Andrew Wilkowske – when singing a “virile, sturdy Marcello” or a “garrulous yet endearing” Papageno – displays an engaging combination of musical talent and masterful stage presence. Wilkowske, whose voice has been described as “nimble,” with an “impressively open top,” is one of the most versatile performers on the stage today. A gifted actor as well as singer, Wilkowske’s Papageno in The Magic Flute “stole the show” according to the Washington Post, and was a “lusty-voiced fellow,” according to Opera News.
Recent engagements have included Ponchel in Silent Night with Opera Philadelphia, the Vicar in Albert Herring with Florentine Opera, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, and La Rocca in Un giorno di regno with Glimmerglass Opera. Other roles include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Minnesota Opera, Ponchel in Silent Night with Cincinnati Opera, and Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow with Boston Lyric Opera.
Engagements have included Ponchel in the world premiere of Silent Night with Minnesota Opera; the world premiere of The Rivals with Skylight Opera; Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Utah Opera; and returns to Minnesota Opera as Dandini in La Cenerentola and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly; Emperor Overall in The Emperor of Atlantis with Boston Lyric Opera; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera on the James; Bummerli in The Chocolate Soldier with Bard Summerscape; and Carmina burana with the Minnesota Orchestra, under the baton of Osmo Vänksä.
Widely known for his expertise in modern repertoire, Wilkowske recently premiered Our Basic Nature, a solo New Music Theater piece by John Glover and Kelley Rourke with American Opera Projects and Nautilus Music Theater. As Noah in the Minnesota Opera world premiere cast of The Grapes of Wrath in 2007, he was featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show, and on the complete recording of the opera available on P.S. Classics. He also reprised the role of Noah with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall. In addition, he recently covered the role of Casanova in Minnesota Opera’s 25th anniversary production of Dominick Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming, sang the role of Geppetto in Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, and Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China with Minnesota Opera; and sang in performances of the North American premiere of Howard Shore’s The Fly at Los Angeles Opera, conducted by Plácido Domingo. Last season at Minnesota Opera, he appeared as Geronte in Manon Lescaut and Papageno in The Magic Flute.
Other engagements have included Figaro in both Il barbiere di Siviglia and Le nozze di Figaro with Skylight Opera; and Le nozze di Figaro with Green Mountain Opera Festival (under the baton of Jacques Lacombe), Ash Lawn Opera, and the Acadiana Symphony. Wilkowske’s experiences are documented in his award-winning “A Year of Figaro” blog.
Active on the musical theater stage, Wilkowske’s performance in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris was called “chilling” and “deeply moving” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and his performance in the world premiere of Sleeping Beauty with the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati earned him a nomination for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award.
Wilkowske has participated in the Merola Opera Program, Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artist Program, and the Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Program. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the University of Minnesota Duluth.