Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Samuel Barber)
Shannon Jennings, soprano
Joseph Li, piano
Praised by the Washington Post for her dramatic intensity and vocal ability, soprano Shannon Jennings continues to wow critics and audiences alike. In the fall of 2020, in place of her house debut as Mimì in La bohème with Kentucky Opera (COVID19 – rescheduled to fall 2022), Ms. Jennings joined the company for digital media performances. In the spring of 2021, she joined Palm Beach Opera, singing Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, and covering both Mimì in La bohème and Nedda in Pagliacci. This past summer, she returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 in recital, the title role in Viardot’s Cendrillon and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. In 2022, she looks forward to making her house debut as the title role in Tosca with Opera Las Vegas, singing Mimì in La bohème with Newport Classical, joining Virginia Opera covering Beatrice in Three Decembers, covering Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd at Opera Omaha and singing a recital with Washington Concert Opera.
Ms. Jennings was a 2018 Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, where she covered soprano Ana María Martínez as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly. As a Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera from 2016 to 2018, she sang Giannetta in The Elixir of Love, Aunt Sarah/Iraqi Woman/Shrink in The Long Walk, and Constanza in the rarely seen Handel opera, Richard the Lionheart. Pittsburgh in the Round hailed Ms. Jennings as “a vision… [singing] treacherously difficult music with what seemed to be the greatest of ease and with a voice of beautiful quality and quantity."
Ms. Jennings is an alumna of the Merola Opera Program, where The Bay Area Reporter wrote that "her darker sound and clear tone have a blooming quality that easily filled the big opera-house acoustic." Other residencies have included Virginia Opera, Central City Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, the Wolf Trap Opera Studio, and the Mittelsächsisches Theater in Freiberg, Germany, where she began her career performing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Ms. Jennings has sung as a soloist with Washington Concert Opera, the Virginia Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, and the Mittelsächsisches Philharmonie. Other highlights include Marguerite in Faust with Annapolis Opera, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Opera Orlando, Josephine in HMS Pinafore with Virginia Opera, Mimì in La bohème with DC Public Opera, and Guinevere in Camelot with Virginia Opera, for which AltDaily praised her as "the perfect blend of beauty and spirit," after she appeared in the role for the detained lead in a nearly sold-out performance.
A formidable competitor, Ms. Jennings was a finalist in the 2019 George London Foundation competition, a winner of the 2017 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, a Capitol District Winner in the 2016-17 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a winner of the 2015 Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Florida State University.