Baritone Johnathan McCullough recently wrapped filming his production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs which will mark his directorial and role debut. The film made in collaboration with producer James Darrah and Freshfly Media will be aired on the Opera Philadelphia Channel early next year. He recently made his UK and West End debut singing Il Conte in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro directed by Joe Hill-Gibbons at English National Opera. He was set to make his company and role debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper singing the role of Faber in Tippett’s The Knot Garden which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having won First Prize in the 2019 Gerda Lissner Foundation Song competition singing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, he looks forward to more opportunities singing Lieder and song in the near future. This past season Johnathan was selected by Renée Fleming to take part in the Weill Institute Song Studio at Carnegie Hall where he performed in concert. He will present a solo concert under the Carnegie Hall organization next season.
Last season, Johnathan sang successful role and house debuts as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Opera Philadelphia, Harlequin at Opéra de Lausanne, and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Wolf Trap Opera on the Filene Center Stage, as well as returning to his signature role of Papageno at Opera San Louis Obispo.
Johnathan spent the 2017/18 season as an Emerging Artist at Opera Philadelphia where he sang Mr. Greatorex in the world premiere of Elizabeth Cree by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, as well as Moralès in a new production of Carmen. At the Komische Oper Berlin, he will return for a new Calixto Bieto production of Schreker's Die Gezeichneten after his recent successful debut as Oromasès in a new production of Rameau's Zoroastre conducted by Christian Curnyn. He covered the role of Hawkins Fuller in Fellow Travelers at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and spent the summer of 2018 as a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera singing Brother in The Seven Deadly Sins (Weill) and Marullo in Rigoletto. In concert, he will sing Carmina Burana with the Boise Philharmonic and with the National Chorale at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center.
Operatic credits include Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), J. Robert Oppenheimer (Doctor Atomic), Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro), Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Schaunard (La bohème), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Lescaut (Manon), Apollo (Apollo e Dafne), Gendarme (Les mamelles de Tirésias), Ibn-Hakia (Iolanta), Blansac (La scala di seta), Mandarino (Turandot), Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Le Geôlier (Dialogues des Carmélites), Reverend Monroe and Pangle in the workshop production of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain. Other roles have included Charles Rosen in the world staged premiere of The Classical Style, Lord Henry Wotton (The Picture of Dorian Gray), Maximillian (Candide), and A-Rab (West Side Story).
In addition to the standard repertoire, Johnathan is an avid interpreter of new music, working directly with composers Carlisle Floyd, Jennifer Higdon, David T. Little, Lowell Liebermann, Missy Mazzoli, John Musto, Rene Orth, Kevin Puts, Steven Stucky, Eli Villanueva, and many more. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut singing Berio Sinfonia for 8 solo voices. Other concert appearances include Harris Concert Hall with Maestro Harry Bicket, John Musto at Songfest, and the Broad Stage in Los Angeles.
Johnathan discovered his love of opera in LA Opera's Community and Education program where he returned in 2010 and 2012 to sing the roles of Messenger and Noble in the Los Angeles Opera production of The Festival Play of Daniel at the Los Angeles Cathedral. Johnathan was also part of the 2012 Young Artist Vocal Academy summer program at Houston Grand Opera where he returned in 2016 to cover the title role in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players. He is a recipient of the Partners for the Arts First Prize in the Promising Young Artist Category, second place in the Mario Lanza Voice Competition, the Bel canto vocal scholarship, a 2013 Career Bridges grant and a 2012 George London Foundation Encouragement Award. Other prizes include awards from the NFAA, the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation, the Bev Sellers Memorial and Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarships, and first prize in both the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts competition, The Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Awards in 2010. He is the recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant as well as a Catherine Filene Shouse Career Development Grant.
He received a Bachelor of Music degree, Master of Music in Opera degree and Artist Diploma, all from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He has been a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Aspen Music Festival.