Polly Leech - Mezzo-Soprano

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Polly Leech is a British mezzo-soprano from Wiltshire.  She has just completed a year as a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio in London, having graduated the previous year from the Royal College of Music with a postgraduate Masters in Vocal Performance (Distinction) under vocal professor Amanda Roocroft and vocal coach Christopher Glynn.  She was the Theo Max van der Beugel Scholar and was also supported by the Josephine Baker Trust.  Polly is also a Britten-Pears Young Artist.  Prior to her musical studies, she graduated from Durham University with a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Her recent engagements include Mrs Noye Noye’s Fludde for the Lichfield Festival, Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel (Pop-Up Opera), Fekluša Kat’à Kabanovà (Opera Holland Park), Pitti-Sing The Mikado (Charles Court Opera), Third Lady/Third Boy The Magic Flute (Charles Court Opera), Olga Eugene Onegin (Whitgift School), Queen/Second Village Woman/Mother Raven Snow (new commission by Murphy/Treacher/Lloyd for The Opera Story), Irene Theodora (RCM Oratorio Society), Tisbe Cinderella (HighTime), Countess of Desmond/Lady Lewson/Miss FitzHenry/Mrs Birch/Lady Jersey/Mrs Worrall/Second Nun English Eccentrics by Malcolm Williamson (British Youth Opera), Wife 76 Days by Kenichi Sekiguchi and Angel BEL and the DRAGON by Alex Paxton (RCM/Tête à Tête), Florence Pike Albert Herring (RCM International Opera School), Dritter Knabe Die Zauberflöte (RCMIOS), and Mrs Herring Albert Herring (Samling Academy Opera).  For the performance of the seven roles she played in Malcolm Williamson’s English Eccentrics, Polly was awarded the Basil A Turner Prize and the Dame Hilda Brackett Award from Sadler’s Wells.  Whilst at the National Opera Studio, she sang a wide variety of repertoire in scenes at the major UK companies.

Polly’s solo oratorio performances include the Bach Magnificat and St Matthew Passion, Elijah, Messe de minuit pour Noel (Charpentier), Mass in D (Dvorak), Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, Beethhoven Mass in C, the Verdi Requiem, Haydn Nelson Mass and the Vivaldi Gloria.  

In recital, Polly has performed Berlioz’ Les nuits d’été, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben, Britten’s Cabaret Songs and A Charm of Lullabies, and Joseph Horovitz’s Lady Macbeth: A Scena.  Venues performed at include St Martin’s-in-the-Field, Durham Cathedral, York Minster, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, The Sage Gateshead and The Britten Studio at Snape Maltings.

Polly has participated in masterclasses with Christoph Prégardien, Julius Drake, Richard Stokes, Simon Keenlyside, Patricia Bardon, Patricia McMahon, Caroline Dowdle and Paul Farrington.  She returned to Aldeburgh as a Britten-Pears Young Artist in March 2018 to study the role of Irene in Handel’s Theodora with Sarah Connolly and Christian Curnyn.

For the 2018/19 season, Polly joined the Dutch National Opera Studio.  She made her debut with the company  in autumn 2018 as Pastuchyna in Jenufa directed by Katie Mitchell followed by Abra in Juditha Triumphans, conducted by Andrea Marcon .  The second half of the season saw her make her debut at the Opéra National de Montpellier as Hippolyta in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream before returning to Dutch National Opera to sing Fidalma in Il Matrimonio Segreto. This summer also saw her debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a performance of Elgar’s Sea Pictures, recorded for Radio 3, at the Lichfield Festival.

Reviews of Polly Leech to follow.