The visitor stats don't lie: all of the folks who came by TSR in the early days looking for Bjork's Oceania video are apparently now trolling around for photos of baritone Nathan Gunn. Perhaps the sudden interest has been sparked by Tommasini's article in the NY Times today. But given the number of hits I've gotten on the Billy Budd pages here, here and here in the past week, you'd think the discovery of a decent-looking opera singer is equivalent to the second coming of Callas.
Here are some answers for all you Gunn Googlers. He's 33. Yes, he's added Billy Budd to his repertoire, and most recently performed it at San Francisco Opera. He does seem to be asked to take his shirt off a lot. He was on the cover of Opera News in September 2004. Since he has a lovely wife Julie (who is also his recital pianist) and 5 children, one can safely assume he is not gay. Yes, I really think he's not gay. There are no photos of "Nathan Gunn naked" that I'm aware of.
To be honest, I actually agree with Parterre Box's assessment (scroll down) of the Gunn ogling phenomenon. I just listened to his Wound-Dresser recording today (what a pain to find, but that's a post for another day) and he is singing quite well. There's a depth and fullness to his tone that I find appealing, and his production sounds natural and fluid. I'm looking forward to listening again tomorrow, which is a good sign.
But I also understand that some folks are just encountering Nathan for the first time. So, purely as a public service, I have scoured the web on your behalf to bring you the Wall o' Nathan. (You can click through to the full-size photos in the Album o' Nathan.) I hope you guys appreciate the sacrifices I make for the common good...