Leigh Melrose

Baritone

Leigh Melrose, “the 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 in both operas and concerts, his perform ances as Wozzeck (Opernhaus Zürich and English National Opera); Enescu’s Œdipe (Komische Oper Berlin), Alberich Das Rheingold (Wiener Staatsoper, Ruhrtriennale and English National Opera) Clov in the world premiere of György Kurtág’s Fin de Partie (Teatro alla Scala, Opéra de Paris and Dutch National Opera) and Prospero in Thomas Adès’ The Tempest (Teatro Alla Scala) have earned wide critical and public acclaim.

In the 2023/24 season he makes anticipated returns to Ruhrtriennale as Šiškov in a new production by Dimitri Tcherniakov of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead and to Teatro alla Scala as Ned Keene in a new Peter Grimes directed by Robert Carson. He also makes two hugely exciting role debuts, as Don Pizarro Fidelio at the Staatsoper Hamburg, and Beckmesser Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Teatro Real in a new production by acclaimed French director Laurent Pelly.

Last season included a series of very exciting projects and role debuts: as Prospero in Thomas Adès’ The Tempest at Teatro alla Scala; Richard Nixon in John Fulljames’s new production of Nixon in China at Teatro Real; Šiškov in Krzysztof Warlikowski’s new production of From the House of the Dead at the Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera di Roma; and the world premiere of Héctor Parra’s Orgia, after Pier Paolo Pasolini’s play in a project imagined by Calixto Bieto at the Teatro Arriaga Antzokia in Bilbao. He also performed Alberich in Richard Jones’ much-anticipated new production of Das Rheingold at the ENO to an overwhelmingly positive public and critical reception. In concert, Melrose also reprised the role of Alberich with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.

Other recent highlights include a hugely acclaimed debut in the title role of Enescu’s Œdipe in a new production at the Komische Oper Berlin; Nekrotzar in a new production of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre in Zürich; debuts at Staatsoper Stuttgart as Alberich Das Rheingold and the Opéra national de Paris as Clov Fin de Partie; Ruprecht in Calixto Bieito’s production of Prokofiev The Fiery Angel at Teatro Real and Kajin in Bieito’s new production of Rudi Stephan’s Die ersten Menschen at Dutch National Opera.

One of the most sought-after interpreters of contemporary music, Leigh Melrose has given many world premieres, including Louis Andriessen’s exhilarating Theatre of the World at Dutch National Opera and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Dai Fujikura’s Solaris – a co-production between Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Lausanne; Johannes Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen at Theater an der Wien; Elliot Carter’s On Conversing with Paradise at the Aldeburgh Festival under Oliver Knussen (also nomi nated 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 Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence singing Rihm’s Der maler träumt; the title role in Birtwistle’s Gawain with BBC Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Pintscher’s Songs from 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’s 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 in Orkney, Edinburgh, and Inverness; Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Orquesta de Cadaqués in Madrid, with the London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, with BIT20 in Bergen and with the 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.

Performances

OCTOBER 6 2024

Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National Opera

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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OCTOBER 9 2024

Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National Opera

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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OCTOBER 13 2024

Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National Opera

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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OCTOBER 15 2024

Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National Opera

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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OCTOBER 18 2024

Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National Opera

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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More Dates

Performances

OCTOBER 6 2024Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 9 2024Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 13 2024Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 15 2024Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 18 2024Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
OCTOBER 22 2024Balstrode, Peter Grimes; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
DECEMBER 12 2024James MacMillan Christmas Oratorio; Müpa BudapestBudapest, HungaryBuy Tickets
JANUARY 22 2025Kaijn, Die ersten Menschen; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
JANUARY 24 2025Kaijn, Die ersten Menschen; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
JANUARY 28 2025Kaijn, Die ersten Menschen; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
JANUARY 30 2025Kaijn, Die ersten Menschen; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
FEBRUARY 2 2025Kaijn, Die ersten Menschen; Dutch National OperaAmsterdam, NetherlandsBuy Tickets
MARCH 23 2025Title Role, Das grosse Feuer; Opernhaus ZürichZürich, SwitzerlandBuy Tickets
MARCH 25 2025Title Role, Das grosse Feuer; Opernhaus ZürichZürich, SwitzerlandBuy Tickets
MARCH 28 2025Title Role, Das grosse Feuer; Opernhaus ZürichZürich, SwitzerlandBuy Tickets
MARCH 30 2025Title Role, Das grosse Feuer; Opernhaus ZürichZürich, SwitzerlandBuy Tickets
APRIL 4 2025Title Role, Das grosse Feuer; Opernhaus ZürichZürich, SwitzerlandBuy Tickets
APRIL 6 2025Title Role, Das grosse Feuer; Opernhaus ZürichZürich, SwitzerlandBuy Tickets
APRIL 11 2025Title Role, Das grosse Feuer; Opernhaus ZürichZürich, SwitzerlandBuy Tickets
JULY 18 2025Eurymaque, Pénélope; Bayerische StaatsoperMunich, GermanyBuy Tickets
JULY 21 2025Eurymaque, Pénélope; Bayerische StaatsoperMunich, GermanyBuy Tickets
JULY 23 2025Eurymaque, Pénélope; Bayerische StaatsoperMunich, GermanyBuy Tickets
JULY 26 2025Eurymaque, Pénélope; Bayerische StaatsoperMunich, GermanyBuy Tickets
JULY 29 2025Eurymaque, Pénélope; Bayerische StaatsoperMunich, GermanyBuy Tickets

Press

Leigh Melrose’s mesmerising performance in the title role. One felt, rather than merely observed, every twist and turn of the fatal screw, words, music, and gesture conceived and delivered in post-Wagnerian whole.

Seen and Heard International

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.

The Guardian

Leigh Melrose gave a sensational performance of the title role: tense, taut, harried and bullied by the random rattling interrogations of his superiors.

The Times

Melrose is one of the great character singers in their voice types

Opera Today

Leigh Melrose, who lives up to his reputation as a top interpreter for works of the 20th century.

Melrose’s Wozzeck remains unforgettable

Seen and Heard International

MWA