Isabel Leonard


The Grammy-winning American artist has portrayed Cinderella with great success in Munich, Washington, and Fort Worth (role debut). She is similarly celebrated as Rossini’s Rosina (Lyric, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna, San Francisco, Denver): “The vocal demands of these roles are somewhat similar, but I prefer Cinderella because there’s a lot more lyrical singing. She’s effortless to play because her music is more depictive of who she is. I love what she stands for; the character of Cinderella really perseveres through with hope. I think that’s a beautiful message to get across as a performer when playing her. Every day she’s dealing with this very difficult situation, yet it’s in her nature to be optimistic and keep going. I respect that.” Leonard is a favorite Met artist with portrayals including Dorabella, Cherubino, Zerlina, Stéphano/Romeo and Juliet (DVD), Miranda/The Tempest, and Blanche/ Dialogues des Carmélites. Immediately prior to returning to Lyric, she created Ada/Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at The Santa Fe Opera. Important European engagements include Così fan tutte (Salzburg, DVD), Giulio Cesare (Paris), Alcina, Don Giovanni, and La Périchole (all in Bordeaux), Le nozze di Figaro (Glyndebourne, Vienna), and a Ravel double bill (Saito Kinen Festival). Leonard has appeared with many of today’s foremost conductors – from Levine and Salonen to Conlon and Welser-Möst – and with the major orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Boston, and Vienna, among others. She is in great demand as a recitalist and is on the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall. A recent Grammy winner (The Tempest, Best Opera Recording), she holds the 2013 Richard Tucker Award and the Met’s 2011 Beverly Sills Award.

Previously at Lyric Opera: Angelina/Cinderella/ La Cenerentola (2015|16); Rosina/The Barber of Seville (2013|14).

Last updated: October 4, 2015
Photo: Deniz Saylan