music

Richard Leech

Instructor, Voice

For nearly 35 years American tenor Richard Leech has sung many well-known roles in Italian and French repertoire on both discs and on the stages of opera houses and symphonies.

Following his 1987 European debut with Deutsche Oper Berlin as Raoul in Les Huguenots, Leech soon appeared with many major opera houses including the Met, Vienna, La Scala, Paris, Covent Garden, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, and San Diego, as well as the Vienna, Prague, New York, and LA Philharmonic orchestras, the National and Montréal symphonies, and many others. Since his 1989 Met debut as Rodolfo La Bohème, he has sung nearly 200 Met performances in more than a dozen leading roles.

Most well-known for his interpretation of such iconic roles as Don José, Cavaradossi, Rodolfo, Edgardo, Pinkerton, Hoffmann, Riccardo, Faust, and Roméo, his repertoire also includes many works by German, Russian, Czech, and 20th-century composers. His concert, An Evening with Richard Leech in Tribute to Mario Lanza, was the sell-out season opener for the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and it opened Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival to an audience of more than 12,000.

Included in the list of artists with whom he has collaborated are: James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Placido Domingo, Franco Zeffirelli, Robert Wilson, Hal Prince, Ken Russell, Mirella Freni, Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills, Pilar Lorengar, Jesse Norman, Kiri Tekanawa, Reneé Fleming, Luciano Pavarotti, Alfredo Kraus, Bryn Terfel, Sherrill Milnes, and Thomas Hampson.

He was the winner of the 1988 prestigious Richard Tucker Award and in 2000, the Voice Foundation’s Voice Education Research and Awareness (VERA) Award. Leech often presents master classes, including those for USC, UCSD, and the Martina Arroyo Foundation, for whom he also serves as an advisory board member.

Leech joined the Rutgers faculty in 2013, and was named director of resident artist programs for Michigan Opera Theatre in 2015, where he created and runs the company’s new young artist program, the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio.

He attended Eastman School of Music and Binghamton University, and credits his success to the long-term mentorship of Carmen Savoca and Peyton Hibbitt at Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY.

Leech is featured on more than 20 recordings in many of the works including: La Bohème, Rigoletto, Ballo, and Faust. His solo release From the Heart can be found on the Telarc label.