and Utah Opera; Opera Theater of St. Louis as Junius in The Rape of Lucretia; Pasha in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Opera Colorado; and Danilo in Merry Widow for Sacramento Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Knoxville Opera. He received his doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his master’s in vocal performance with honors from the New England Conservatory. He also holds an artist’s diploma from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.