Sam Mungo

Stage Director
Northern Arizona University

With productions hailed as "brash", "fresh, and "powerful", with "riveting authenticity",  Dr. Samuel Mungo has been involved in Opera as a director, teacher and singer for more than 30 years, and has directed professionally across the country and around the world.

Nationally recognized as an expert in acting for the opera stage, Dr. Mungo is dedicated to creating true music theatre- honest emotion through real character sung beautifully. He believes that honest characters connect to the audience on a more personal level, and it is that connection that takes the craft of singing and acting to art.

As director, he has staged over 60 productions, and many of his productions have received national acclaim. His production of Zach Redler's The Falling and the Rising won Production of the Year from National Opera Association, and his World Premiere production of Kirke Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice was voted Best of Baltimore.  Professional directing credits include Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Florida Grand Opera, La traviata for Opera Carolina, Suor Angelica for Opera Plovdiv, and Rigoletto and Il Trovatore for San Antonio Opera.  A deft hand at G&S, he has staged Pirates of PenzanceMikado, HMS Pinafore and Gondoliers. His commissioned opera from Henry Mollicone and Sheldon Harnick entitled, Lady Bird: First Lady of the Land, premiered to great acclaim in 2016, and was honored by the American Prize in both Production and Director of the Year categories. His production and projection design for this opera is part of the permanent rental materials under ECS Publishing, and has been seen with Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose and Hunter College in New York among others. 

Dr. Mungo keeps a steady schedule of performing as well having appeared in over 50 operas and numerous concerts. Some of his favorite performing credits include Don Giovanni for Minnesota Opera, Augusta Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, Falke in Die Fledermaus for Vancouver Opera and Utah Opera, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia for Opera Theater of St. Louis, 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. Most recently he sang Frederik in A Little Night Music for Alamo Opera, The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance for Young Victorian Opera, El Gallo in Fantasticks with Live Arts Marylandand the Brahms Requiem with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony.

He currently serves as Director of Opera Studies at Northern Arizona University, a position he has held at The Peabody Conservatory and Texas State University. At the latter schools, he designed, wrote, and implemented the complete Opera Studies curriculum. He has also served on the faculty of New York University, The Actors Studio Drama School, and Towson University.