Daniel Gundlach


Coaching Studio

I began my love affair with opera and singing at the age of five when I heard Leontyne Price sing the third act of Aida on a live broadcast from the Met. Music and song have been the orienting focus of my life ever since. I trained as a vocal coach (including a stint in the Merola Program of the San Francisco Opera) before I ever undertook the arduous task of becoming a singer myself. Now, in addition to my own singing career, I have once again resumed my work as a vocal coach. The more I work with singers, the clearer my skills as a coach have become:

  • a solid technical base through years of hard work on my own voice.
  • an excellent ear for foreign language, the unique melody and inflections of French, German and Italian.
  • clear and flexible means of communicating ideas.
  • a deep understanding of a wide range of musical styles, especially (but not limited to) baroque style and ornamentation.
  • an innate sense for the shape of the musical line.
  • dedication to the responsibility of projecting the meaning of the sung text.
  • close examination of the dramatic element inherent in both opera and art song.
  • an encyclopedic knowledge of both singers and repertoire.
  • empathy for singers and the unique challenges we face.

The singer has a single responsibility: communication. Good singing is made up of many components: phrasing, enunciation, pronunciation, understanding of various musical styles, musicianship. But these are merely means to an end. Singing without expression is a pointless pursuit. Without a clear communicative purpose, proficiency in any of these other components doesn’t matter. Those singers who bring all these aspects to bear in the service of music are the ones we are drawn to, who inspire us to follow their example.

This is the challenge I propose to the singer who works with me: to bring all elements of vocalism and musicianship together in the service of greater communication and expression. This is a never-ending journey. No matter how technically accomplished we singers become, there are always new interpretive and expressive depths to be plumbed. My job as a coach is to help singers tap into that place where all the elements come together.

I am actively and enthusiastically seeking new students. Please contact me at for further details.