Irish/American Baritone Brian Mulligan Hits All the Right Notes

Although famed baritone Brian Mulligan has performed in opera houses around the world to wide-spread acclaim, the Irish/American singer always enjoys returning to the peace and quiet of his Pacific Heights home and neighborhood.
As he prepares to debut in the title role in the San Francisco Opera’s production of “Sweeny Todd” in September, the New York native is thrilled that his long-time dream of playing the psychotic barber is being fulfilled.
“It’s a brutal role,” he says. “With a range emotion of joy to despair, it the kind of role you long for.”
Mulligan studied voice at Yale University before moving on to the prestigious Julliard School of Music. While still a Julliard student, he debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in December of 2003 in Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman Without a Shadow), an opera in three acts by Richard Strauss.
The baritone is a perfectionist when it comes to learning his roles, interpreting the musical score, and rehearsing endlessly to hit each melodic note perfectly.
The range of roles Mulligan has appeared in is astonishing for such a young performer. From his critically acclaimed performance of Richard Nixon in Nixon in China with the San Francisco Opera to debuting in Pique Dame in Zürich and in the Frankfurt Opera’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor, Mulligan has more than proven his versatility as a world-class baritone artist.
Mulligan doesn’t limit his performances to operatic settings. He is a popular soloist on the domestic symphony orchestra circuit. He has performed in sold-out concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago and Houston Symphony Orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in recent years.
Not limited to live stage appearances, his performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony in Los Angeles was recorded by Deutsche Grammophon and released on DVD in 2012.
Mulligan credits his primary voice instructor, W. Stephen Smith, for much of his success. Always one for hard work and total effort, Mulligan shies away from listening to the recorded voices of yesterday and today and prefers to get his musical inspiration directly from the composers through their written scores.
Although bestowed with numerous awards for his singing talents, Mulligan says that being named one of the top 100 Irish Americans by the Irish America Magazine is one of his favorite honors.

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