Justin Anthony Spenner is a Minneapolis-based baritone known for his artistic honesty and engaging versatility. At home with Schubert as he is with Stockhausen, he has made impacts on the Twin Cities music community through performances of Die Winterreise at Nautilus Music-Theater (“Best Classical Concert of the Week”- Star Tribune), as well as successful premieres with the 113 Composers Collective. His education derives from the University of Minnesota (MM, Philip Zawisza, Rusty and Burt Cohen Fellow), UW-Stevens Point (BM, Dr. Dennis Willhoit, Susan Bender), and training from the inaugural season of the Mill City Summer Opera Studio Artists Program, as well as the Source Song Festival. Justin Anthony Spenner is a 2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant recipient.
Justin has received such praise as “A standout” by the Star Tribune and Twin Cities Arts Reader, and “Breathtaking” by the Shepard Express for his work on the stage. Recent Opera and Music Theater credits include John Sorel (The Consul/Arbeit Opera Theatre), Morales and Dancaïro (Carmen/Pine Mountain Music Festival), Second Priest/Armored Man (Magic Flute/Lakes Area Music Festival), Billy Bigelow (Carousel/American Gothic Performing Arts Festival) and Harold Hill (The Music Man/AGPAF), and Marullo (Rigoletto/Really Spicy Opera Company). As a concert soloist, he has enjoyed performances with St. Johns Music Series (Messiah), 113 Composers Collective (various), South Metro Chorale (Ein Deutsches Requiem), The Northstar Consort (Urtecht Te Deum/Jubilate Deo), Dakota Valley Symphony (In Terra Pax), and Shepard of the Lake Lutheran Church (The Crucifixion), as well as various recital programs throughout the state.
An avid educator, Justin has stayed involved in the introduction of opera to young audiences throughout his career. In addition to being a Studio and Cover artist for Mill City Summer Opera, he was also a Teaching Artist for three seasons. He has sung the roles of Wolf (Little Red’s Big Adventure) and Wolfgang (The Three Little Pigs) for The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival, and Sea King (Rusalka) with the Lyric Opera of the North’s travelling component, Little Opera of the North.
Justin is the Co-Founder, along with Mario Angèl Perez, of B-Sides Art Song Collective, an organization which strives to draw a lineage between classical art song and contemporary commercial music.