The English baritone and singing teacher, Andrew Ashwin, discovered music as a child through piano and trombone lessons, before finding his voice in his teens. He went on to gain a Bachelor of Music degree at The University of Birmingham and was a post-graduate student at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Russell Smythe. He attained the distinguished LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) diploma with Distinction in 2004, and a further post-graduate diploma at the Vlaamse Opera Studio in Gent, Belgium. His then spent two years at the Zürich International Opera Studio, as a young artist.
Andrew Ashwin has so far enjoyed a fifteen-year professional singing career, a decade of which was spent on the international opera circuit. He has performed operas, concerts, galas and recitals across the UK, Europe (including Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and Spain), and further afield.
Andrew Ashwin sang Svegliato/Notaro in Paisielloís Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Zurich, as well as Perückenmacher in Ariadne auf Naxos in both Zürich and Berlin. He has also taken part in a number of high-profile gala concerts in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the UK, singing operatic excerpts spanning all genres. From 2008 to 2009, he was an ensemble member of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, where he sang many roles including Morales in a new production of Georges Bizet's Carmen, Marullo, Marchese d'Obigny, Le Mouton in the German premiere of Ottorino Respighi's Marie Victoire and Papageno for a childrenís production of W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. He also featured as soloist in the 2008 Opening Gala Concert.
In 2009, Andrew Ashwin sang the title role in the Austrian premiere of B. Britten's Owen Wingrave at the Vienna Kammeroper, to high critical acclaim. Similarly successful was his 2008 German operatic debut as Junius in a radical new production of B. Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, at the Frankfurt Opera. Other ventures into the B. Britten's repertoire include Macheath in The Beggarís Opera in Zürich, and Noviceís Friend and First Mate in Billy Budd at the Bilbao Opera, marking his Spanish debut in 2009. He is equally experienced in the W.A. Mozart's repertoire, having sung Don Giovanni, Figaro, Conte Almaviva and Papageno earlier in his career, as well as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte om a tour in in Switzerland and southern Germany in 2007.
In summer 2009, Andrew Ashwin embarked on a concert tour of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, as part of the Pro Music Penang organisation. He sang operatic excerpts in concerts in Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore. Two summers previously he sang arias and duets in open air gala concerts in front of German castles in Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, Koblenz and Wiesbaden.
Andrew Ashwin has sung much of the oratorio repertoire, particularly that of George Frideric Handel, J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart and Haydn. Notable highlights include Ralph Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony at The Sage Centre, Gateshead, Johannes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem in Durham Cathedral and in November 2009 at Birmingham Symphony Hall, J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243) in Cadogan Hall, London, and Monteverdiís Vespers at St Johnís, Smith Square. Outside Europe he has sung in concerts and recitals in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. He has returned to Mexico City a number of times to sing solo works by J.S. Bach, Ravel, Francis Poulenc, and Satie.
Andrew Ashwin is equally at home on the recital stage. His song repertoire is wide ranging, and he has performed many recitals of English songs, German Lieder and French Mélodies. In 2008 he performed Schubertís Winterreise with acclaimed pianist and conductor Justus Frantz. In Zürich he took part in a number of Lieder Matinees, and was called upon to replace an ill Thomas Hampson on the morning of a song recital at the Zürich Opera House. He also performed in concerts in Milan and Teatro La Fenice, Venice. In October 2008 he sang L.v. Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte for the opening of the Bad Urach Festival in Germany, and in December of that year he took part in a gala concert at the Vlaamse Opera in Gent. He has also sung Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe, and numerous English song cycles.
Andrew Ashwin has sung under the baton of many well-known conductors, including Yves Abel, Maurizio Barbacini, Christoph von Dohnányi, Bernard Haitink, Jan Latham-König, Marc Minkowski, Carlo Rizzi, Peter Schreier, Paul Spicer, David Temple, and Sir David Willcocks. He has shared the opera and concert stage with singers such as Jonas Kaufmann, James Bowman, Catherine Bott, José Cura, Neil Shicoff, Matti Salminen, Roberto Sacca, Violeta Urmana, John Tomlinson, Nathan Gunn, James Gilchrist, Michael Spyres, Javier Camarena, Jacques Imbrailo, Stephen Costello and many more.
Engagements during the 2009-2010 season included his Vlaamse Opera debut as Maximilian in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, his debut with Opera Ireland as Mercutio in Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, a new production of Cavalliís Il Giasone (singing Oreste and Ercole/Oreste) at the Vlaamse Opera, conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli and his role debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly for Grange Park Opera (with performances also at Nevill Holt and Cadogan Hall in London). He also sang W.A. Mozart's Requiem at the Barbican Centre in London.
In November 2010, he returned to Opera Ireland as Angelotti in a new production of Tosca. Also in 2011 he was singing in Ireland: Malatesta in a new production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale for Opera Theatre Company in Ireland, and the title role in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Lismore Festival in Ireland. Furthermore, he could be heard in Edward Elgar's Dream of Gerontius in March 2011 in Birmingham. In summer 2011, he gave his role debut as Danilo in an open-air production of Lehár's The Merry Widow (La Veuve Joyeuse) in Montpellier. Projects of the 2011-2012 season included a recording of Victor Herbert's operetta Eileen, his comeback to the Bad Urach Festival with a Shakespeare song recital, a concert at Casa da Música in Porto, Schaunard in a new production of La Bohème in Dessau, Germany and a new production of Carmen at the Vlaamse Opera.
Performances in 2012-2013 include the title role in Milhauds Les malheurs d'Orphée and Weill's Mahagonny Singspiel Mexico City in a new production by Nicola Raab and under the baton of Jan Latham-König, Papageno at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and his comeback to the Vlaamse Opera as Maximilian in Candide. Engagements on the concert platform in 2012-2013 include J. Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem in Kiev and Basel s well as J.S. Bach's solo Cantata Ich habe genug (BWV 82) and Ravel's Don Quichotte Songs in Mexico City, again under the baton of Latham-König. In October 2013 Andrew Ashwin returned to Mexico City for a concert with Jan Latham-König. In 2014 and 2015 he could be heard in G.F. Handel's Jephta under the baton of Ottavio Dantone in Oslo and in Krakow and in Samson in Hampshire.