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Diane Penning

Coloratura Pops Soprano


“clear, free flying and of exciting timbre” “thrilling…exquisite…with gorgeous top notes.” These are but two critic descriptions of coloratura Diane Penning’s voice.


Equally at home in classical repertoire and pops, Diane has performed with over thirty orchestras around the country in programs of each genre.  Symphony appearances include concerts with the Arkansas, the Dayton Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Elgin, Firelands, Grand Rapids, and Grant Park Music Festival Symphonies; the Greensboro and Interlochen Arts Academy Symphonies; the Las Cruces, Mobile, Ocean City Pops, Pensacola, Phoenix, Pueblo, Rockford, Tacoma, Traverse and West Michigan Symphonies as well as others.


Her musical theatre credits include Cunegonde in Candide, Marian in The Music Man, Amalia in She Loves Me, and Maria in the concert version of West Side Story as well as “the grouch” in Robert Kapilow’s Green Eggs & Ham. Diane’s work in oratorio includes David Fanshaw’s African Sanctus, Bach’s Bm Mass and Christmas Oratorio; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C minor; Fauré’s Requiem; Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Creation, Harmonie Messe and Lord Nelson Mass; Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass; Orff’s Carmina Burana; Poulenc’s Gloria; Rutter’s Magnificat and Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, with such organizations as the Apollo Chorus in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the Kalamazoo Bach Festival. Her opera roles include Adele in Die Fledermaus, Frasquita in Carmen, Musetta in La Bohéme, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Pamina, Papagena and Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute.  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; Everything Under the Sun with pianist Rich Ridenour and Sacred Space with Composer/Performer Nicholas Palmer. 

Pops Resume:

  • Calgary Symphony – Paul Langford
    My Favorite Things – Celebrating the Music of Julie Andrews

  • Grant Park Music Festival – Terry Edwards
    Rodgers & Hammerstein

  • Greensboro Symphony – Nate Beversluis
    Oscar Night

  • Phoenix Symphony –  Stuart Chavetz
    Oscar Night

  • San Antonio – Akiko Fujimoto
    Holiday Pops, Off the Charts with Paul Langford

  • Traverse Symphony
    John Varineau: 
    Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies
    Lonnie Klein: Holiday Pops

  • Las Cruces Symphony – Lonnie Klein
    Pops Under the Stars 2016, 2017

  • Grand Rapids Symphony
    Bob Bernhardt: Picnic Pops
    John Varineau: Hollywoods Greatest Melodies, Picnic Pops, Green Eggs & Ham, Disney
    Richard Hayman: Movie Pops

  • North Charleston Pops – Nicholas Palmer
    Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies with Paul Langford

  • Elgin Symphony – Bob Hanson
    Your Hit Parade, Holiday Pops (4), A Night at the Oscars

  • Arkansas Symphony – David Itken
    Broadway Ala carte

  • Tacoma Symphony – Harvey Felder
    Oscar Night

  • Cheyenne Symphony – William Intrilligator
    Holiday Pops

  • Firelands Symphony – Carl Topilow
    Holiday Pops

  • South Bend Symphony – Tsung Yeh
    Holiday Pops, Pops with Rich Ridenour

  • Mobile Symphony
    Scott Speck: Valentine Concert
    Teresa Cheung: Holiday Pops

  • West Michigan Symphony
    Scott Speck: Holiday Pops (3) 
    Anthony Koehler: Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies
    Murray Gross: Holiday Pops, Mostly Mozart

  • Kalamazoo Symphony
    Raymond HarveySummer Pops
    Barry Ross: Summer Pops with Doug LaBrecque

  • Southwest Michigan Symphony – Robin Fountain
    Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies with Paul Langford

  • Midland Symphony – Jim Hohmeyer
    Les Miz and More

  • DuPage Symphony – Barbara Schubert
    Holiday Pops

  • Park Ridge Symphony – Barbara Schubert
    Summer Pops

  • Holland Symphony – Johannes Muller Stosch
    Piper Pops - Off the Charts, My Favorite Things – Celebrating the Music of Julie Andrews with Paul Langford

  • Elmhurst Symphony – Stephen Alltop
    Hollywood Pops

  • Adrian Symphony
    John Dodson: Holiday Pops

    Paul Langford: My Favorite Things – Celebrating the Music of Julie Andrews

  • Dubuque Symphony – William Intrilligator
    Holiday Pops

  • Pensacola Symphony – Peter Rubardt
    New Years Eve Pops

  • Lansing Symphony – Timothy Muffit
    Holiday Pops (2)

  • Rockford Symphony – Steve Larsen
    Holiday Pops

  • Green Bay Symphony – Bridgit Reischel
    Valentine Pops

  • Ocean City Pops – Bill Scheible
    Summer Pops

  • Dayton Philharmonic – Neal Gittelman
    Music Man  (Marian) concert version

  • Sheboygan Symphony – Guy Bordo
    West Side Story (Maria) concert version, Broadway Concert

  • Saginaw Bay Orchestra– Leo Najar
    An Evening of Kurt Weill, “You Call This Opera?”

  • Ashland Symphony – Arie Lipsky
    My Favorite Things – Celebrating the Music of Julie Andrews with Paul Langford

  • Pueblo Symphony – Jacob Chi
    Celebrating the Music of Julie Andrews

  • Whiting Symphony – Robert Vodnoy
    Summer Pops with Paul Langford

Classical Resume:


  • Grand Rapids Symphony -
    Catherine Comet: 
    Faure Requiem
     David Lockington: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

  • Interlochen Arts Academy
    Matthew Hazelwood:  Carmina Burana

    Sir David Willcocks: Rutter Magnificat

  • Kalamazoo Bach Festival - James Turner
    Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, Bach Bm Mass, Mozart Requiem, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity

  • Midland Symphony - Carlton Woods
    Carmina Burana

  • Saginaw Bay Orchestra - Leo Najar
    Candide (Cunegonde)
    Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)

  • Lansing Lyric Opera - Attila Farkas  
    The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night)

  • Harbor Chorale - Jonathon Willcocks
    David Fanshaw's African Sanctus

  • Apollo Chorus - Stephen Alltop
    Handel’s Messiah

  • Elgin Choral Union - Richard Zielinski
    Haydn Creation

  • Opera Grand Rapids - Robert Lyall
    Cavallaria Rusticana (Lola) The Magic Flute (Papagena)

  • Battle Creek Symphony -
    Matthew Hazelwood :  Poulenc Gloria, La Boheme, (Musetta) Carmen,  Carmen (Frasquita)
     Anne Harrigan:  Selections from Messiah, Carmina Burana

  • DuPage Chorale - Lee Kesselman 
    Bach Christmas Oratorio, Mozart Vespers

  • Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys -
    Martin Neary: Songs for Royal Occasions
     Charles Olegar:  
    Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert Mass in G

  • Downers Grove Choral Society - Robert Holst
    Haydn’s Creation, “Gems” Festival Concert

  • Fountain Street Church Music Series - Steve Barton
    Beethoven’s Mass in C minor

  • Hope College Orchestra and Chorus
    Rutter’s Requiem, Mozart Coronation Mass

  • Kalamazoo Symphony  - Raymond Harvey
    Die Zauberflote (Papagena), Madame Butterfly (Kate Pinkerton) 

  • Bijou Orchestra  - Leo Najar
    Die Fledermaus 

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