Edward Gauntt was born and raised in Clifton, Texas, (the “Norwegian Capital of Texas” with a rich arts tradition, says its Web site) one of four children in a family that tried to scratch out a living by ranching on the scrubby plains of central Texas. For years his family attended Grace Memorial Baptist Church, and it was there that Edward, at age 14, became the church’s music director. “No one else wanted to do it, and they had no money to hire anyone,” he recalls. “Even then I was looking for something- I knew I wouldn’t be very good working with cattle every day.” He was elected president of the Clifton High School Band, and he went on to Baylor University in nearby Waco, Texas. He majored in vocal performance because “I just hadn’t thought about anything else, really.”

Edward Gauntt saw his first opera when he was 19, a performance in Dallas of Carlyle Floyd’s Susannah. “Hmm,” he recalls thinking, “this is pretty interesting.” Soon after, while still at Baylor, he performed the role of the preacher in Susannah.

After receiving his Bachelor degree in music he won a Rotary Scholarship to attend a music academy in Vienna, Austria. He and his new bride, Cae Cooley Gauntt – herself a talented singer and composer -- went together to Vienna. A year after their arrival, in 1980, they both landed roles in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Theater an der Wien; Cae in the lead role of Mary. Then, in 1982, Mr. Gauntt won a spot in the apprentice program at the Wiener Staatsoper (The Vienna State Opera), where he received world-class training. “We were scheduled to be in Vienna for ten months – and we stayed for four years.”

In 1984 Mr. Gauntt joined the Krefeld, Germany opera house. “I sang everything under the sun for a baritone.” He adds, “I think it took about 5 years to reach that point I felt I could call myself an opera singer – I had to learn what to listen for. All I saw at first were these overweight people with carefully shaped voices. What was it all about? It took me a long time to understand. And I still am learning.

“Opera is the type of art you have to experience live. You have to be there and see it, feel it, the vibrations of the voices. You go in and experience something – physically and powerfully.”

Mr. Gauntt says he most enjoys making people laugh. “I’ve had several comic roles. It gives me great pleasure to have people’s lives be lightened for an evening.”

One of his proudest early moments was singing a Wagner opera for the great grandson of the composer – a Texan singing a classic German opera. “The orchestra is huge for Wagner, and you have to sing loud enough to be heard. I remember thinking, I’m a Texan, and I shouldn’t be doing this. But I was accepted and the performance was well received. It was a moment of triumph.”

Over his career he has performed in many of the major operas:
  • Edward was given the honor of singing the German National Anthem for the Final game of the European Soccer Championship (Euro 2008)  Germany vs. Spain. Click here for photos:  Ks. Edward Gauntt Euro 2008
  • In March 2006 he was awarded the title of "Kammersaenger" for outstanding achievement by the German State of Baden-Wuerttemberg
  • In December of 2006 he introduced and performed for President Bill  J. Clinton
  • In 2007 he performed for Prince Bernhard of Baden, King Juan Carlos the First of Spain, and the Ex-Chancelor of Germany Gerhard Schroeder
  • He also toured with the popluar rock band Soehne-Mannheims in February of 2007. Click here to meet the band:  Soehne Mannheims   
  • He has performed many of Handel’s works, including the Messiah.
  • In former East German Berlin, he performed as the Count in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.
  • He played the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, including performances in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • He played the role of Beckmesser in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger for the great grandson of the composer, Richard Wagner.
  • He has played Professor Higgins in Lerner and Loew’s My Fair Lady many times, including performances in the largest open-air theater in Germany. The production was in German, and this Texan got to teach the German Eliza to speak properly!
  • He performed the German National Anthem for the National Soccer Finals. He was the first American to be invited to sing for the Soccer Finals in Berlin at the Olympic Stadium.
  • Was invited to sing  The Old  Doctor  in  Samel Barber's Vanessa in  Giessen Germany in  May -June-July 2009. His first Opera  in English since his  University Days
  • Sang German National  Anthem for the  internationally televised opening of the German Bundesliga Soccer 7th of July 2009

“Being an opera singer I can experience so many lives – but I don’t have to stop living my own life to do all of it.” In 2005 he released his first full CD with his wife, “Christmas – Cae & Eddie Gauntt”. Away from the stage and recording studio, Mr. Gauntt enjoys painting, swimming, fishing and cooking, as well as being with his family.