With over 60 roles to her credit, critically acclaimed soprano Susan Gundunas is an active performer in opera, musical theatre, dramatic theatre, and concert and recital repertoire. Her love of performance stems from her childhood: singing, dancing, and acting on the stage of her parents’ Greek restaurant in Los Altos, CA. She decided to pursue acting, earning a degree in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University, and from performing a singing role in The Tempest she was seen and heard by Irene Dalis, who brought her to Opera San Jose as a Principal Resident Artist. After enjoying four years there and performing over 20 roles, she was cast in the role of Carlotta in the Harold Prince production of Phantom of the Opera in Hamburg, Germany.
Since returning to the States, Ms. Gundunas has performed across the country in a variety of leading opera and musical theatre roles with Nevada Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera Idaho, Rimrock Opera, Sonoma City Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, and Marin Theatre, among others. Some of her favorite roles performed include Nedda (I pagliacci), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Violetta (La Traviata) Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly), Mimì (La bohème), and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni).
Ms. Gundunas’ recent theatrical credits include Mrs. Peachum in San Jose Stage Company’s A Three Penny Opera, Queen Elizabeth I in Renaissance Voice’s annual Boar’s Head Festival, Helen Hart in the critically acclaimed Game Show, Show with the Retro Dome, Elaine Novazio in Last of the Red Hot Lovers with Novato Theatre Company, and Lady Russell, Opera Singer and Mrs. Crofts in San Jose Stage Company’s world premiere of Persuasion. Her performance as Esther for Guggenheim Productions in MeshugaNutcracker! was filmed by Fathom Events and seen in movie theaters across the country in December 2017 and this year Susan won critical acclaim for the starring role, Raisel/Bubbie in The People in the Picture and for her leading role in Sondheim on Sondheim at the new 3Below Theaters in San Jose. Upcoming appearances include Cathy in The Great God Pan with Cinnabar Theater, The Angel in The Pastorella at Renaissance Voices and the soprano soloist in Gounod’s Messe Solennelle on the Centennial Concert with the Basilica Choir and Orchestra at Mission Dolores.
In concert, Ms. Gundunas has been a guest artist with the Monterey Opera, San Francisco Bay Opera, San Francisco Mandoline Orchestra, Renaissance Voices, Masterworks Chorale, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Schola Cantorum, Las Vegas Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Peninsula Symphony, San Bernadino Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, and NDR Symphony (Germany). She can be heard as Ellen in Alva Henderson’s Nosferatu recorded on the Albany Records label, as well as on two solo recital recordings: “All the World’s a Stage,” comprised of Shakespeare scenes, sonnets, and songs, and “Life, Love, and Motherhood.” Ms. Gundunas was also a contributor to The Marin Project, a CD compilation of instrumental and vocal music, which gives all of its profits to help end homelessness in Marin County (available on itunes and amazon).
Committed to sharing her knowledge and expertise with others, Ms. Gundunas founded the Complete Package Performer, a workshop designed to build performance and marketing skills for emerging professionals. She is a sought after pedagogue, maintaining a private voice studio in San Francisco and at the University of California, Berkeley.