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Susan DunnSusan Dunn

Title: Professor of Practice (Voice) and Director of Opera
Office Location: 075 Mary Duke Biddle
Office Phone: (919) 660-3323
Email Address:
Office Hours:

Tuesdays 12:30-1:00, Wednesdays 2:00-3:30 or by appointment


  • Masters of Music Indiana University, 1980


Teach voice, direct opera workshop, serve as Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Grammy Award, "Best Choral Recording of 1988", Verdi, Requiem, 1988
  • Pick of the Year, Verdi, Requiem, Gramophone Magazine, 1988
  • "The Best of the New Generation: Men and Women Under 40 Who Are Changing America", Esquire Magazine's, January 1984
  • Richard Tucker Foundation Award Winner, 1983
  • WGN-Opera on the Air Award, First Place, Chicago, IL, 1983
  • D'Angelo Young Artist Award, First Place, 1981
  • G.B. Dealey-Dallas Morning News Young Artist Awards, First Place, 1981
  • Luciano Pavarotti-Opera Company of Philadelphia Young Artist Award Winner, 1981
  • Metropolitain National Council Auditions, Winner, 1981

Teaching (Fall 2015):

  • Music 213-1.01, Opera workshop Synopsis
    Biddle 041, MW 04:40 PM-06:30 PM

Selected Professional Work:



  • S. Dunn. Verdi, Giovanni D'Arco, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale, Bologna, with Riccardo Chailly.  Home Vision Video, 1992 . (VHS and Laserdisc)
  • S. Dunn. Wagner, Die Walkure, Act I, Pittsburgh Symphony, with Lorin Maazel.  Telarc, 1991 .
  • S. Dunn. Mahler, Das klagende Lied, RSO Berlin, with Riccardo Chailly.  London/Decca, 1991 .
  • S. Dunn. Schoenberg, Gurrelieder, RSO Berlin, with Riccardo Chailly.  London/Decca, 1990 .
  • S. Dunn. Susan Dunn: Beethoven, Verdi, and Wagner Arias, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, with Riccardo Chailly.  London/Decca, 1988 .
  • S. Dunn. Verdi, Requiem, Atlanta Symphony, with Robert Shaw.  Telarc, 1987 .
  • S. Dunn. Beethoven, Mass in C, RSO Berlin, with Riccardo Chailly.  London/Decca, 1987 .
  • S. Dunn. Verdi, I Vespri Siciliani, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, with Riccardo Chailly.  Home Vision Video, 1986 .


  • Performances, 2013/12/31
    Soprano soloist with Rodney Wynkoop and the Durham Choral Society Chamber Choir in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Duke Chapel, March 2013. Review from CVNC (Classical Voice of North Carolina, online review site) Joining the chamber choir were some of the most outstanding local musical artists there are anywhere: soprano Susan Dunn, alto Jami Rhodes, tenor Wade Henderson, bass John Kramar, pianists David Heid (I) and Derison Duarte (II) and harmonium – Jane Lynch. Program notes, thoroughly researched and aimed at enhancing the understanding and enjoyment of the music, were prepared by Susan Dakin........ The soprano and alto duet, “Qui tollis,” is a gentle romantic air sung in all its bel-canto glory by Dunn and Rhodes. “Preludio Religioso” was preceded and followed by a gentle harmonium ritornello, but the preludio itself was a piano treasure impressively performed by Heid. Sanctus is comprised of fanfare-like phrases sung by the soloist ensemble and answered with by gentle choral Benedictus. “O salutary Hestia,” is a Eucharistic hymn not usually used in a mass. It is a beautiful operatic solo and a treat to hear it sung by Dunn.
  • Just Folks, Duke University, November 04, 2011
    A vocal recital of music by classical composers that was inspired by folk music or arrangements of folk music; including Scottish, Welsh, and Irish folk songs arranged by Beethoven, with piano, violin and cello; Brahms Volkslieder; Respighi Liriche antiche da poesia Armena; American folk songs and spirituals by Burleigh, Copland, Niles and McGimsey.

   Master Classes:
  • Master Classes, Texas A & M University, September 30, 2011
    Master class with students of Texas A and M University music department and students of Amarillo College music department, in selected solo pieces.

  • Directing opera workshop performance, 2013/12/31
    Comedy Tonight! an evening of comic opera scenes, including: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum The Bartered Bride, Smetana The Old Maid and the Thief, Menotti Cosi fan Tutte, Mozart The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart The Daughter of the Regiment, Donizetti Falstaff, Verdi
  • Directing, The Cockeyed Optimist: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein III, 2012
    Opera workshop performances in April of music with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein III.
  • The Joint is Jumpin': A 1940s Swing Era Revue, Duke University, November 19, 2011
    Conceived and wrote script for The Joint is Jumpin', a 1940s Swing Era Revue. Co-ordinated with John Brown and the Jazz Ensemble, with 15 students in workshop, with costumes, skits, advertisements, a video and audio montage of period images. Repeated at The Forest at Duke, Monday, November 21, 2011.
  • Saints and Sinners, Opera Workshop, Duke University, April, 2011
    Conceived and directed Duke Opera Workshop performances of excerpts from operas: Don Giovanni The Devil and Daniel Webster Susannah The Saint of Bleeker Street Faust
  • Parents' and Families' Weekend Concert, Nelson Music Room, 1996-2010
    In the Spotlight: A concert of solo and small ensemble works by students.

   Series Coordinator/Director:
  • Simon Estes Master Class, Duke University, April 08, 2011
    Coordinated with Leda Scearce and World Voice Day to bring renowned operatic bass Simon Estes for a master class for Duke students and community members.

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