Susan Gundunas

As a child, Susan Gundunas began singing, dancing, and acting on the stage of her parents’ Greek night club in Los Altos, California. As an adult, she has delighted audiences with her unique combination of vocal brilliance and dramatic craft since she learned Mimi from La Boheme in two hectic weeks and debuted on Opera San Jose’s main stage.

Susan honed her drama skills studying Theatre Arts as an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, and began work as an actress with San Jose Repertory Theater. While there, she crossed paths with George Cleve, who urged her to study classical voice, and from then on she found herself increasingly drawn to music.

She won a contract at Opera San Jose as Principal resident artist, where she sang Lucia, Violetta, Mimi, Cio-Cio San, the title role of Vanessa, and Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, among many other parts. She followed her time in San Jose with a year and a half in Germany singing Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera and performed on television and with the NDR Symphony in Hamburg in a concert of arias.

Since returning to the States, Susan has performed across the country in a variety of roles, with the Nevada Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera Idaho, Rimrock Opera, Sonoma Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, and others. During this time she worked intensively with composer Alva Henderson and librettist Dana Gioia as they developed their new opera Nosferatu, writing the part of Ellen expressly for Susan. Her list of symphonic credits include work with the Berkeley Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Peninsula Symphony and the San Bernadino Symphony.

Susan has most recently been featured on two recordings. as Ellen in Nosferatu and in her recital “Life, Love, and Motherhood,” which are now available through her website at

Susan mastered vocal technique in studies with Jane Randolph. When not performing, Susan teaches voice at University of California, Berkeley and runs a busy vocal studio in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and two sons.

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