BiographyDon Giovanni 056

Tenor Andrew Penning, originally from St. Paul, MN, recently finished a two-year apprenticeship in the Arizona Opera Studio.  During the 2015-16 season he made his leading role debut with Arizona Opera in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas.  In Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Opera Today said “A smooth Ottavio, Mr. Penning sang a well articulated “Il mio tesoro” and made a fine partner for Andrea Shokery’s dramatically eloquent and musically exquisite Donna Anna.” He also sang the supporting roles of Remendado in Carmen and Chester Kingsbury in Arizona Lady. In Falstaff Opera news said, “Andrew Penning and Calvin Griffin made Bardolfo and Pistola atypically hunky.”  In 2014 Mr. Penning sang the roles of Triquet in Eugene Onegin, Borsa in Rigoletto, 1st Armored Man/Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte and covering the roles of Lensky in Eugene Onegin and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte.

He covered the role of Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Des Moines Metro Opera during their 2015 festival.

As a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival 2013 and 2014, Mr. Penning performed the roles of Delmonte in Verdi’s King for a Day and Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos. Roles covered while at Glimmerglass include Edoardo in King for a Day, Sir Dinadan and Sir Sagramore in Camelot, and Gilbert Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy.   A highlight from the 2013 season was performing the Duke in the quartet from Rigoletto in a concert with world renowned bass-baritone Eric Owens.

In two years as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera, he performed and covered a variety of roles.  Mr. Penning sang the role of The Ballad Singer in Of Mice and Men in May 2012. Opera News said “cast standouts included … Utah Opera resident artist Andrew Penning as the Ballad Singer, whose sweet lyric tenor conveyed the workers’ conscience.” He also appeared as Borsa in Rigoletto, First Armored Man/Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte and covered the roles of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas. Concert performances included Handel’s Messiah and Holiday Concerts with the Utah Symphony.

As a Fellow at the 2011 Tanglewood Music Festival,  he had the opportunity to sing the Second Tenor in performances of Stravinsky’s Renard with the Mark Morris Dance Group and recital performances featuring works by Richard Strauss, Alberto Ginastera and Ralph Vaughn Williams’ chamber song cycle On Wenlock Edge.  At Tanglewood he worked with notable artists and teachers including Phyllis Curtin, Dawn Upshaw, Kenneth Griffiths, Kayo Iwama, Alan Smith and Howard Watkins.

As a young artist at Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York, he performed the roles of The Governor and Vanderdendur in Candide and Monastatos in The Magic Flute.

Mr. Penning is an active concert soloist. In December 2014 with the Tucson Symphony, in performances of Handel’s Messiah, the Arizona Daily Star said, “Penning, though, was a show-stealer, singing at times with richly nuanced vibrato and at other times with such ringing clarity that you just couldn’t take your eyes off him.” Other concert repertoire includes: Arvo Pärt’s Passio, Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Virgine, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, J.S. Bach’s Cantata 12, Haydn’s Grosse Orgelmesse in E Flat, and Bruckner’s Te Deum.

He is a 2011 graduate of the Master of Music in Vocal Performance program at the University of Cincinnati: College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).  During his graduate study at CCM, he performed the role of the Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at CCM Spoleto in the summer of 2010. At CCM, he performed the roles of The Chevalier in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and Monsieur Lacouf in Les mamelles de Tirésias. The Cincinnati Enquirer review stated “Tenor Andrew Penning and baritone Elliot Brown were a hoot as the gamblers Lacouf and Presto (Penning as Harpo Marx).”

Mr. Penning completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Lawrence University where he performed the roles of Fenton in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Harrison in Chabrier’s L’Étoile, and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi.