Praised by the Washington Post for her dramatic intensity and vocal ability, soprano Shannon Jennings continues to wow critics and audiences alike. In the 2022-23 season, she performed the role of Mimì in La bohème with Kentucky Opera, and returns to Kentucky this season to perform a solo recital celebrating her Cuban heritage with Spanish-language songs and zarzuela. Her 2021-22 season included making her house debut as the title role in Tosca with Opera Las Vegas, singing Mimì in La bohème with Newport Classical, and performing Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. This season, Ms. Jennings sings the title role in Rusalka with Opera Orlando, the title role in Turandot with Gulfshore Opera, and will soon announce performances as Mimì in La bohème.
Ms. Jennings has been a featured soloist with Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino in his world premiere of ADVENT for NASA's 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing in 2019, and on his 2020 solo album, Travelogue Volume 1, available from Death Waltz Originals & Mondo Records.
In summer of 2021, she returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Knoxville: Summer of 1915 in recital, the title role in Viardot’s Cendrillon, and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd with the National Symphony Orchestra. In the spring of 2021, she joined Palm Beach Opera, singing Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte alongside Matthew Polenzani as Tamino and Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, while also covering Latonia Moore as Mimì in La bohème and Ana María Martínez as Nedda in Pagliacci.
Ms. 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 the Philadelphia Orchestra as the soloist in Michael Giacchino's world premiere of ADVENT, to commemorate NASA's 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. In the summer of 2020, she was invited to return as a Filene Artist at Wolf Trap Opera in streamed performances of scenes from Eugene Onegin. In the summer of 2019, she joined Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Artist, singing Bubikopf in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Argentine in Gluck's L'ile de Merlin.
"Her captivating plummy rounded sounds were thrilling... beautifully sung with tonal purity and superb technique. Jennings’s singing will stay with me for a long time to come."
- Rex Hearn, Palm Beach Arts Paper
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 also sung as a soloist with 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 Florida Opera Theatre, Josephine in HMS Pinafore with Virginia Opera, and Guenevere 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 Annual Vocal Competition. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Florida State University.
"Her voice rings with a haunting romance..."
- Charles Green, DC Metro Theater Arts