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Leigh Melrose


  • Leigh Melrose has carved out a formidable reputation for the performance of new works. A wonderfully dynamic artist on both the concert and opera platform, Melrose is also in demand for core repertoire by composers such as Brahms, Britten, Mozart, Berg and Mahler.

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  • A graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge, and the Royal Academy of Music, Melrose’s opera engagements have taken him all over the world. He has sung the title role of Wozzeck in a new production at English National Opera and Salzburg Landestheater; Papageno Die Zauberflöte for Seattle Opera, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream for La Monnaie; Escamillo Carmen in the UK premiere of Calixo Bieito’s production at ENO and at the Royal Albert Hall and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo; Figaro Il Barbiere di Siviglia for New York City Opera; Silvio I Pagliacci for Welsh National Opera; Britten’s Death in Venice at the Liceu, Barcelona; Papageno and Marcello La bohème for Opera Zuid; Sid Albert Herring for the Salzburger Landestheater, Opéra Comique and Opéra de Rouen; Ned Keene Peter Grimes for Vlaamse Opera and Opera Oviedo; the title role in Eugene Onegin, Longborough Festival Opera; and Tadeusz The Passenger, Ned Keene, Papageno, Bormenthal A Dog’s Heart, Count Marriage of Figaro, Rodolfo in Leoncavallo’s La bohème and Junius The Rape of Lucretia all for English National Opera.

    Leigh Melrose has given many world premieres including Cholawicki in Johannes Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen at Theater an der Wien, Elliot Carter’s On Conversing with Paradise at the Aldeburgh Festival under Oliver Knussen, the UK premiere of Luca Francesconi's Quartett at Royal Opera House, and Evan in James MacMillan’s new opera The Sacrifice at Welsh National Opera, all to critical acclaim. On Conversing with Paradise was recorded and released on the Bridge label, and subsequently nominated for a Gramophone Award for ‘Best Contemporary Album’.

    Other performances of contemporary repertoire 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 Scottish 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.

    Melrose has also performed Walton Belshazzar’s Feast, Berlioz Symphony No.3 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Britten Canticles at the Liceu Barcelona and with Roger Vignoles at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Wigmore Hall in London; Noah's Fludde with BBC Scottish Symphony; Requiem fuer einen jungen Dichter with HR Sinfonie at Frankfurt Alte Oper; Carmina Burana at the Royal Festival Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Usher Hall and with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland; Beethoven Symphony No.9 under Sir Neville Marriner with the Orquesta de Cadaqués, and concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vassily Petrenko, the Hebrides Ensemble, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen in London and Paris, the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis, the Northern Sinfonia and Thierry Fischer, and the City of London Sinfonia with Richard Hickox. 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.

    Last season he premiered Dai Fujikura’s Solaris, a co-production between Theatre de Champs Elysees, Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Lausanne and made his Teatro Real debut as the Traveller in a new Willy Decker production of Death in Venice. At English National Opera he was heard as Sonora and Escamillo. On the concert platform he made his debut at Lucerne Festival with Songs from Solomon’s Garden under the musical direction of Matthias Pintscher and Zimmermann’s Requiem für einen jungen dichter conducted by Michel Tabachnik at the Philharmonie de Paris.

    In 15/16 he sings his first Alberich Das Rheingold at the Ruhrtriennale Festival under the musical direction of Teodor Currentzis and makes his house debut with Zurich Opera Wozzeck under Fabio Luisi, both in Zurich and in London at the Royal Festival Hall. Further notable debuts are Et in Terra et Pax with Stichting Omroep Muziek, the world premiere of Louis Andriessen’s Theatre of the World with the LA Philharmonic, which is also presented in a staged production at the Dutch National Opera and Stolzius Die Soldaten at Teatro Colon.

    2015-2016 season / 823 words. Not to be altered without permission


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Season highlights

Alberich Das Rheingold
Ruhr Triennale 

Title Role Wozzeck
Opernhaus Zurich 

Theatre of the World by Louis Andriessen (world premiere)
Dutch National Opera & LA Philharmonic

Stolzius Die Soldaten 
Teatro Colon

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

The Wound Dresser


Symphony No.3 ‘Romeo et Juliette’


War Requiem

On Conversing with Paradise

American Songs I & II with orchestra



Four Serious Songs

Alexander’s Feast

Masses and The Seasons

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Rückert Lieder

Eight Songs for a Mad King


Requiem and Masses

Songs and Dances of Death

Carmina Burana

Primosch, James
Songs for Adam

Schoeck, Othmar
Lebendig Begraben, Op.40

Vaughan Williams
Sea Symphony
Songs of Travel
Five Mystical Songs

La Déesse Athéna

Opera repertoire

Rambo The Death of Klinghoffer
Jack Hubbard Dr Atomic

Title role Wozzeck

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

Punch Punch & Judy

Escamillo Carmen
Morales Carmen
Zuniga Pearl Fishers

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

Title role Pelleas et Melisande*

Belcore L’elisir d’amore
Malatesta Don Pasquale

Mike Collins Man on the Moon
Steward Flight

Valentin Faust

Fritz Die tote Stadt

Rodolfo La Boheme
Silvio Pagliacci

Evan The Sacrifice

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

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

Marcello La Boheme
Schaunard La Boheme
Frank Edgar

Figaro Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Title role Eugene Onegin
Yletski Queen of Spades

*in preparation

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, May 2013

The baritone Leigh Melrose [was] superb at the head of an internationally distinguished cast.

Sunday Times, May 2013

Intermusica represents Leigh Melrose worldwide

Maria Mot
Senior Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9904

Evangeline Parker
Administrator, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9937

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists


HK Gruber

Special projects

Charles Hazlewood


Tim Mead

Stage director

David Alden

Andreas Homoki

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles