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Drew Santini (Baritone)

Born: Stratford, Ontario, Canada

The Canadian baritone, Drew Santini, obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance/Opera from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City (where he studied voice under the tutelage of Neil Rosenshein); and his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance/Opera from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City (voice with with Marlena Kleinman Malas) in 2011.

While studying at The Juilliard School, Drew Santini performed in the Juilliard Opera Production of The Bartered Bride under the baton of Maestro James Levine. He also performed the roles of Le Gendarme in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, First Officer in Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites and was part of the ensemble in The Tender Land conducted by David Effron. While living and studying in New York City, he was a core member of Bach Vespers at Holy Trinty, presenting full J.S. Bach's Cantatas every Sunday with Baroque band on period instruments and all professional chamber choir (2007-2012). Together with his friends he created Kielbasa Harmonika, a small band performing early to high Baroque vocal chamber music repertoire as well as newly composed music for period instruments.

Drew Santini recently became the first singer in over a decade to receive the Grand Award at the National Music Festival in Canada, competing against first place winners in each instrumental category. He was chosen to participate in The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall and worked with legendary American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. He has participated in master-classes with Thomas Hampson, Roberta Alexander, Benita Valente, Roger Vignoles, Malcolm Martineau, and Martin Katz. He was a finalist in the Wigmore Hall Song Competition in London with pianist Renate Rohlfing and continues to study the art song repertoire with great enthusiasm. He was recently named the winner of the Bruce Haynes International Competition for the Rhetorical Singing of the Music of J.S. Bach.

Drew Santini spent two summers in Bruges, Belgium where he performed Papageno in W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Le Premier Ministre in Cendrillon, and Guido Contini in Nine: The Musical with the Elardo Young Artist Program. He performed the role of Figaro in W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at the Chautauqua Institution, and with the Chautauqua Theater Company in their production of Amadeus, singing with both the Chautauqua Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Other opera credits include, Le Gendarme in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Lockit in Beggar's Opera, Ramiro 'L'heure Espagnole, Ben in The Telephone, and Mr. Splinters in The Tender Land. He has given world premieres in opera creating such roles as Gilfaethwy the False in Wolf-in-Skins by Gregory Spears, Gunnar in The Raven's Kiss by Evan Fein, and Reporter in Séance on a Wet Afternoon by Stephen Schwartz. He has also performed the role of Guido Contini in Nine: The Musical twice, once again in New York City.

Dedicated to the art of recital and concert singing, Drew Santini has appeared with orchestras in Canada, in the USA, in Europe and in Peru. He appeared with Montréal Baroque singing a program of J.S. Bach's Cantatas in Regensburg, Germany and at the Montréal Baroque Festival. With the Elora Festival Singers & Orchestra he sang J.S. Bach's Johannes-Passion (BWV 245). Other recent solo engagements include Christus & bass solos in both of J.S. Bach's Passions (BWV 244, BWV 245) and and Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with ensembles such as Concerto Barocco (NL), Holland Baroque Society (NL), and Bach Vespers at Holy Trinty (USA), Johannes Brahms' Requiem, George Frideric Handel's Messiah and Brockes Passion, HWV 48, W.A. Mozart's Coronation Mass and Regina Coeli, Haydn's Seven Last Words, Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, and Camille Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio.

Particularily at home as a recitalist, Drew Santini most recently performed in a series of house concerts as part of the Nieuwe Stemmen Young Artist Program of the Operadagen Rotterdam with pianist Lyubov Podgayskaya, presenting a program of Sergei Rachmaninov, Glière, Debussy, Butterworth, and Zilcher. Especially passionate about singing new music, he has worked with such composers as Stephen Schwartz, Gregory Spears, Arne Gieshoff, Raphael Fusco, Evan Fein, Terence Blanchard, Perry Goldstein, Daniel Felsenfeld, and Jennifer Griffith. He has workshopped and has given world premieres in both opera and art song. He sang in the New York City workshops and reading of Stephen Schwartz’s first opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon under the direction of Mr. Schwartz himself, his artistic team led by conductor Valery Ryvkin and music director Charity Wicks. He has also collaborated with Grammy winning trumpeter, composer and arranger Terence Blanchard in developing his new jazz opera with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Drew Santini is garnering recognition for his “lively and engaging work” (New York Times) and “his pure baritone and natural musicality” (London Free Press). 2014 brought performances in concert and recital on both sides of the Atlantic. Highlights of the year ahead include two appearances of Carl Heinrich Graun's Der Tod Jesu in debut performances with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra in Helsinki and Turku; recitals with pianist Sandra Mogensen in his hometown of Stratford (Ontario); two concerts with Noel Edison, conductor of the Elora Festival Singers & Orchestra, in Fergus and Elora, Ontario; and various concerts in the Netherlands where he currently resides. Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include a debut appearance with Dutch National Opera singing Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, two revival performances of Ben in The Telephone at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam with the Nederlandse Reisopera in collaboration with The Göteborg Opera, concerts with Damask Ensemble, and projects with Cappella Amsterdam (Director: Daniel Reuss) and De Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Director: Jos van Veldhoven).

On the ATMA label, Drew Santini recorded J.S. Bach's Cantatas BWV 4, BWV 9, BWV 106, and BWV 181 with Montréal Baroque.

Drew Santini currently lives in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Source: Drew Santini Website (June 2015) & profile on Facebook; CBC Website; Photos 01-02: by Joris Jan Bos; Photo 03: House Concert with Lyubov Podgayskaya in Rotterdam, photo by Andy Kleinmoedig; Photo 04: St. Matthew Passion in Zaltbommel, NL, Aart Bergwerff, conductor
Contributed b
Aryeh Oron (September 2015)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Eric J. Milnes


Cantatas Vol. 7 (2014): BWV 4, BWV 106, BWV 9, BWV 181
CV-1 (2014, Video):
BWV 4, BWV 9, BWV 18, BWV 106, BWV 181

Daniel Reuss


Member of Cappella Amsterdam:
Video (2016):
BWV 234, BWV 191

Hans-Christoph Rademann


Member of Nederlandse Bachvereniging:
AOB Video:
BWV 65

Jos van Veldhoven


Member of Nederlandse Bachvereniging:
AOB Video:
BWV 99, BWV 100, BWV 144

Links to other Sites

Drew Santini (Official Website 1)
Drew Santini baritone - IM Creator (Official Website 2)
Drew Santini on Facebook
Darew Santini Channel on YouTube
Drew Santini (CBC Music)

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Last update: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 06:09