“clear, free flying and of exciting timbre”
“thrilling…exquisite…with gorgeous top notes.”
These are but two critic descriptions of coloratura soprano Diane Penning’s voice. Equally at home in classical repertoire and pops, Diane has performed with orchestras around the country, with some in programs of both genres, including the Adrian, Arkansas, Battle Creek, Bijou, Cheyenne and Colorado Springs Symphonies; the Dayton Philharmonic; the Dearborn, DuPage, Elgin, Elmhurst, Firelands, Grand Rapids, Greensboro and Grant Park Music Festival Symphonies; the Interlochen Arts Academy; and the Kalamazoo, Lafayette, Midland, Mobile, Park Ridge, Pensacola, Phoenix, Rockford (IL), Saginaw Bay, Sheboygan, South Bend, South West Michigan, Traverse, Tacoma Symphonies, and the West Michigan Symphony. This season includes engagements with the Las Cruces Symphony (Pops Under the Stars), and duo performances with singing partner Paul Langford with the San Antonio (Off the Charts! Number-One Songs) and North Charleston Pops Orchestras (Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood's Greatest Melodies).
Her musical theatre credits include Cunegonde in Candide, Marian in The Music Man, Amalia in She Loves Me, Maria in West Side Story and “the grouch” in Kapilow’s Green Eggs & Ham.
Diane’s work in oratorio includes Bach’s B minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C minor; Faure’s Requiem; Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Creation, Harmonie Messe, and Lord Nelson Mass; Mozart’s Requiem; Orff’s Carmina Burana; Poulenc’s Gloria; Rutter’s Magnificat under the baton of Sir David Willcocks, African Sanctus with Jonathon Willcocks; and Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem, with such organizations as the Apollo Chorus in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, and the Calvin College Oratorio Society.
Her opera roles include Adele in Die Fledermaus, Frasquita in Carmen, Musetta in La Boheme, and Papagena in The Magic Flute.
Ms. Penning is a member of the "The Hildegard Singers", a group of four women who made their European debut in Great Britain in 2013. In addition to the concert stage, Ms. Penning performs in cabaret.
She holds degrees in music and voice from the University of Michigan (BM) and Western Michigan University (MM in voice performance.)
Diane’s professional recordings include Phantom Phantasy, with the Grand Rapids Symphony; Christmas Festival, with the Czek National Orchestra; Simply Gershwin, with pianist Paul Bisaccia; and Sacred Space, with Composer/Performer Nicholas Palmer.