Juliana Gondek has performed with over 150 major orchestras and opera companies worldwide, and has collaborated with such musical luminaries as Aaron Copland, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Nicholas McGegan, Carlos Kleiber, Rudolf Serkin, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and Sir David Willcocks. Her opera engagements with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, the operas of San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Florida, Baltimore, Utah, San Diego, Long Beach, Hawaii, Milan’s La Scala, the Zurich, Scottish, and Netherlands Operas, at Washington’s Kennedy Center and before a crowd of 5,000 in New York’s Central Park have earned her international critical and audience acclaim.
Festival appearances include Germany’s Göttingen and Halle Handel Festivals, the Edinburgh Festival, Luzern Festival, Salzburg Easter Festival, Antibe’s Bel Canto Festival, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, and the Avignon, Aldeburgh, Marlboro, Santa Fe, Caramoor, Bard, Newport (Rhode Island), Hawaii, Astoria (Oregon), and Bravo!Colorado Festivals.
Gondek has sung recitals in such famed venues as Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Berlin’s National Library, Lucerne’s Festival Hall, Geneva’s Grand Théâtre, Japan’s Kitara Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Festival Hall, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim Museum, Carnegie Recital Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Los Angeles’ Ambassador Auditorium, and the Newport Vanderbilt mansion “The Breakers”. Hailed as one of America’s leading interpreters of Baroque and contemporary music, Gondek has twenty Handel roles and dozens of world premieres to her credit. She has taken on the lead roles in many contemporary operas, including Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, David Diamond’s The Noblest Game, Hugo Weisgall’s Esther, John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, Bright Sheng’s The Song of Majnun, David Carlson’s Dreamkeepers, Anthony Davis’ Under the Double Moon, Jonathan Sheffer’s Blood on the Dining Room Floor, Stewart Wallace’s Harvey Milk and Hopper’s Wife, Ian Krouse’s Lorca, Child of the Moon, and Roger Bourland’s The Dove and the Nightingale.
Gondek’s discography includes vocal chamber music on Orion (winner of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation Prize for a debut recording); complete Handel operas Ottone, Giustino, Radamisto, and Ariodante (Gramophone’s Record of the Year) on harmonia mundi; Harvey Milk, the opera, on Teldec (1997); Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte on Deutschegrammophon’s “Live from the Met” DVD; Bright Sheng’s Songs from the Sung Dynasty on Naxos (following performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic – Gramophone Magazine’s “2003 Top Ten” selection); The Complete Songs of Karol Szymanowski (Channel Classics label winner of the 2004 Fryderyk Prize [Polish “Grammy”] for Best Recording of Polish Music); American Classics: Jewish Operas II on Naxos (2006) with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony; and Four Quartets of Songs and Arias by Roger Bourland on the Navona/Parma label (2013). She has also made countless National Public Radio and European radio and television live recordings, including the first European recording of songs by Morten Lauridsen.
Gondek’s extensive list of operatic leads includes Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda; Verdi’s Gilda, Giovanna d’Arco, Gulnara (Il Corsaro) and Marquesa del Poggio (Un Giorno di Regno); Bizet’s Carmen and Micaela; Rossini’s Bianca (Bianca e Falliero); Handel’s Alcina, Rodelinda, Ginevra, Cleopatra, Theodora, Gismonda, Zenobia, Fortuna, Esther, Michal, Iphis, Galatea, etc; Puccini’s Mimi; Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus); Mozart’s Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Vitellia, Countess Almaviva, Pamina, First Lady, Despina, and Aspasia (Mitridate); The Tales of Hoffmann four heroines; Pat Nixon (Nixon in China), and Gertrude Stein (Blood on the Dining Room Floor). She has performed as soloist in Handel’s L’Allegro on tour with Mark Morris Dance Group, as vocal soloist with American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House, and as Vera Stravinsky alongside stars of the “Star Trek” television series for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her feature film debut was as “The Opera Diva” in ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre’s “The Song of the Lark.”
Among the orchestras in her solo performance credits are the New York Philharmonic (Sir André Previn), the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Gerard Schwarz), the symphonies of San Francisco (Herbert Blomstedt, Sir David Willcocks, David Zinman, Bright Sheng, Donald Runnicles), Seattle (Gerard Schwarz, Nicholas McGegan), St. Louis (Sir Raymond Leppard, John Nelson), Dallas (Robert Shaw, Graeme Jenkins), Houston (Ward Holmquist), Detroit (Jerzy Semkow), Indianapolis (John Nelson, Sir Raymond Leppard, Jack Everly), Toronto (Gunther Herbig), Montreal (Charles Dutoit), Vancouver (Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Jack Everly), Hong Kong (Samuel Wong), L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Armin Jordan, Nello Santi), the Netherlands Radio Symphony (Markus Stenz), the Brucknerorchester Linz (Jerzy Semkow), the Spanish National Orchestra of Madrid (Arpad Joo), the Munich Chamber Orchestra (Christoph Poppen), and the Philharmonia Baroque and Freiburger Baroque Orchestras (Nicholas McGegan).
Recent performances include a Baroque Christmas concert in Frankfurt, alto soloist in Bach’s B-Minor Mass in Cleveland, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Oregon, Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” and Paul Chihara’s “Magnificat” in Royce Hall, numerous song and chamber music recitals, and “Danción” – a collection of Latin-American dance songs in jazz-inflected arrangements for voice and instrumental ensemble, featuring Abraham Laboriel on electric bass.
Gondek has been a member of the Voice faculty of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music since 1997, serving seven years as Chair of Voice and three as Division Chair of Music Performance. She is Founder-Director of NAPA Music Festival and Napa Arts Alliance in the Napa Valley, California, a teaching and performance festival for young artists aged 14-35. She has lectured and taught master classes at Los Angeles Opera, for the Classical Singer and Music Educators National Conventions, and for the YoungArts Week/National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts National Finals in Miami.
She has taught as Guest Artist at conservatories and music schools worldwide, including Manhattan School of Music, Rice University, University of Chicago, Arizona State, USC, Rutgers University, as Artist-in-Residence with New Zealand Opera, University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand), and at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Shanghai Conservatory, at Florence’s Cherubini Conservatory, the Geneva Conservatory, and in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. She has taught as co-faculty with Nicholas McGegan and Peter Grunberg at the Baroque Vocal Academy of the Pacific Music Festival (Leonard Bernstein’s festival in Sapporo, Japan), as Co-Artistic Director for seven summers at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, as Director of Astoria Music Festival’s Vocal Apprentices, and on the summer vocal faculties of Songfest, Idyllwild Arts, and others.
Gondek regularly donates her time to work with the vocal groups at Hollywood High School, a Los Angeles Unified School District arts high school, and at the High School of Visual and Performing Arts. She has maintained private teaching studios in Los Angeles, New York City, New Jersey, and San Francisco and her students are performing with professional opera companies and symphony orchestras worldwide, as well as on Broadway and in top jazz, rock, and country western venues in the U.S. and abroad.
She regularly judges prominent singing competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Classical Singer National College and High School Final Competitions, “YoungArts” National Finals in Miami, National Opera Association Competition, Denver Lyric Opera Guild Prize, and such prestigious international competitions as the Geneva, Spoleto, and Jose Iturbi International Singing Competitions. She is active as panelist and consultant for OperaAMERICA’s national conferences and workshops for professional singers, and was a founding Board member and Producer for the multi-media music educational enterprise “Once Upon An Opera,” as well as a Fulbright Foundation Reviewer in Music for the U.S. State Department.
Gondek, a native of Pasadena, California, entered the University of Southern California as a Violin major, graduated magna cum laude, and began professional life as a free-lance violinist with work on the side as a musical theater singer-dancer, folk-rock singer, and jazz “big band” and cabaret vocal soloist. After earning a graduate degree in Voice, she apprenticed with San Diego Opera before relocating to New York City. Her international career was launched after winning back-to-back gold medals in the Geneva International Singing Competition and the Barcelona “Francisco Viñas” International Singing Competition.