The Concert Venues
|CARNEGIE HALL / AVERY FISHER HALLMETROPOLITAN OPERA NY CITY OPERA|
Leech is as at home on the concert stage as he is on opera sets. Indeed
his orchestral and recital repertoire goes beyond the staples of opera,
although concertgoers do get a chance to feast on the secure high C's
of his opera arias. He has sung the tenor solos in works for orchestra
and voice by composers as diverse as Bach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Handel,
Mahler, Mozart, Rossini, and Verdi. He welcomes these occasions as they
give him the "luxury of dedicating all your energies to the music."
He is not above singing popular songs either (although understandably not the rock variety!). And he actually enjoys it , convinced that doing so helps bridge the schism between classical and popular music especially in the minds of the young. Even here he never forgets that "Communication is the essence of song."
In New York, his concert venues have been Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. He made his Carnegie Hall debut early in his career - in the concert version of Donizetti's Dom Sébastien which he sang with Opera Orchestra of New York in 1984. At Avery Fisher Hall he has sung in concert with conductor Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic. In February 1999, he sang Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde for the first time with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore, his Giulietta last season in the MET's Les contes d'Hoffmann.
But most of his appearances in Avery Fisher Hall have been as a guest artist at the annual Richard Tucker Music Foundation Galas. His association with this Foundation dates back to 1984 when he received a Career Grant; in 1988 he won the much coveted Richard Tucker Award. On November 8, 1998 Richard Leech made his fifth appearance at a Tucker Gala, where he was joined by other past Tucker awardees - Dwayne Croft, Patricia Racette, Ruth Ann Swenson, and Dolora Zajick - and Maria Guleghina, Bryn Terfel and Juan Pons, among others. The Gala, hosted by Luciano Pavarotti, with Leonard Slatkin on the podium, was broadcast on radio and telecast on PBS.
RICHARD LEECH PAGES:
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