Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Samuel Barber)
Shannon Jennings, soprano
Joseph Li, piano
PPraised by the Washington Post for her dramatic intensity and vocal ability, soprano Shannon Jennings' 2019-20 season included her debut as the title role in Tosca with Annapolis Opera, and her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra as the soloist in the world premiere of Michael Giacchino's ADVENT. Ms. Jennings joined Wolf Trap Opera in the summer of 2019 as a Filene Artist, performing Bubikopf in Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Argentine in Gluck's L'île de Merlin. She was invited to return as a Filene Artist in 2020 where she was scheduled to perform Elisabeth Zimmer in Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the National Orchestral Institute, and in Te Adoro: Latin Theater Songs with Steven Blier (COVID-19). In Wolf Trap's reimagined season, Ms. Jennings performed scenes from Eugene Onegin as Tatyana. Ms. Jennings also made her recording debut with Death Waltz Records as a soloist in Michael Giacchino's first solo album, Travelogue Volume 1 and performed as a soprano soloist with Washington Concert Opera's Centennial Celebration of the Suffragettes in the summer of 2020. This past fall, 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 summer, she will be returning 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 the summer of 2022, she reprises the role of Mimi with Newport Classical.
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.