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 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 Golaud Pelleas et Melisande; Wozzeck and Ruprecht The Fiery Angel at Opernhaus Zürich; Alberich Das Rheingold with Teodor Currentzis; Clov in the acclaimed world premiere of György Kurtág's Fin de Partie at Teatro alla Scala and Dutch National Opera; Die Soldaten and Death in Venice at Teatro Real have earned wide critical and public acclaim.
In the 2022/23 season, Melrose continues to expand his repertoire with a series of anticipated debuts: Prospero in Thomas Adès’ The Tempest at Teatro alla Scala; Richard Nixon in a new production of Nixon in China by John Fulljames at Teatro Real; Siskov in Krzysztof Warlikowski’s new production of Janáček From the House of the Dead at the Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the world premiere of Héctor Parra’s Orgia at the Teatro Arriaga Antzokia. British audiences can see him at English National Opera as Alberich Das Rheingold in a new production by Richard Jones.
Last season Melrose made a triumphant debut in the title role of Enescu’s Œdipe in a new production at the Komische Oper Berlin and made his Opéra national de Paris debut in the French premiere of Kurtag’s Fin de Partie. Other roles included Alberich Das Rheingold in a new production at Staatsoper Stuttgart; Ruprecht in Calixto Bieito’s prodcution of Prokofiev The Fiery Angel at Teatro Real and Stolzius for semi-staged performances of Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten with Elbphilharmonie Hamburg conducted by François-Xavier Roth.
Recent debuts include the anticipated world premiere of György Kurtág’s Fin de Partie for Teatro alla Scala, later presented in Amsterdam by Dutch National Opera; Smith Smee Der Schmied von Gent at Opera Vlaanderen in a hugely acclaimed new production; the world premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando at Wiener Staatsoper; Nekrotzar in a new production of Le Grand Macabre in Zurich; Ruprecht The Fiery Angel in new productions with Zurich and Rome; the title role in the world premiere of Whiteley at Opera Australia; Die Soldaten and Lord Cecil Gloriana in new productions at Teatro Real; Golaud Pelleas et Melisande in his company debut with Grand Théâtre de Genève and in new productions at the Ruhrtriennale Festival and Vlaamse Opera; Kajin Die Ersten Menschen at the Dutch National Opera; Clov Fin De Partie for its Spanish premiere in Valencia at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía; and Alberich Das Rheingoldwith Teodor Currentzis at the Ruhrtriennale. An acclaimed exponent of the role of Wozzeck, his appearances include Zürich Opera, English National Opera, Royal Festival Hall and Salzburg Landerstheater. Further roles include Friedrich Das Liebesverbot and the Traveller Death in Venice, both at Teatro Real; Papageno Die Zauberflöte in Seattle; Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream at La Monnaie; Ned Keene Peter Grimes for Opera Vlaanderen and Opera Oviedo. Closely associated with English National Opera, his roles 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, the world premiere of Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale, 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 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, 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 Candlebirdalso with the London Sinfonietta under Nicholas Collon.
His numerous concert appearances include Walton Belshazzar’s Feast, Berlioz Symphony No.3; Britten Canticles; Noah'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 2022/23. Not to be published or altered without consent. For the latest biography or photo materials please contact us.