Ashley Puenner, mezzo-soprano, returned to the Florentine Opera as a Studio Artist for the 2017-2018 season. She was seen as Olga in The Merry Widow, Shepherd/1st Witch in a double bill of Venus and Adonis/Dido and Aeneas, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and as a soloist in concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. Along with these mainstage productions, Ashley was a featured soloist in the @ the Center Series. During the 2017-2018 season, Ashley was also a Resident Artist with Opera North, performing Nicklausse in Les Contes d'Hoffmann and covering Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
During her time as a Florentine Studio Artist in the 2016-2017 season, Ashley was seen as Mrs. Hurstwood in the world premiere of Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein's Sister Carrie and as a soloist with their @ the Center Series featuring the Studio Artists. With the Florentine Studio Artists, she also made her New York City debut in recital at the National Opera Center.
Recently, Ashley has also been seen as a soloist with the University of Kansas Opera presenting Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles in Kansas City's beautiful Helzberg Hall, and made her role debuts with KU Opera as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Carmen in The Tragedy of Carmen. Continuing to follow her avid interest in presenting new music, during her time at the University of Kansas, Ashley also originated the role of Chancellor in Chris Burton's new chamber opera, The Nightingale, and appeared as a guest soloist in several concerts premiering new song cycles, including one written by Nathan Jones for Ashley, entitled "Six Qabbani Love Songs."
During summer 2014, Ashley performed as a young artist with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, where she made her role debut as Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd). She also sang the role of Minnie in a workshop of Robert Aldridge's new opera Sister Carrie and covered Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
Ashley received a Master of Music from the University of Kansas where she studied with Genaro Mendez, and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with an emphasis in education from Illinois Wesleyan University. She is also the founder of Opera Fridays, a monthly casual concert series bringing opera to the Lawrence, KS community.
amelia rollings photography