Mignon Dunn has sung the leading mezzo-soprano roles in the most important opera houses of the world. In Europe, she has sung at La Scala, Milan; the Vienna Staatsoper; London’s Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Paris Opéra; Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre; Teatr Wielki, Warsaw; the Hamburg Staatsoper; the Deutsche Oper Berlin; and the opera companies of Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. In South and Central America, she has performed at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Opera Nacional in Chile, Mexico City’s Bellas Artes, and the Opera of Puerto Rico. In Canada she has performed with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and the Opéra de Montréal. In the United States she sang at the Chicago Lyric Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, the Opera Company of Boston, the Opera Theater of Detroit, and the New Orleans and Miami operas. At the Metropolitan Opera in New York she sang over six hundred and fifty performances over a span of 35 years.
Dunn is known especially for her portrayals of the dramatic Italian roles such as Amneris in Aïda, Azucena in Il trovatore, Eboli in Don Carlo, both Laura and La Cieca in La gioconda, the Princess in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana. Her French repertoire includes Dalila in Samson et Dalila and Giulietta in The Tales of Hoffmann, Hérodiade, as well as Dulcinée in Don Quichotte and Carmen, which she has sung over 400 times in four different languages.
Her German repertoire has embraced the leading mezzo roles in different productions of Wagner’s Ring, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Kundry in Parsifal, and Venus in Tannhäuser. She has also given many performances of Strauss’s operas including Klytämnestra in Elektra, Herodias in Salome, and the Nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten. She has sung Kostelnička in Jenůfa, Jezibaba in Rusalka, and Kabanicha in Katya Kabanova in Czech as well as Marina in Boris Godunov in Russian. Her Spanish repertoire includes Goyescas and La vida breve.
Ms. Dunn has performed recitals all over Europe and the United States and has sung with many major symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati, Hamburg, and Vienna. Her varied repertoire has especially featured the works of Mahler, Ravel, and Verdi. Ms. Dunn has recorded for EMI, Erato, and Deutsche Grammophon. She has conducted master classes extensively in the United States, Germany, Austria, Italy, Israel, China, and Japan.
She is widely known as a professor of voice and has taught on the faculties of the University Texas at Austin, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Brooklyn College, and for many years at Manhattan School of Music.
Ms. Dunn was married to the late conductor Kurt Klippstatter and lives in New York City.
Mignon Dunn at Lyric Opera of Chicago
1975 - Elektra (Klytämnestra) with Schröder-Feinen, Neblett, Tyl, Little; Bartoletti
1978 - Salome (Herodias) with Bumbry, Bailey, Ulfung, Little; Klobučar (Wieland Wagner production)
1979 - Tristan und Isolde (Brangäne) with Vickers, Knie, Nimsgern, Sotin; Decker
1980 - Ballo in Maschera (Ulrica) with Scotto, Pavarotti, Nucci, Battle, Voketaitis, Macurdy; Pritchard, Tallchief, Frisell, Conklin
1984 - Arabella (Adelaide) with Te Kanawa, Wixell, Daniels, Greer, Korn; Pritchard, Tallchief
Frau ohne Schatten (Nurse) with Marton, Johns, Nimsgern, Zschau; Janowski, Corsaro
1986-87 - Gioconda (Cieca) with Dimitrova, Ciannella, Welker, Milcheva, Plishka; Bartoletti, Tallchief
-- Names which are links refer to my Interviews elsewhere on this website. BD
To read my Interview with Birgit Nilsson, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Leonie Rysanek, click HERE.
To read my Interview with James Levine, click HERE.
To read my Interviews with Sherrill Milnes, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Alfredo Kraus, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Julius Rudel, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Erich Liensdorf, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Nathaniel Merrill, cllick HERE.
To read my Interview with Jean Kraft, click HERE.
To read my Interview with David Stivender, click HERE.
© 1984 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in her apartment in Chicago on October
5, 1984. Portions were broadcast on WNIB in 1996. This transcription
was made and much of it was published in Nit & Wit Magazine in May, 1986.
It was completed and slightly re-edited, photos and links were added, and
it was posted on this website at the end of 2015.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.