OBITUARY

Nathan L. Hull

January 10, 1951August 10, 2020

Nathan Lee Hull January 10, 1951-August 9, 2020

Nathan Hull, Founder and Artistic Director of Amore Opera, died in New York City on August 9, 2020. The son of Clarence and Bertille (LeMen) Hull, Nathan was born in Detroit and grew up in Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana. Nathan also lived two years in Bandung, Indonesia as a child, where he fell in love with the region and climate. The family ultimately settled in Terre Haute, where his father joined the ISU faculty as professor of chemistry, and where Nathan became active in community theater and musical life.

Nathan graduated from Indiana State University at Terre Haute with a degree in mathematics and received a graduate degree from Catholic University in theater; he pursued these two passions throughout his life.

Nathan was a great booming baritone and he lived for the thrill, drama and antics of the stage. He loved comic roles like Figaro, Papageno and Mikado – in fact one moment of glory was singing Mikado at the top of his lungs while racing through Times Square on a rickshaw, filmed for the Sony release of the Topsy-Turvy soundtrack recording. He performed with numerous ensembles, including Village Light Opera, Blue Hill Troupe, Bronx Opera, Regina Opera, and Amato Opera. With the closure of Amato in 2009, Nathan led the effort to create a successor company, Amore Opera, drawing on the resources of singers, musicians, sets, and costumes from Amato.

Nathan led Amore for ten successful seasons, always working without compensation. He had an instinct as to who was the right tenor for a role, how to mount a production on a shoestring budget and, most important, how to assemble a team of singers, dancers, musicians, set and costume designers, children, and donors who shared his passion. Amore Opera was defined by a commitment to cultivate young and emerging artists and to explore unknown works, including rare U.S. performances of Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, Donizetti’s Poliuto, and Mercadante’s I due Figaro. Nathan was fond of saying that there was a children’s chorus in every opera he produced – whether the composer knew it or not – and the youngest members of the company were among his most devoted followers. Alumni from Amore Opera have gone on to the Metropolitan Opera and companies throughout the world.

Nathan taught in New York University's Computer Science Department for 40 years. The outstanding caliber of his teaching was recognized with the award of the NYU CAS Outstanding Teaching Award in 1994 and again in 1999. His contributions to the department are many: in the 1980s, he was in charge of setting up the first CS microcomputer lab and introducing personal computers to the curriculum. In the 1990s, Nathan played a key role in the development of the Web minor. Over his career at NYU, he developed a number of innovative courses, such as his recent popular elective on iOS programming; he also taught almost every course in the CS minor and major required sequences. Remarkably, in the early 1980s, Nathan developed and taught one of the earliest examples of what are now called MOOCs, as part of the “Sunrise Semester,” a joint educational project of CBS and NYU. His course was called "Computers: Concepts and Culture” and included interviews with several prominent computer scientists of the time.

Nathan is survived by his life partner, Connie Yi, in whose arms he died. Other survivors include his sister Adele Hull Bond, brothers-in-law Douglas Bond, Calvin I, sister-in-law Lili Hsia, niece Julia Bond, nephews Gregory, Stephen, Derek Bond, William and Justin I, and the countless friends and opera lovers whose lives he touched.

The family requests that memorial donations be made to Amore Opera, with a goal to continue Nathan’s lifework.

Memories

Nathan L. Hull

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Oscar Morrison

July 14, 2021

Very sad to hear of the passing of Professor Hull.

Prof. Hull was kind enough to let me squeeze into an already full iOS Programming class (in 2015) while I was on an exchange semester from University of Melbourne, Australia. He had such a fantastic sense of humour, and aligned straight away with my Aussie humour.

He was a superb teacher, and inspired me to push my-self to learn and excel at iOS programming, mentoring me to eventually get a Apple WWDC scholarship. He then went above beyond duty to get the department to support me on my trip to San Francisco, CA.

I had the pleasure of attending one of his opera's and was fortunate to see him at his best (running operas and teaching). He will be sorely missed, and I will forever be grateful for crossing paths.

Greg Jones

August 24, 2020

To Connie and all of Nathan's wide circle of loved ones, I can only add my deepest sympathy and say that I was a very happy Florian under Nathan's direction in the justly memorably Princess Ida at VLOG so many years ago. Nathan and I met at Catholic University and performed in The Golden Apple together. His amazing vocal prowess and his deep love of music were always in evidence. I'm very glad I was in his orbit, however briefly.

Jean-Pierre DAREYS

August 18, 2020

Nathan was a friend, a mentor, a man of witt and infinite gest, a consumate computer scientist, a magnificent artist, a great human being and one of best teachers I ever saw... He will be sorely missed.

S A

August 17, 2020

I worked with Nathan Hull at NYU. He always had a smile ready when we passed each other in the elevators. We have truly lost a treasure. I hope he's joyfully singing some opera, while looking down on us. Thanks for being such a bright ray of sunshine.

Eliana and Vivianne Bednarek

August 15, 2020

Nathan will be missed by Amore Opera family. His intelligence and charisma was impressively splendid. He was so good to children and he always wanted to introduce them to the world of Opera by creating compelling productions for children only, and by including them in some of the classic Operas' scenes. We will never have another Nathan again and for that we are hurting. God bless his soul. We'll miss you deeply.

KATHY LEE HART

August 15, 2020

I too am an ISU "Bosom Buddy". Nathan's life represents the best of us. The lives he touched = More than can be imagined. He & Connie, at our ISU "BB" parties. shared many a meal, jests, laughs, and frivolity. And he always came up with the last $20.00 needed to tip the delivery guy. We love you Nathan. You are sorely missed. "See ya on the other side my dear friend".

Judlyne Lilly-Gibson

August 15, 2020

I've known Nathan Hull for 40 years starting with our days at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. Our friendship with our ISU Theatre group continued until his death. He was a wonderful friend and a great performer who introduced me to Opera AND Gilbert and Sullivan. My condolences to his family and friends. I will miss him forever.

Barbara Zulis

August 13, 2020

I was saddened immeasurably to learn that Nathan had passed away. I sang and worked with him for several years at Village Light Opera Group in NYC. My fondest memories include making a detachable shoulder-perching parrot for Nathan when he played the Pirate King. He was delighted that it was done and loved the little pirate bandana and earring I put on the bird. Nathan also gave fabulous neck and back rubs to anyone in the cast or crew who asked for one - a real lifesaver during stressful productions! I think one of his best roles was of Emil de Beque in South Pacific. I knew Nathan could ace any comic role, but he showed his acting skill by beautifully performing - and singing - a serious role like Emil's. I am so sorry Nathan's no longer with us. He will be missed!

Mary Bizot Johnson

August 13, 2020

Dear Adelle and all the Family of Nathan,

I was so saddened to learn Nathan passed away so suddenly last Sunday. My prayers are with you all that many wonderful memories surround and comfort you at this time.

Nathan and I were good friends in high school and kept in touch off and on through the years. We met again at the Schulte HS Class of '68 reunion two summers ago, sat together at same dinner table with many of our dear classmates and shared and laughed about the good times and memories.

May our Heavenly Father bless Nathan in his new and eternal home and be with you all. God bless, Mary Bizot Johnson

Cary Leahey

August 12, 2020

Nathan was an old dc g&s pal. A great story is his audition for the public theater pirates. His agent told him to prepare anytime but g&s. He only knew g&s and when asked said “My agent screwed up and said to prepare something from pirates.” I will miss him very much.

FROM THE FAMILY