Brian Sullivan was born in Los Angeles where he spent a busy, sports-filled boyhood. It was only in his last years of high school that he began to think of serious vocal study. A student production of The Pirates of Penzance convinced him that he wanted to make singing his career, and at twenty-one he made his professional debut as Count Almaviva in an English production of The Barber of Seville. As luck would have it, Sullivan was invited to repeat the same role, this time in Italian, opposite the late John Charles Thomas. His success left no doubt in anyone's mind that Brian Sullivan was destined to become a bright star on the musical horizon.
After two wartime years with the infantry, Sullivan turned up on Broadway as Gaylord Ravenal in the revival of Showboat. From that triumph he went on to Street Scene, where he attracted the attention of Metropolitan Opera scouts. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1948 in the title role of Britten's Peter Grimes, and went on to essay other starring roles that ranged from Don Jose in Carmen to Admetus, opposite Eileen Farrell, in Gluck's Alcestis. New triumphs were added to the Sullivan crown when he appeared as Herod in Salome, the first operatic production ever given at The Music Center. Albert Goldberg had this to say of his performance: "We have never seen Brian Sullivan so immersed in a character . .. it was a splendid characterization and brilliantly sung. Sullivan has long been a favorite of the San Francisco Opera, and is exceptionally popular in the recording field. Over one million of his first Christmas album have been distributed. More recently he has been acclaimed by noted critics from every corner of the United States for his brilliant performances as a recitalist.
Now a resident of Southern California, Brian Sullivan likes to spend time between engagements with his hobbies, gardening and amateur carpentry.