Visit Eric Fennell's website at http://www.ericfennell.com

Eric Fennell

A Metropolitan Opera National Council regional finalist and prize winner in the Licia Albanese Competition, Mr. Fennell’s professional debut came when he jumped in for Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. This opportunity led him to The New York City Opera where he sang 13 roles over six seasons .

He has played title roles in Werther, Roméo et Juliette and The Tales of Hoffmann; the Duke in Rigoletto, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly along with other operatic heroes (and anti-heroes). Critics have praised his fearless high register and emotional depths; his concert work in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the requiems of Verdi and Mozart alone have taken him to top concert halls across the United States and abroad.

Mr. Fennell’s operatic highlights include Rodolfo in La Bohème with New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Saratoga, National Theater Mannheim, Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera; The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto for Deutsche Oper Berlin, The Prague National Theater, The Slovak National Theater, Theater Bremen; Werther in Werther for Staatstheater Braunschweig and Opera Zuid (Netherlands); Alfredo in La Traviata with New York City Opera and The Slovak National Theater; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte for Sarasota Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera; Roberto in Roberto Devereux for Dallas Opera; Roméo in Roméo et Juliette for Slovenian National Theater, Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin, Toledo Opera, and Opera North (USA); Don José in Carmen for Arizona Opera, Theater Lübeck, Pacific Opera Victoria, and St. Margarethen Festspiele; Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Theater Pforzheim, Theater Krefeld, Theater Augsburg, and Hawaii Opera Theater; Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera for Theater Pforzheim; Don Carlo in Don Carlo for Lithuanian National Opera; Camille in Die Lustige Witwe for Deutsche Oper am Rhein; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Utah Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, and Opera Saratoga; Roberto in Le Villi for Latvian National Opera; The Prince in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree for Göteborgs Operan (Sweden); Dorian in Dorian Gray (World Premiere) for Slovak National Theater; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor for Des Moines Metro Opera; Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi for the Macau International Music Festival (China); Des Grieux in Manon for The Maria Biesu International Opera Festival (Moldova); and Gerald in Lakmé for Sarasota Opera and Teatro 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, Mr. 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 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; Rossini’s Stabat Materfor Brandenburg Philharmonic; 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.

In 2019-20 Mr. Fennell sings the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for the Deutsches National Theater Weimar for Staatstheater Mainz.  He makes his debut in the role of Leicester in Rossini’s Elisabetta, Regina d’Inghiterra for Odyssey Opera in Boston and sings Don José in Carmen for Kansas City Lyric Opera.

Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Mr. 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. When he is not on stage, Mr. Fennell is on the ice playing hockey, a sport he has played since the age of 7.

Current & Upcoming Performances

Upcoming Performance Schedule Coming Soon

Past Performances

2
October
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Lyric Opera Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
30
September
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Lyric Opera Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
24
September
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Lyric Opera Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
14
July
2022
Rigoletto
Duke of Mantua
Gärtnerplatztheater
Munich, Germany
10
July
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Staatstheater Cottbus
Cottbus, Germany
9
July
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Staatstheater Cottbus
Cottbus, Germany
8
July
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Staatstheater Cottbus
Cottbus, Germany
6
July
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Staatstheater Cottbus
Cottbus, Germany
5
July
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Staatstheater Cottbus
Cottbus, Germany
3
July
2022
Manon
Des Grieux
Opera Wrocławska
Warsaw, Poland
3
July
2022
Carmen
Don Jose
Staatstheater Cottbus
Cottbus, Germany
2
July
2022
Manon
Des Grieux
Opera Wrocławska
Warsaw, Poland
1
July
2022
Manon
Des Grieux
Opera Wrocławska
Warsaw, Poland
26
June
2022
Manon
Des Grieux
Opera Wrocławska
Warsaw, Poland
25
June
2022
Manon
Des Grieux
Opera Wrocławska
Warsaw, Poland
30
April
2022
Carmen
Helena Symphony Orchestra
Helena, MT

Les contes d’Hoffmann, Theater Pforzheim

“Among the singers, Eric Fennell in the title role gave reason for particular enthusiasm. This tenor, who can claim Hoffmann as his best role to date, has made tremendous progress. As opposed to many other singers, who have trouble with the long open vowels of the French language, he 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. Fennell sang powerfully, with great differentiation and emotional involvement throughout. The acclaim that he garnered at the end of the performance was fully justified.”

—Ludwig Steinbach, Der Opern Freund

“Eric Fennell  proved himself an excellent tenor in this role. He knows how to do justice to all its vocal nuances in a riveting way. He moves with ease from the narrative and detached to the passionate, intimate and heartfelt.”

Pforzheimer Zeitung

“Eric Fennell sings Hoffmann with an even, supple tenor who loses nothing at all of its quality and substance even in the challenging passaggio writing that prevails in this role.”

Badische Neueste Nachrichten

Dorian Gray, Slovak National Theater

“Eric Fennell, dressed in velvet, sings Dorian’s seductive vocal lines with a honeyed tenor voice.”

—George Loomis, The New York Times, 13 November 2013

Un ballo in maschera, Theater Pforzheim

“Tall and slender and with a blazing smile, Eric Fennell is an ideal choice for the ruler and lover. He sings the role with an attractive tenor voice, shaping the embellishments with such elegance as to make many a Rossini specialist envious and a smooth timbre that never loses quality throughout the whole range – Fennell dominates the show.”

Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 23 September 2013

“Eric Fennell deserves first mention. He sang a first class Riccardo. His convincingly acted portrayal was consistently enhanced by a vocally engaging performance. He has a gorgeous Italianate tenor voice that he handles with elegance to convey the emotions of the role. It’s an impressively powerful voice that also has the ease in handling the numerous embellishments. If he handles his precious vocal material carefully, Fennell will have a great career.”

—Ludwig Steinbach, Der Opernfreund, 29 September 2013

Rigoletto, Deutsche Oper Berlin

“Behauptete sich Eric Fennell als Herzog von Mantua als sorgloser Herzensbrecher. Ein eleganter, schlanker Tenor…”
“Eric Fennell asserted himself as a carefree heartbreaker. An elegant, lean tenor voice…”

—Rosemarie Frühauf, Epoch Times, 22. April 2013

“Beherrscht Eric Fennell die angemessene Machomimik für die Rolle, kann sowohl die knackengen Lederhosen wie später auch den pinkfarbenen Anzug tragen. Sicher führt der Amerikaner seinen tenore di grazia, formt elegante Linien, auch die Höhen bereiten ihm kein Problem.”
“Eric Fennell’s acting is appropriately macho, and he wears both his tight leather pants and later a pink suit with style. His tenore di grazia is secure and shapes the musical line with elegance; high-lying passages and top notes do not present any problems for him.”

—Frederick Hanssen, Tagesspiegel, 22. April 2013

“Eric Fennell ist als neuer Herzog von Mantua eingesprungen. Der junge, rasante Amerikaner kann die Umtriebigkeit glaubhaft darstellen, sein Tenor ist leicht geführt, sein “La donna e mobile”, das Schmachtstück der Oper, voller Leidenschaft.”
“Eric Fennell jumped in as the Duke of Mantova. The young, racy American credibly embodies the character’s volatility, his tenor is easy and responsive, and he delivers a “La donna è mobile” — the hit of the opera — full  of passion.”

Der neue Merker, 23. April 2013

“Der Herzog des Eric Fennell sang sehr schön…”
“Eric Fennell’s Duke was sung very beautifully…”

—Uwe Friedrich, SWR 2 Kulturthema, 22. April 2013

Tony Caruso’s Final Broadcast, Monocacy Chamber Orchestra [review of American Opera Classics CD]

“Greatest praise, however, is reserved for Eric Fennell in the title role. He brings Tony Caruso to life. Fennell’s charismatic interpretation puts us directly in contact with Tony’s soul. One winces at Tony’s painful expressions of failure, one feels sorrow over ‘what might have been’ in his heroic duets with the ghosts. Fennell’s characterization lingers on in the listener’s memory.”

—Arlo McKinnon, Opera News

Carmen, Pacific Opera Victoria

“Tenor Eric Fennell is sympathetic and ardent as Don José…He impresses most where the most is demanded of him (the long Act 2 duet with Carmen, for instance, and the final scene).”

—Kevin Bazzana, Times Colonist

“Tenor Eric Fennell’s Don José delivered the goods vocally…”

—Ian Cochran, Monday Magazine

Die Lustige Witwe, Deutsche Oper am Rhein

“…Annett Fritchs säuselnder Soubrette Valencienne und dem Tenorbuffo Eric Fennell (Rosillon) – sondern einem innigen Männerduo.”
“… Annett Fritch’s whispering soubrette Valencienne and the comic tenor Eric Fennell (Rosillon) made an intimate couple.” 

—Die Welt

“…Annett Fritsch (Valencienne) bildet einen charmanten Kontrast zum schmalzigen Tonfilm-Tenor von Eric Fennell.”
“…Annett Fritsch (Valencienne) created a charming contrast to the sentimental “talking-pictures” style tenor of Eric Fennell.” 

—Der Tagesspiegel

“..dem höhenstarken Eric Fennell als Rosillon…”
“…powerful high singing [of] Eric Fennell as Rosillon…”

—Rhein Zeitung

“…Eric Fennell als Rosillon auf triefenden Tenorschmalz baut.”
“… Eric Fennell as Rosillon created an drippingly sentimental tenor.”

—Recklinghäuser Zeitung

Madama Butterfly: Lake George Opera Festival

“Pinkerton (Eric Fennell) not only succeeded brilliantly as the well-meaning but thoughtless American, but actually looked every inch the handsome young Navy officer that stole Cio-Cio San’s heart. It didn’t take any effort to believe that this was a couple that belonged together forever. Their voices matched as well. His tenor could only be described as full, with a richness that was a joy to behold. ”

—Larry Murray, BerkshireFineArts.com

Street Scene: Chautauqua Opera

“Eric Fennell sings the callow Sam in an appropriately sweet tenor that easily blossoms into a more forceful outpouring or subsides into a winsome murmur.”

—The Chautauquan Daily

December 2005 Opera Now magazine

“One of the most difficult challenges for tenors is to resist the temptation to sing French roles with heart-felt Italian passion, instead of the sublime sensuality more suited to the French vocal line. But last summer, I was lucky enough to hear Eric Fennell, a young American singer, essay Roméo from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at Opera North (USA). His golden voice possessed the ideal tonal quality for the French repertory. Recently he was Gerald in Lakmé and Eneas in Esclarmonde. A Don José is in preparation with the Arizona Opera. But his repertory isn’t limited to French roles, as he channels his unique sound into unbridled passion for Italian characters, with an upcoming Pinkerton at the Austin Lyric Opera. His dynamic range, broad palette, intelligent interpretation, and musical acumen, combined with a secure high register, make him a tenor to be reckoned with.”

—Karyl Charma Lynn, Opera Now

La Bohème, Lake George Opera

“Eric Fennell’s lyric tenor is freely produced, and he creates an endearing Rodolfo. The voice has genuine ‘ping’ and a high ‘C’ to die for, but he never stoops to tenorial strutting.”

—Doug de Lisle, The Troy Record

“Tenor Eric Fennell as Rodolfo impressed immediately with [his] ringing tones, smooth delivery and easy chemistry…Fennell projected well-finished and musical phrases and soared with strong top notes.”

—Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette

“Fennell’s lusciously sweet voice, with its ringing, perfectly-tuned high notes, made him the ideal Rodolfo.”

—Karyl Charma Lynn, Opera Now

Lakmé, Sarasota Opera

“With the resplendent vocalism of Eric Fennell one felt that Gérald might be forgiven for the error of his ways. His pure silvery voice has just the right kind of sound for this French repertory. With so many light tenors sounding strangulated as they reach their upper limits, it was refreshing to sit back and enjoy some fine vocal production.”

—American Record Guide

“The tenor, Eric Fennell (Gérald) was another of this evening’s surprises. He sang with more flexibility and projection than other tenors in this role. He had an absolute freshness to his phrasing. His aria, ‘Fantaisie aux divins mensonges,’ was rewarded with a strong ovation. Tall and good looking, he is an artist whose development should be followed closely.” (translated from Spanish)

Opera Actual, Barcelona

“Another delight of the evening was the tenor, Eric Fennell, in the role of Gérald. He has such a unique melancholy timbre that every tenor who sings this role fails to accomplish. Rather, he has a fresh light color that is used with a gentle singing line in a delicate style. He has no difficulty with the high register, which demonstrates in his elegant aria: ‘Fantaisie aux divins mensonges.’” (translated from Italian)

L’Opera, Italy

Romeo et Juliette, Opera North (NH)

“The tall, secure-voiced Fennell had done his homework linguistically and made an impression with a wide dynamic palette, from well-sustained pianos to a ringing high C in ‘O jour de deuil.’ Fennell shows much promise for Werther and (eventually) the Berlioz heroes.”

Opera News

“Eric Fennell was the embodiment of Romeo, displaying an achingly beautiful voice, which overflowed with rapture and sensuousness.”

Opera Now

“Tenor Eric Fennell delivered his Romeo with gusto, passion and a marvelous lyric tenor voice that accomplished something I have never seen—applause from the conductor after one particularly challenging and emotionally moving aria. Fennell’s voice was smooth and…he presented a convincing and commanding presence when on stage.”

Opera Online

Rigoletto, Chattanooga Opera

“Then there’s the testosterone-crazed Duke, played by Eric Fennell who looks like an Italian Stallion before they even put the make-up on. You won’t have to use any imagination to believe that this tall, dark, and handsome leading man could wow any lady he chose. And if you get tired of looking at him, you might listen to his ringing tenor voice and revel in the glorious gusto he brings to the role.”

—Mel R. Wilhoit, Chattanooga Free Press

Lucia di Lammermoor, Des Moines Metro Opera

“…tenor, Eric Fennell makes for a strong and noteworthy Edgardo, Lucia’s equally ill-fated suitor. Singing with a lyrical, golden sheen, he too conquers Donizetti’s complexities with such ease that they become the psychological signposts they were intended to be, not mere virtuosic display.”

The Des Moines Register

Die Zauberflöte, Des Moines Metro Opera

“Eric Fennell was quite a good Tamino, providing the required balance of lyricism and ring…”

—Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

Carmen, Arizona Opera

“Eric Fennell [as] Don José.was able to make his desire for Carmen believable, and his voice carried the tenderness, longing and blind rage that (Carmen) inspired.”

—Arizona Daily Star

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