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Leigh Melrose

Baritone

  • Leigh Melrose, “the emergent specialist of 20th-century opera” (The Financial Times), has carved out a formidable reputation for the performance of new works and dramatic 20th century repertoire. A wonderfully dynamic artist on both the concert and opera platform, his recent performances as Wozzeck with Zürich Opera and Fabio Luisi, Alberich Das Rheingold at Ruhrtriennale with Teodor Currentzis; Friedrich Das Liebesverbot and the Traveller Death in Venice, both at Teatro Real and Ruprecht Fiery Angel at Opern Zürich with Gianandrea Noseda have earned him wide critical and public acclaim.

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  • In the 2017/8 season, Melrose makes an anticipated debut as Golaud Pelléas et Mélisande in his return to Ruhrtriennale Festival, Vlaamse Opera and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. He also returns to Teatro Real with two appearances: Cecil Gloriana in a new production by Sir David McVicar and Stolzius in Zimmermann Die Soldaten, a new production by Calixto Bieito. On the concert platform he appears at the Philharmonie de Paris with Stravinsky’s Renard and with the City of Birmingham Symphonic Orchestra in Carmina Burana.


    Last season, Melrose made his role debut as Ruprecht in a new production of Fiery Angel in Zürich under the direction of Gianandrea Noseda and Calixto Bieto as well as premiering The Winter’s Tale at English National Opera by their composer-in-residence Ryan Wigglesworth.


    His many other operatic engagements include Papageno for Seattle Opera, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream for La Monnaie and Ned Keene Peter Grimes for Vlaamse Opera and Opera Oviedo. Closely associated with English National Opera his roles there have included Wozzeck, Escamillo, Sonora, Ned Keene, Tadeusz The Passenger, Papageno, Bormenthal A Dog’s Heart, Count The Marriage of Figaro, Rodolfo in Leoncavallo’s La bohème and Junius The Rape of Lucretia.


    One of the most sought-after interpreters of contemporary music, Leigh Melrose has given many world premieres including Dai Fujikura’s Solaris, a co-production between Theatre de Champs Elysees, Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Lausanne; Johannes Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen by Johannes Kalitzke, at Theater an der Wien; Elliot Carter’s On Conversing with Paradise at the Aldeburgh Festival under Oliver Knussen (also nominated for a Gramophone Award for ‘Best Contemporary Album) ; Luca Francesconi's Quartett at Royal Opera House; and Evan in James MacMillan’s The Sacrifice at Welsh National Opera. Other performances include his debut at the prestigious Maggio Musicale festival in Florence singing Rihm’s Der maler träumt; title role of Birtwistle's Gawain with BBC Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Pintscher’s Solomon’s Garden with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris conducted by the composer; Rambo in the Channel 4 television film of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer; Michael Collins in Jonathan Dove’s TV Opera Man on the Moon for Channel 4; Punch in Birtwistle Punch and Judy in Porto; Xenakis’ Ais with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms and Berlin Festival; Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Martyrdom of St Magnus at the composer’s St Magnus Festival, Orkney, in Edinburgh and Inverness; Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Orquesta de Cadaqués in Madrid, the London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, BIT20 in Bergen and Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra; Michael Finnissy’s Maldon with the London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the world premiere of Martin Suckling’s Candlebird also with the London Sinfonietta under Nicholas Collon.


    His numerous concert appearances include Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Berlioz Symphony No.3; Britten’s Canticles; Noye’s Fludde with BBC Scottish Symphony; Carmina Burana and Beethoven Symphony No.9. At the BBC Proms he has performed Britten’s Cantata misericordium with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, De Falla’s La vida breve and Sir Richard Cholmondeley in Glibert & Sullivan’s Yeomen of the Guard.

    2017-2018 season / 599 words. Not to be altered without permission

Performances

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Season highlights

Golaud Pélleas et Mélisande
Ruhrtriennale


Cecil Gloriana
Teatro Real


Stolzius Die Soldaten
Teatro Real


Golaud Pélleas et Mélisande
Opera Vlaanderen


Golaud Pélleas et Mélisande
Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg

Concert highlights

Escamillo Carmen
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Sakari Oramo


Pintscher Solomon’s Garden
Ensemble Intercontemporain


Sir Peter Maxwell Davies The Martyrdom of St Magnus
St Magnus Festival, Orkney; Edinburgh; Inverness


Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King
Orquesta de Cadaqués, Madrid; London Sinfonietta / Queen Elizabeth Hall


Michael Finnissy Maldon
London Sinfonietta / Queen Elizabeth Hall


Martin Suckling Candlebird
London Sinfonietta / Nicholas Collon (world premiere)


Belshazzar’s Feast, Berlioz Symphony No.3
BBC Symphony Orchestra


Britten Canticles
Gran Teatre del Liceu; with Roger Vignoles / Southbank Centre / Wigmore Hall


Orff Carmina Burana
Royal Festival Hall; Birmingham Symphony Hall; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra / Usher Hall


Beethoven Symphony No.9
Orquesta de Cadaqués / Sir Neville Marriner


Britten Cantata Misericodium
BBC Symphony Orchestra / BBC Proms

Opera highlights

Title role Wozzeck
Salzburg; English National Opera (new productions)


Papageno Die Zauberflöte
Seattle Opera; Opera Zuid


Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream
La Monnaie


Escamillo Carmen
Royal Albert Hall


Figaro Il Barbiere di Siviglia
New York City Opera


Silvio I Pagliacci
Welsh National Opera


Various Death in Venice
Gran Teatre del Liceu


Marcello La bohème
Opera Zuid


Sid Albert Herring
Salzburger Landestheater; Opéra Comique; Opéra de Rouen


Ned Keene Peter Grimes
Vlaamse Opera; Opera Oviedo; English National Opera; BBC Proms


Title role Eugene Onegin
Longborough Festival Opera


Tadeusz The Passenger; Papageno; Escamillo; Bormenthal A Dog’s Heart; Count Marriage of Figaro; Rodolfo in Leoncavallo’s La bohème; Junius The Rape of Lucretia
English National Opera

Concert repertoire

Adams
The Wound Dresser


Bach
Passions


Berlioz
Symphony No.3 ‘Romeo et Juliette’


Brahms
Requiem


Britten
War Requiem
Canticles


Carter
On Conversing with Paradise


Copland
American Songs I & II with orchestra


Fauré
Requiem


Glanert/Brahms
Four Serious Songs


Handel
Messiah
Alexander’s Feast


Haydn
Masses and The Seasons


Mahler
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Rückert Lieder
Kindertotenlieder


Maxwell-Davies
Eight Songs for a Mad King


Mendelssohn
Elijah


Mozart
Requiem and Masses


Mussorgsky
Songs and Dances of Death


Orff
Carmina Burana


Primosch, James
Songs for Adam


Schoeck, Othmar
Lebendig Begraben, Op.40


Vaughan Williams
Sea Symphony
Songs of Travel
Five Mystical Songs


Xenakis
Ais
La Déesse Athéna

Opera repertoire

Adams
Rambo The Death of Klinghoffer
Jack Hubbard Dr Atomic


Berg
Title role Wozzeck


Berlioz
Mercury, Greek Captain & Chorèbe Les Troyens
Mercutio & Paris Romeo et Juliette


Birtwistle
Punch Punch & Judy


Bizet
Escamillo Carmen
Morales Carmen
Zuniga Pearl Fishers


Britten
Ned Keane Peter Grimes
Title role Billy Budd
Sid Albert Herring
English Clerk Death in Venice
The Traveller Death in Venice
Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Junius & Tarquinius Rape of Lucretia


Debussy
Title role Pelleas et Melisande*


Donizetti
Belcore L’elisir d’amore
Malatesta Don Pasquale


Dove
Mike Collins Man on the Moon
Steward Flight


Gounod
Valentin Faust


Korngold
Fritz Die tote Stadt


Leoncavallo
Rodolfo La Boheme
Silvio Pagliacci


Macmillan
Evan The Sacrifice
Parthonogenesis


Maxwell Davies
The Tempter The Martyrdom of St Magnus
Eight Songs for a Mad King


Mozart
Papageno Die Zauberflote
Count Le Nozze di Figaro
Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro
Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte
Title role Don Giovanni*


Puccini
Marcello La Boheme
Schaunard La Boheme
Frank Edgar


Rossini
Figaro Il Barbiere di Siviglia


Tchaikovsky
Title role Eugene Onegin
Yletski Queen of Spades


*in preparation

Like Ablinger-Sperrhacke, and Woldt, Melrose is one of the great character singers in their voice types... Melrose has an instinctive understanding of Wozzeck’s almost inability to conform to social niceties. His grittiness created a Wozzeck that worked well with Luisi’s approach to the opera

Opera Today, October 2015

Musically, it's astonishing. Melrose, giving the performance of a lifetime, charts Wozzeck's disintegration with unflinching veracity and an extraordinary expressive range that veers from lyrical intensity to snarl or eerie falsetto.

Guardian, October 2015

Leigh Melrose was outstanding as Alberich

Die Welt, September 2015

Intermusica represents Leigh Melrose worldwide

Maria Mot
Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9904
mmot@intermusica.co.uk

Lottie Gulliver
Assistant to Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9937
lgulliver@intermusica.co.uk

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Special projects

Charles Hazlewood

Nora Fischer

Clarinet

Mark Simpson

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Rupert Enticknap

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles