Recognized for unusual warmth of sound and presence, Canadian baritone Drew Santini performs as a concert and operatic singer in Europe and North America. Comfortable in repertoire of many periods, he is becoming particularly known for stylish, sensitive performances of Bach and his contemporaries. Highlights of the 17/18 season include debuts with the Zuid Nederland Philharmonic (St. Matthew Passion—Matthew Halls) and Il Gardellino (Bach Cantatas—Marcel Ponseele), his first Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte in Brussels at the Midsummer Mozartiade festival, and a series of concerts with Damask vocal quartet in The Hague. Future engagements include debuts with The Hague Philharmonic singing Bach's Weihnachts Oratorium and with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra singing Handel's Messiah.
Recently Drew made his debut with the Lautten Compagney (Berlin) singing Amanzio in Handel’s Giustino at the Händel-Festspiele Halle. In past seasons he debuted at the Dutch National Opera singing Le Mari in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias with music director Roger Vignoles, and in a collaboration between the Nederlandse Reisopera and Gothenburg Opera as Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone. Other opera credits include Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Le Gendarme (Les Mamelles de Tirésias), Lockit (Beggar’s Opera), Ramiro (L’heure Espagnole), and Mr. Splinters (The Tender Land). He has given world premieres in opera creating such roles as Gilfaethwy the False (Wolf-in-Skins by Gregory Spears), Gunnar (The Raven’s Kiss by Evan Fein), and Reporter (Séance on a Wet Afternoon by Stephen Schwartz).
Drew appears regularily as a soloist and repienist with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging, most recently as a soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion. Also with NBV he soloed in a program of motets in Mühlhausen at the Thüringer Bachwochen and with the continuo section at Bachfestival Dordrecht in a concert called Back to Basses. Recently named the winner of the Bruce Haynes International Competition for the Rhetorical Singing of the Music of J.S. Bach, he appeared with Montréal Baroque singing a program of Bach cantatas in Regensburg and Montréal, which culminated in a CD recording on the ATMA label. With the Finnish Baroque Orchestra he sang Graun’s Der Tod Jesu in debut performances in Helsinki and Turku. As part of the Cello Biënnale, he was the baritone soloist in Fauré’s Requiem with Cappella Amsterdam under the direction of Daniel Reuss. Other oratorio engagements include both of Bach’s Passions, Brahms’ Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Brockes Passion, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Regina Coeli, Haydn's Seven Last Words, and Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio.
Particularly at home as a recitalist and chamber musician, Drew has an engaging 17/18 season. Damask vocal quartet features a commission and world-premiere by Federico Mosquera in addition to many beautiful yet rarely performed works of Brahms, Schumann, Herzogenberg, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Rorem, and Wadsworth. He will collaborate with Amsterdam based pianist Edward Janning for a song recital singing Brahms and Korngold. Especially passionate about singing new music, Drew 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.
On the ATMA label, Mr. Santini recorded Bach Cantatas 4, 9, 106, and 181 with La Bande Montréal Baroque. With the Belgian group BachPlus he recorded Bach's Cantata 125 and Schütz's Musicalische Exequien.
He holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (BM) and The Juilliard School (MM). He currently lives in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Biography last updated in February 2018. Before reproducing, please email Drew for the most current or a longer or shorter version.