Leigh Melrose, “the emergent specialist of 20th-century opera" 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 performances have earned wide critical and public acclaim.
"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.
" Leigh Melrose gave a sensational performance of the title role: tense, taut, harried and bullied by the random rattling interrogations of his superiors. ”
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 on both the concert and opera platform, his performances as Wozzeck (Opernhaus Zürich and English National Opera); Enescu’s Oedipe (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. 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 envisioned 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. On the concert platform, Melrose 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; 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 Stolzius for semi-staged performances of Zimmerman’s Die Soldatenwith Oper Köln at the Philarmonie Paris and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg conducted by François-Xavier Roth.
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 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 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; the title role in 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 Moonfor Channel 4; Punch in Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy in Porto; Xenakis’ Aiswith 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, and with 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 Belshazzar’s Feast, Berlioz Symphony No.3; Britten Canticles; Noye's Fludde with BBC Scottish Symphony; Carmina Burana and Beethoven Symphony No.9. At the BBC Proms he has performed Britten Cantata Misericodium with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, De Falla’s La vida breve and Sir Richard Cholmondeley in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Yeomen of the Guard.
Season 2023/24. Not to be published or altered without consent. For the latest biography or photo materials please contact us.