American bass David Leigh, a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, has been described by Opera News as “a bass of unusual agility, depth and darkness,” and is already internationally known for his visceral and intelligent singing.
This season, Mr. Leigh will sing the role of Vitali Savitsky in Jacaranda: Arkhipov, the world premiere of a chamber opera by Peter Knell in Los Angeles. He will also sing Colline La Bohème at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Fafner in Siegfried with Opernhaus Zürich and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at the Metropolitan Opera.
Last season, he sang the roles of Snow Queen/Reindeer/Clock in the French premiere of Hans Abrahamsen’s The Snow Queen with Opéra national du Rhin. He performed Sarastro with Opéra national de Lorraine, a role he later reprised with the Canadian Opera Company. He stepped in at the last minute as Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Opernhaus Zurich. Additionally, he returned to Santa Fe Opera as König Marke in Tristan und Isolde, while in concert, he sang Mozart’s Requiem with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Fabio Luisi.
Among cancellations due to Covid-19, Mr. Leigh was to sing Filippo in Don Carlo with Dallas Opera, Gurnemanz in Parsifal with the Canadian Opera Company, Colline with the Bolshoi Theater, Sarastro with Israeli Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Varlaam in Boris Godunov with Washington National Opera and Timur in Turandot with Austin Opera. In concert, he was to sing the Theater Manager in Lulu with the Cleveland Orchestra and Timur with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Recent career highlights include Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin with Seattle Opera, Zuniga in Carmen with the San Francisco Opera, King Hjarne in Poul Ruder’s The Thirteenth Child with the Santa Fe Opera, Colline at the Bolshoi Theatre, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Kentucky Opera, and joined Dallas Opera in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Fafner in Wagner’s Siegfried with Cincinnati’s Queen City Opera, and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania.
He sang in the leading role of Turbo in the world-premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian with the Canadian Opera Company, and performed the role of the Surintendant des Plaisirs in Laurent Pelly’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon under the baton of Bertrand de Billy at the Metropolitan. He was presented in a joint recital at the Park Avenue Armory with mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo. He has sung the role of the Commendatore with Michigan Opera Theatre, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opéra National de Lorraine, Florentine Opera, the Festival d’Opéra Baroque de Beaune and Le Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg.
Mr. Leigh comes from a family of artists: his father was a Tony Award-winning composer, his mother is a painter, and his sister is a multiple award-winning playwright. He studied music composition at Yale University and holds master’s degrees in Voice and Opera respectively from Mannes College and the Yale School of Music, from which he received the Harriet Gibbs Fox Prize. He has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the McCammon Competition at Fort Worth Opera, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a 2017 top prize from the Wagner Society of New York.