American soprano, Ashley Dannewitz has been described as having "commanding form," (Santa Barbara News Press) and "a sympathetic blend of dignity and wistful romanticism." (Opera News) Most recently, Ms. Dannewitz participated in the VOICExperience Opera as Drama program at the National Opera Center in NYC, where she worked closely again with director Fabrizio Melano and performed two scenes from La Traviata (Violetta) and Eugene Onegin (Tatiana). In 2016, Ms. Dannewitz was a Regional Finalists in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Quarter Finalist in the American Traditions Competition in Savannah Georgia. Also in 2016, Ms. Dannewitz performed in two encore productions of Michael Ching's newest opera Alice Ryley. She was honored to be a part of the World Premiere of the work as the title role as a part of the Savannah Voice Festival in 2015. Prior to that, Ms. Dannewitz was Lucy in Menotti's The Telephone with Opera in the Rock in Little Rock, AR.
In 2014, Ms. Dannewitz performed as a Festival Artist while covering the role of Donna Anna in the Savannah Voice Festival's Don Giovanni. During the Festival, Ms. Dannewitz was awarded Second Prize in the Opera Idol competition. Also in 2014, she won Second Prize in Florida Suncoast Opera Guild's Young Professional Competition.
Ms. Dannewitz spent the Summer of 2013 as a Voice Fellow at the prestigious Music Academy of the West. While in Santa Barbara, Ms. Dannewitz covered the role of First Lady in The Magic Flute and was featured as The Marschallin in the Act III finale scene from Der Rosenkavalier. She worked closely with legendary mezzo-soprano, Marilyn Horne, as well as many other influential conductors, coaches, and directors such as, Warren Jones, John Churchwell, Carrie-Ann Matheson, Jonathan Kelly, David Paul and Greg Fortner.
Previous roles include Vitellia (Cover) and Aide #3/Ensemble in La Clemenza di Tito, Second Woman in Dido and Aeneas, and Cretan Dissenter in Idomeneo all with The In Series, in Washington, DC. Her sound was praised by DC Theatre Scene as, “cuts through the layered choruses like a melodic knife through butter.” In 2012, Ms. Dannewitz was the soprano soloist in Orff's Carmina Burana with the Dance Alive National Ballet and was chosen for the Encouragement Award at the Suncoast Opera Guild competition.
Throughout the 2010-2012 seasons, Ms. Dannewitz was a Resident Young Artist with Opera Tampa. While in Tampa, she performed her Regional Opera House debut as Margot in Anton Coppola’s adaptation of The Merry Widow under the baton of the Maestro himself, Annina in La Traviata, and was an honored performer in the company’s Night of Stars, as Maestro Coppola presented the great tenor and conductor Placido Domingo with an Artist in Excellence award. In addition to these mainstage performances, Ms. Dannewitz was featured in scenes from La Traviata (Violetta) and La Bohème (Mimì), sang at the grand opening of The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and was a part of more than seventy outreach programs.
During her time as a young artist, Ms. Dannewitz continued her participation in the extensive training program VOICExperience. This includes the Sherrill Milnes and Friends program in Orlando and Tampa, FL and the Opera as Drama program in New York, NY. Through these, she had the privilege to work closely with legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes and collaborated with world-renowned directors such as Tito Capobianco and Fabrizio Melano. The highlight of her time was being chosen to work with America’s treasure composer Carlisle Floyd in a special symposium where she performed a scene from his own opera, Willie Stark. Ms. Dannewitz will is thankful for her experience with VE and will forever attribute her passion for Opera and drive to succeed to them and their support.
Ms. Dannewitz completed her master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), under the tutelage of Ashley Putnam. There, she was featured as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. She was also seen in scenes from La Bohème (Mimì), Dialogues of the Carmelites (Blanche), Luisa Fernanda (Carolina), The Merry Widow (Hannah) and The Ballad of Baby Doe. A native Floridian, Ms. Dannewitz holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida, where she performed in The Mikado (Yum-Yum) and Suor Angelica. Other accomplishments include a fourth place award in Suncoast Opera Guild’s Young Artist Competition 2011 and finalist and award winner for the 2010 Joan M. Taub and Alan Ades Vocal Competition in NYC. Ms. Dannewitz lives with her husband and their pup, Penny in Charleston, West Virginia.