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Johnathan as Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic.

Johnathan as Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic.

"Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (Baritone Johnathan McCullough) claws his way across the cement disc, as Adams’ themes heat up with orchestral chaos and Oppenheimer writhes out of his orange hazmat suit, like a snake shedding its skin...As propulsive as Adams score is, the intimate scene between Oppenheimer and his wife Kitty, couldn’t be more dynamically tender. McCullough and mezzo-soprano Siena Licht Miller have instant vocal chemistry...Oppenheimer returns with 40s crystal microphone and delivers the opera’s shattering aria “Batter my Heart” (Three person’d God). McCullough’s voice just continues to bloom in passionate tones. It caps off his altogether mesmerizing performance."

Huffington Post: Doctor Atomic 

 

"He called the test site Trinity, based on Donne’s sonnet “Batter my heart, three-person’d God.” Its words are used in a great dramatic aria that closes the first act. McCullough sang it passionately, accompanied by pounding rhythmic chords from the orchestra....As McCullough sang, he leapt upward, as if grasping for an understanding of the universe. At other times he twisted and somersaulted, demonstrating his conflicted emotions.

Broad Street Review: Doctor Atomic

 

"Characterizations manifested themselves vocally with great depth in Johnathan McCullough’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Evan LeRoy Johnson as Robert Wilson, and Siena Licht Miller as Kitty Oppenheimer."

Philadelphia Inquirer: Doctor Atomic

 

"McCullough was truly brave. He committed fully to this extreme physicality even though he had an enormous amount to sing. He has a fine middle weight baritone and, remarkably, managed focused tone and clear diction."

Parterre Box: Doctor Atomic

 

" R.B. Schlather went on to explain,...'I worked collaboratively with all the performers to get out of them the kind of movement I felt expressed the emotional life of these people in space.' This was most evident in the performance by Jonathan McCullough who brilliantly played the character of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. The opening of Doctor Atomic featured a purely movement based scene in which McCullough seemed to blend modern dance with a bit of Horton technique, and then thrown in for good measure an occasional breaking and hip hop move as seen with the shoulder stand in the photo accompanying this article. With out the utterance of a single operatic note, we are witness to the political and moral quandary faced by Oppenheimer upon which composer, John Adams set his score with libretto by Peter Sellars.  The sequence of repeated movements, broken by the frenetic energy of McCullough gave us brief but poignant insights into the fear of acquiring such God-like and destructive power."

The Dance Journal: Doctor Atomic

 

"Mr. McCullough sang and acted Harlequin, the most prominent of Zerbinetta's gaggle of boys, quite well, with a lovely sound and a great sense of humor."

www.bachtrack.com: Ariadne auf Naxos  

 

"Baritone soloist Johnathan McCullough gave operatic performances in his many solos, bringing a warm tone and dramatic presence to each one - particularly the sardonic "I am the Abbot," and "Day, night and everything,'"

The Reading Eagle: Carmina Burana 

 

"Johnathan McCullough (Belcore) sounded like a Wagnerite in training."

Philadelphia Inquirer: The Elixir of Love

 

Click the link below to read Johnathan's "overtones" Magazine feature article. 

 

 

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