Hawaiian baritone Jordan Shanahan has worked with many of the worlds leading opera companies and orchestras including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Netherlands Opera, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Washington D.C. and the Munich Philharmonic. With a repertoire that will reach 60 roles in the ’16-’17 season, he is equally at home singing the dramatic roles of Wagner or Strauss, the Italian masterpieces of Verdi or Puccini, the modern masterpieces being written today by the leading composers of our own time such as John Adams, George Benjamin and Jake Heggie, or even the baroque masterpieces of Handel or Cavalli.
Some notable roles from the past year included his debut in the title role in Rigoletto, for which Mr. Shanahan was awarded the St. Louis Theater Circle’s 2015 award for “Outstanding Actor in a Musical”, Telramund in Lohengrin, Scarpia in Tosca, and The Protector in Written on Skin. All of which were praised by the critics and consistently applauded by audiences. Other recent major successes have included Alberich in Des Ring des Niebelungen, Joseph de Rocher in Dead Man Walking, Escamillo in Carmen, the role of Figaro in both Il barbiere di Siviglia and Le nozze di Figaro, and as a concert soloist in the Verdi Requiem, Fauré Requiem, and Vaughan-Williams Sea Symphony. His 2006 recording of the title character in Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso was nominated for a Grammy award.
During the 2016-2017 season Mr. Shanahan will add the role of Wolfram von Eschenbach in Tannhäuser to his repertoire in a production by Calixto Bieto at Konzert Theater Bern, and sing performances of Lohengrin and Tosca with Theater St. Gallen. He will also join a project to record the operas of the under-appreciated early 20th century composer Othmar Schoeck under the direction of maestro Mario Venzago with concert performances and recordings of Vom Fischer und syne Fru and Das Schloss Durande.
Mr. Shanahan was born and raised in Kailua Hawai’i, where he appeared in plays and musicals with local companies and was the principal trombonist with the Hawai’i Youth Symphony while growing up. He received a full scholarship to the University of Hawai’i to study trombone and composition, where on the advice of his trombone teacher he began to study voice as a way of becoming a more well-rounded musician during his first year. He was soon invited to join Hawai’i Opera Theatre, where he spent one season as a chorister before being invited to join the newly formed Mae Zenke Orvis Opera Studio. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia singing five leading roles there over the next two years. After finishing his formal education, he spent time in major apprentice programs with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Orlando Opera, the Opera Studio Nederland, the Santa Fe Opera, and finally the Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera Chicago. His reputation was also furthered by consistent success in important competitions. Some of the many awards he won included 1st place prizes (or their equivalent) from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Loren Zachary Society, the Irene Dalis Competition, the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, the George London Foundation, the Metropolitan Opera National Council, and the Union League of Chicago among many others.