Samuel Mungo has been involved in opera as a director, singer, and teacher for more than 30 years. He has fostered an international reputation as an opera pedagogue, particularly for his skill adding strong acting technique to singers’ vocal skills to create a true opera theater.
Mungo has directed professionally across the country and around the world. His honors include Classical Performance of the Year from the San Antonio Express-News, and Opera Production of the Year from the National Opera Association. He is the winner of an American Prize in both Opera Production, and Director of the Year, for 2017. Professional directing credits include Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Florida Grand Opera, Suor Angelica for Opera Plovdiv, Gianni Schicchi for Opera Stara Zagora (Bulgaria), Pirates of Penzance for Colorado Light Opera, and Rigoletto and Il Trovatore for San Antonio Opera. A deft hand at Gilbert and Sullivan, in addition to Pirates of Penzance, he has staged Mikado, HMS Pinafore, and Gondoliers. In 2016, he commissioned composer Henry Mollicone and librettist Sheldon Harnick to write Lady Bird: First Lady of the Land, which premiered that year to national acclaim. It received its New York debut in 2017.
As the director of Texas State Opera Theatre, he created perhaps the most comprehensive undergraduate opera preparation program in the country, with interdisciplinary training from professionals in acting, theater tech, movement, combat, and dance. While there he produced and directed over 25 operas, including Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Hänsel und Gretel, The Turn of the Screw, Nozze di Figaro, and Candide.
Prior to his directing and producing career, Mungo had an extensive performing career for over 20 years. His performing credits include Don Giovanni for Minnesota Opera, Augusta Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater; Falke in Die Fledermaus for Vancouver Opera and Utah Opera; Opera Theater of St. Louis as Junius in The Rape of Lucretia; Pasha in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Opera Colorado; and Danilo in Merry Widow for Sacramento Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Knoxville Opera. Making his Carnegie Hall debut with Milos Bok’s Missa Solemnis, he has sung with the St. Louis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony, and Orquestra Filarmonica di Lima among others in such music as Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Requiems of Mozart and Brahms, and Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette.
He received his doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his master’s in vocal performance with honors from the New England Conservatory. He also holds an artist’s diploma from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.