International lyric tenor Eric Fennell has firmly established himself as a young professional in the world of opera and classical music. Born into a musical family, his father, a conductor, and mother, a pianist instilled in him a strong sense of musicality at an early age. At 6’ 3” (190 cm), he is known for his dominant stage presence and sympathetic acting which the Boston Globe has described as “touchingly vulnerable” and “his sweet lyric tenor is not only capable of great nuance but ready and able to trumpet out thrilling high notes.” A Metropolitan Opera National Counsel regional finalist and prize winner in the Licia Albanese Competition, Mr. Fennell’s professional debut came when he stepped in for an indisposed colleague as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. This lead to a contract with The New York City Opera where he sang six seasons and 13 roles.
Mr. Fennell’s career operatic highlights include Rodolfo in La Bohème with New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, National Theater Mannheim, Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera, and Baz Luhrman’s La Bohème on Broadway; The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto for Deutsche Oper Berlin, The Slovak National Theater, Chattanooga Opera, and the Spokane Symphony; Alfredo in La Traviata with New York City Opera, The Slovak National Theater, Green Mountain Opera Festival, and Annapolis Opera; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte for Sarasota Opera, Wichita Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera; Roberto in Roberto Devereux for Dallas Opera; Roméo in Roméo et Juliette for Slovenian National Theater, Mecklinburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin, Toledo Opera, and Opera North(USA); Don José inCarmen for Arizona Opera, Theater Lübeck, Pacific Opera Victoria, and St. Margarethen Festspiele; Camille in Die Lustige Witwe for Deutsche Oper am Rhein (European debut); Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Austin Lyric Opera and Lake George Opera; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor for Des Moines Metro Opera and Granite State Opera; Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi for the Macau International Music Festival (China); Des Grieux in Manon for The Maria Biesu International Opera Festival; Nadir in The Pearl Fishers for Madison Opera; and Gerald in Lakmé for Sarasota Opera and Theater Principal de Palma de Mallorca. Mr. Fennell has also appeared with San Francisco Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Tulsa Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, Deutsches National Theater Weimar, Salzburg Landestheater, Festival de Opera de Tenerife, Arena di Verona, Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, and the Spoleto Festival USA.
A distinguished concert performer, Eric Fennell has performed the tenor solos in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony for National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, Tokyo City Orchestra (Japan), Cairo Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Allentown Symphony; Verdi’s Requiem for The Latvian National Symphony, The Paul Hill Chorale in Washington, D.C. and in concert and recording with the Smith College Orchestra; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for Konzertchor Darmstadt; Händel’s Messiah for National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, Virginia Symphony, Allentown Symphony, and Tucson Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem for Arena di Verona, The New Haven Symphony, and National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall; Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the Eugene Concert Choir; and William Maselli’s JFK Requiem at Carnegie Hall.
The 2013-2014 season for Mr. Fennell began with a successful debut as Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera for Theater Pforzheim (September 2013). He made his Slovakian debut in the world premiere of Dorian Gray directed by Nicola Raab for The Slovak National Theater Bratislava (November 2013). Mr. Fennell sang further performances in Bratislava of Rigoletto and La Traviata(December 2013). In March 2014, he had another role debut as Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmannfor Theater Pforzheim. Ludwig Steinbach of Der Opern Freund writes, “Eric Fennell in the title role gave reason for particular enthusiasm. This tenor, who can claim Hoffmann as his best role to date…does not only cope extremely well with the requirements of French diction, but the language has a downright positive impact on his voice, which sounded particularly full-bodied on opening night.” Mr. Fennell continued his successful spring singing Rodolfo in La Bohème for Manitoba Opera (April 2014) before returning to Europe for more performances of Hoffmann and Ballo which concluded in July 2014.
In 2014-2015, Mr. Fennell returns to the USA for Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Utah Opera with Yunah Lee as Cio Cio San, Robert Tweten conducting, and Garnett Bruce directing (October 2014). In November, he sings Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Palma de Mallorca and Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Potsdam, Germany. Mr. Fennell begins rehearsals with Göteborgs Operan (Sweden) in December for their production of John Adams’ A Flowering Tree which reunites him with director Nicola Raab and premieres 7 February 2015. His season culminates with a return to Riga for Roberto in Le Villi for the Latvian National Opera (May-June 2015).
Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Eric Fennell now lives in Berlin, Germany. He received a BA in music from Gettysburg College and a Masters in Voice and Artist Diploma from Boston University where he was a member of the Opera Institute. Mr. Fennell is a student of Arthur Levy and is mentored by internationally acclaimed tenor Gregory Kunde.