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Leigh Melrose

Baritone

Leigh Melrose sings Stravinsky’s Renard with Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Philharmonie de Paris

09 September 2017

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Ensemble Intercontemporain

Leigh Melrose returns to the Philharmonie Paris on 23 September 2017 to join Ensemble Intercontemporain under the baton of Duncan Ward, singing The Ram in Stravinsky’s Renard. Renard is based upon the Russian folk tale, The Fable of the Vixen, the Cock, the Cat and the Ram, and the concert marks the beginning of the Ensemble's Paris season.


Melrose has built a formidable reputation for performance of new works and dramatic 20th century repertoire. Last season he premiered the role of Polixenes in Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale at English National Opera and debuted the role of Ruprecht The Fiery Angel at Opernhaus Zürich, a role in which the Financial Times described him as “the emergent specialist of 20th-century opera.”


Melrose opens the 2017/18 season with an anticipated debut as Golaud Pelléas et Mélisande in his return to Ruhrtriennale Festival, a role he reprises later in the season at Opera Vlaanderen and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. He also returns to Teatro Real with two appearances: Cecil Gloriana in a new production by Sir David McVicar and Stolzius in Calixto Bieito’s new production of Zimmermann Die Soldaten.

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Leigh Melrose debuts as Golaud in return to the Ruhrtriennale Festival

04 August 2017

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Ruhrtriennale Festival
Ruhrtriennale Festival

Leigh Melrose returns to the Ruhrtriennale Festival on 18 August 2017, making his debut as Golaud in Krzysztof Warlikowski's new production of Pelléas et Mélisande. Melrose is returning to the festival after his debut as Alberich in Das Rheingold, which was described as "outstanding" by Die Welt. He is joined for Pelléas et Mélisande by Phillip Addis and Barbara Hannigan in the title roles, while Sylvain Cambreling conducts.


Melrose returns to the role of Golaud twice in the forthcoming season: in a new production for Vlaamse Opera and Les Theatres de la Ville de Luxembourg, which features sets by prominent artist Marina Abramovic. He also returns to Teatro Real to star in their new productions of Britten Gloriana, staged by Sir David McVicar, and Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten directed by Calixto Bieito. Further ahead Melrose makes role debuts at Teatro alla Scala and Wiener Staatsoper as well as returning for new productions at Dutch National Opera and Opernhaus Zürich.


Pelléas et Mélisande opens on 18 August and runs until 3 September.

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Leigh Melrose debuts as Ruprecht in The Fiery Angel at Opernhaus Zürich

23 April 2017

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Opernhaus Zürich

Following his triumphant debut last season when he stepped in at the last minute to sing the title role of Wozzeck, Leigh Melrose returns to Opernhaus Zürich on 7 May to debut as Ruprecht in Calixto Bieito's new production of The Fiery Angel. The production, also starring Ausrine Stundyte, is conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.


Melrose's Wozzeck was received with stunning reviews both in Zürich and London:


“Stepping in for Gerhaher at 24 hours’ notice, Leigh Melrose gave a sensational performance of the title role: tense, taut, harried and bullied by the random rattling interrogations of his superiors. If you’re going to be an outsider, this is the role to be an outsider in.”
Times, October 2015


“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


This summer Melrose returns to the Ruhrtriennale Festival to sing his first Golaud in a new Pelléas et Mélisande, a role he also reprises for Vlaamse Opera and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Other engagements next season include a double role debut at Teatro Real: as Cecil in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Britten Gloriana and Stolzius in Zimmermann Die Soldaten, a new production by Calixto Bieito. Further ahead he makes his debuts with Teatro Alla Scala and Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

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Leigh Melrose, Anthony Gregory & Susan Bickley return to ENO for world premiere of The Winter's Tale

13 February 2017

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Susan Bickley
Anthony Gregory

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English National Opera

Leigh Melrose, Anthony Gregory and Susan Bickley return to English National Opera this month for the world premiere of Ryan Wigglesworth The Winter's Tale at the Coliseum on 27 February 2017. This new commission is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s tale of love, loss and reconciliation, directed by Olivier Award-winning actor Rory Kinnear.


Leigh Melrose joins the cast as Polixenes, adding to his reputation as a singer of contemporary repertoire. He is a regular guest at ENO, previously singing roles including Wozzeck, Ned Keene, Sonora and Escamillo. He follows The Winter's Tale with his debut as Ruprecht in Calixto Bieito's new production of Prokofiev The Fiery Angel at Opernhaus Zürich, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.


Former ENO Harewood Artist Anthony Gregory continues his relationship with ENO as Florizel. Last season ENO audiences heard him as Nanki-poo in Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of The Mikado. Later this season, Gregory returns to Glyndebourne Festival Opera to sing Vafrino in Cavalli Hipermestra.


Susan Bickley returns to ENO to sing the role of Paulina. Bickley has long been a favourite guest of the company, previously performing roles including Jocasta in the world premiere of Julian Anderson The Thebans.


The Winter's Tale runs from 27 February until 14 March.

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Baldur Brönnimann conducts South American premiere of Die Soldaten in Buenos Aires with Leigh Melrose

28 June 2016

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Baldur Brönnimann

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Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires

Baldur Brönnimann returns once again to Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires to conduct the Latin American premiere of Zimmermann Die Soldaten on 12 July 2016. Brönnimann is joined by Leigh Melrose, making his company and role debut as Stolzius. Further performances of Pablo Maritano's new production are on 15, 17, 19 and 20 July.


Brönnimann's previous collaborations with Teatro Colón include Helmut Lachenmann The Little Match Girl in 2014, narrated by the composer, and Ligeti Le Grand Macabre in 2011. Of the former, critics said:


“Direction was entrusted to the brilliant strategist Baldur Bronnimann… the cold, the wind, the snow, the light, the flame, the stars, the ascension; it was all filtered by the orchestra and the electronic sounds. With the upper balconies occupied by performers and speakers, the music surrounds the audience in an evolving arch; some kind of gigantic glissando graduated to perfection by Bronnimann.”
Clarin


“Director Baldur Bronnimann, leading a very committed Orquesta Estable, proved once more his ability to sort out the most arduous challenges; in this case, it wasn’t only about the technical difficulties of Lachenmann’s musical language for each instrument, but the incessant changes in meter resolved with precision by the director.”
La Nacion


Melrose is rounding off a hugely successful season which included his role debut as Alberich Das Rheingold at Ruhrtriennale Festival, the title role of Wozzeck at Zurich Opera House and at the Royal Festival Hall under the baton of Fabio Luisi, Friedrich in a new Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Real and the world premiere of Louis Andriessen Theatre of the World with Dutch National Opera and the LA Philharmonic.


Next season Melrose returns to Zurich to star as Ruprecht Fiery Angel in a new production by Carlos Bieito and a much anticipated debut as Golaud. Future engagements include returns to Zurich Opera House and Teatro Real as well as a much anticipated debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.


“Baritone Leigh Melrose is the undisputed star of this show.”
Theaterkrant, September 2015


"Leigh Melrose was outstanding as Alberich”
Die Welt, September 2015

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Leigh Melrose makes Radio Filharmonisch Orchestra debut in Et in terra pax 

10 December 2015

Leigh Melrose makes his Radio Filharmonisch Orchestra debut on Christmas Eve in concert at the TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht. Melrose performs Frank Martin’s Et in terra pax along with Agnieska Slawinski, Cécile van de Sant, Thomas Blondelle, and Norman Patzke. The concert also features the traditional European Christmas offering of Hänsel und Gretel and Schubert’s Symphony No.5.


Melrose recently made a successful debut with Zurich Opera stepping in for Christian Gerhaher in the title role of Wozzeck at both Zurich Opera House and Royal Festival Hall, London.


“In short, Melrose triumphed in a magnificently all-embracing portrayal in one of the most dramatic concert performances of an opera that I’ve experienced, with an equally vivid supporting cast pushing their victim towards the abyss.”
Classical Source, October 2015


Later this season, Melrose performs in 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 before making his house debut with Stolzius Die Soldaten at Teatro Colon.

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Leigh Melrose steps in to sing the title role of Wozzeck at Royal Festival Hall

01 October 2015

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Southbank Centre

Leigh Melrose steps in to sing the title role of Zurich Opera House's Wozzeck in a concert performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London, returning to a role in which he gave "the performance of a lifetime” (Guardian, May 2013) at English National Opera. Melrose also stepped in to cover the indisposed Christian Gerhaher in Andreas Homoki's new production on 29 September, which opened to glowing reviews earlier in the month. The performance at the Royal Festival Hall forms part of a series of collaborations between Zurich Opera and the Southbank Centre.


This last minute jump in follows on from his hugely successful role debut as Alberich Das Rheingold at the Ruhrtriennale festival, which closed at the weekend.


“Baritone Leigh Melrose is the undisputed star of this show.”
Theaterkrant


“Leigh Melrose was outstanding as Alberich”
Die Welt


“The greatest dramatic performance was provided by Alberich (Leigh Melrose), who sings in the water, goes to rubber dolls, jumps and turns, as if it were his life.”
MSN Österreich


Future highlights this season include the lead role in Theatre of the World, a world premiere by Louis Andriessen at Dutch National Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Et in Terra Pax with the NTR in Netherlands and his role debut as Stolzius in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

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"The undisputed star of the show": Leigh Melrose at the Ruhrtriennale Festival

22 September 2015

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Ruhrtriennale

Leigh Melrose has received widespread critical acclaim for his performances as Alberich in Das Rheingold at the Ruhrtriennale Festival:


“Baritone Leigh Melrose is the undisputed star of this show.”
Theaterkrant


“Leigh Melrose was outstanding as Alberich”
Die Welt 


“The greatest dramatic performance was provided by Alberich (Leigh Melrose), who sings in the water, goes to rubber dolls, jumps and turns, as if it were his life.”
MSN Österreich 


“This scene's liveliness stems from Leigh Melrose's physical presence, commitment and his especially bright and bouncy performance of Alberich.”
Concerti


This is the first time that Melrose, known for his interpretation of 20th Century and contemporary works, has made inroads into the Wagnerian repertoire. Melrose performs alongside Mika Kares as Wotan and Peter Bronder as Loge, conducted by Teodor Currentzis.


Future highlights for Melrose include the lead role in Theatre of the World, a world premiere by Louis Andriessen at Dutch National Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Et in Terra Pax with the NTR in Netherlands and his role debut as Stolzius in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

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Leigh Melrose makes debut as Alberich in Das Rheingold at Ruhr Triennale

29 August 2015

Leigh Melrose makes a major role debut when he sings Alberich in Das Rheingold at the Ruhrtriennale festival on 12 September 2015, in a new production directed by Johan Simons and conducted by Teodor Currentzis.


This will be the first time that Melrose, known for his interpretations of contemporary repertoire, has ventured into the Wagner repertoire.


“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


Future highlights for Melrose include the lead role in Theatre of the World, a world premiere by Louis Andriessen at Dutch National Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Et in Terra Pax with the NTR in Netherlands and his role debut as Stolzius in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

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Leigh Melrose makes his Philharmonie de Paris debut

19 May 2015

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Philharmonie de Paris

Leigh Melrose makes his Philharmonie de Paris debut on 2 June 2015 in concert with the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michel Tabachnik. The concert presents two works by German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Photoptosis and Requiem pour un jeune poète, which features Melrose as the baritone soloist. Melrose has gained a formidable reputation for the performance of new works, most recently with the premiere of Dai Fujikura’s opera Solaris, a co-production between Theatre de Champs Elysees, Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Lausanne:


“There is, happily, strong singing from the static, stoic cast, led by Sarah Tynan as Hari and Leigh Melrose as Kelvin, but what a waste of their acting skills.”
Financial Times, March 2015 


After this concert, Melrose will return to English National Opera to continue his performance as Escamillo in Calixto Bieito’s acclaimed production of Bizet’s Carmen.

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Leigh Melrose stars in Carmen at English National Opera

06 May 2015

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English National Opera

Leigh Melrose appears in Calixto Bieito’s acclaimed production of Bizet’s Carmen at English National Opera, which opens on 20 May 2015. Set during the dying days of Franco’s Spain, the production runs until 3 July and is conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong.


Leigh Melrose revives the role of the toreador Escamillo, a role he performed to critical acclaim in the 2012 season:


“As Escamillo, Leigh Melrose absolutely stole the show! His voice has a solid, syrupy core that he uses ruthlessly to communicate and pull heartstrings (his looks don't hurt either). His acting is natural and he plays the cocky bullfighter expertly”. (Musical Criticism, December 2012)


This will be Melrose’s second outing at the Coliseum this season following his successful run as Sonora in The Girl of the Golden West last September.

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Leigh Melrose & Sarah Tynan: Dai Fujikura’s Solaris world premiere in Paris

19 February 2015

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Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Leigh Melrose and Sarah Tynan sing in the world premiere of Dai Fujikura Solaris at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris on 5 March. Following the premiere, there will be one further performance in Paris on 7 March, followed by performances at Opera de Lille in late March, and Opera de Lausanne in April.


This world premiere piece is a collaboration between composer Dai Fujikura and librettist Saburo Teshigawara, who has also designed and choreographed the production. The opera in four acts will also feature Tom Randle, Callum Thorpe, and Marcus Farnsworth, and will be conducted by Erik Nielsen.

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Leigh Melrose performs as The Traveller in Death in Venice at Teatro Real Madrid

20 November 2014

Leigh Melrose performs at Teatro Real Madrid on 4 December in the role of The Traveller in Death in Venice. Melrose has a carved a formidable reputation from his interpretation of Britten repertoire and has become a firm favourite at houses across Europe for his performances.


“Leigh Melrose as Junius [in The Rape of Lucretia] brilliantly brings out the weakness of character, vulnerability and petulance that lead him to be a key player in the drama.”
William Hedley, International Record Review, February 2014


Alejo Pérez conducts the production of Death in Venice in Madrid with John Daszak as von Aschenbach, Anthony Roth Costanzo as Apollo, and Duncan Rock as Waiter. Subsequent performances are on 7, 11, 14, 17, 19 and 23 December.


Later the season Melrose will perform alongside Sarah Tynan in Dai Fujikura’s opera Solaris, a new co-production between Theatre de Champs Elysees, Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Lausanne. He also returns to English National Opera in the role of Escamillo in a revival of Carmen. On the concert platform he will perform the UK premier of Wolfgang Rihm Tutuguri with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He will also make his debut with Philharmonie de Paris with Requiem fuer einem Jungen Dicther, under the musical direction of Matthias Pintscher.

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Leigh Melrose in new production of The Girl of the Golden West at ENO

18 September 2014

Leigh Melrose returns to English National Opera to sing the role of Sonora in a new production of The Girl of the Golden West on 2 October.


The production is directed by Richard Jones, and marks the first time the opera has been performed at the Coliseum in over 50 years. Melrose performs alongside Susan Bullock, Craig Colclough and Peter Auty, and are conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson.


The Girl of the Golden West opens on 2 October and runs until 1 November

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Leigh Melrose gives UK premiere of Francesconi’s Quartett at Royal Opera House

04 June 2014

Leigh Melrose returns to the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 18 June as Vicomte de Velmont in the UK premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett.


Based on Heiner Müller’s 1980 play influenced by Laclos' novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, Quartett explores themes of love, seduction and deception and was premiered at La Scala, Milan, in 2011. Francesconi’s notoriously difficult melismatic vocal language is steeped in Bergian lyricism and fused with electronic sound design by Serge Lemouton and Julien Aléonard.


This new production by John Fulljames is conducted by Andrew Gourlay with designs by Soutra Gilmour, a regular designer for the National Theatre, Old Vic and Donmar Warehouse, among others. Melrose performs alongside the London Sinfonietta and Kirstin Chavez in the role of Marquise de Merteuil.


Quartett opens on 18 June with further performances for Melrose on 19, 20, 24, 26 and 28 June

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Martyn Brabbins leads BBC Symphony Orchestra in Gawain with Leigh Melrose in title role

02 May 2014

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Martyn Brabbins

Martyn Brabbins returns to the Barbican to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert performance of Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain on 16 May as part of the composer’s 80th birthday celebration. Leigh Melrose sings the title role in Birtwistle’s groundbreaking opera, and performs opposite Sir John Tomlinson as The Green Knight.


A seasoned conductor of Birtwistle, Brabbins's recording of the composer's The Mask of Orpheus with the BBCSO was the winner of a Gramophone Award. Brabbins is currently mid-way through a series of performances of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle at Vlaamse Opera, which opened on 11 April and runs until 10 May.


Melrose’s performance further contributes to his reputation as a formidable performer of contemporary music, Melrose ends the season as Vicomte de Valmont in Luca Francesconi’s Quartett at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House. He then performs Matthias Pintscher’s Songs from Solomon’s Garden at this year’s Lucerne Festival, a work which he debuted in 2013 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

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Leigh Melrose performs Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Bodø Sinfonietta

06 March 2014

Leigh Melrose sings Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Bodø Sinfonietta, Norway, on 20 March, conducted by Peter Szilvay. The monodrama, written by Intermusica composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and with a text by Randolph Stow, depicts the history of King George III and employs unusual extended vocal techniques. Melrose recently performed the work with the London Sinfonietta and conductor Baldur Brönnimann at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, for which he received critical acclaim:


“He despatched the extended technique brilliantly. He screeched. He squealed. He howled. He rasped. And he made sure that no one sound was ever alone. This is not a simple madman, and his is not a simple voice. There was screechy howling, squeally screeching and howly whispering. There was much detail in the pungency. And there was emotion too.”
The Arts Desk


Melrose comes fresh from singing Ned Keene in a revival of David Alden’s celebrated production of Peter Grimes at English National Opera. Future highlights include the UK Premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Birtwistle’s Gawain with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre.

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Intermusica singers lead cast of David Alden's Peter Grimes at English National Opera

Following its five-star sell-out success in 2009 and at the BBC Proms in 2012, David Alden’s acclaimed production of Britten’s Peter Grimes returns to English National Opera on 29 January 2014. Conducted by Edward Gardner, Peter Grimes boasts much of its original cast including seven Intermusica singers, many of whom are seasoned interpreters of their respective roles. The staging will also be the first ENO production to be screened cinemas worldwide, beginning with a live stream on 23 February.


Iain Paterson’s debut as Captain Balstrode at the BBC Proms in 2012 was described as “sensationally sung” (Guardian) and he returns to this same role, and production, at the Coliseum this January. Captain Balstrode is a role Paterson has also sung to great success at the Wiener Staatsoper, where he made his house debut earlier this season under the baton of Graeme Jenkins. Later this season, Paterson returns to the role of Wotan in his first staged production of Wagner’s Die Walküre for Houston Grand Opera, following on from his highly acclaimed first Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Proms 2013 under Daniel Barenboim.


Rebecca De Pont Davies once again sings the role of Auntie in Alden’s production, a role she has previously sung at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Ovideo and Vlaamse Opera to great critical acclaim, with the Daily Telegraph’s Rupert Christianson commenting that she “almost steals the show with her electrifyingly sinister Auntie". De Pont Davies will go on to sing this role again for Grange Park Opera later this season, while also returning to the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, for Jack’s Mother in Sondheim’s Into the Woods.


Dame Felicity Palmer returns to one of her signatures roles as Mrs Sedley, and one she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, with Donald Runnicles and most recently at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, under the baton of Antonio Pappano. She was also part of the cast at ENO in 2009 and at the BBC Proms 2012, where her performance was described by the Guardian as, “the most terrifying Mrs Sedley imaginable.”


Matthew Best sings the role of Swallow, a role he has sung to in recent years at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opera Oviedo, ENO, at the BBC Proms and at Santa Cecilia. This revival at ENO follows his house debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlos.


Michael Colvin sings the role Bob Boles, of which he another regular performer, including most recently for the critically acclaimed concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Colvin continues the 2013/14 season as Joaquino Fidelio with Le Cercle de l’Harmonie under Intermusica conductor Jérémie Rhorer.


Leigh Melrose returns to the role of apothecary Ned Keene, his interpretation of which was described as “fittingly dark and sinister” by Opera Today following his performance at the BBC Proms 2012. An authority on the performance of twentieth-century vocal repertoire, as well as several acclaimed performances of contemporary repertoire this season Melrose also sang the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in November 2013 as part of the Britten centenary celebrations.


Current ENO Harewood artist Mary Bevan sings the role of Second Niece. This follows her ENO performances of Papagena The Magic Flute in November, and as Despina Così fan tutte opening in May.


Stuart Skelton takes the title role of Peter Grimes while Elza van den Heever sings the role of Ellen Orford. After opening on 29 January, further performances take place on 1, 6, 8, 14, 21 23 and 27 February.

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Intermusica represents Leigh Melrose worldwide

Maria Mot
Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9904
mmot@intermusica.co.uk

Lottie Gulliver
Assistant to Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9937
lgulliver@intermusica.co.uk

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