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"...a wonderful, slow but continuous upward climb" Richard Leech once said of his career. This certain and well-paced ascent to the apex continues as the tenor expands his universe of song. How? For one, by performing in new venues and sharing his joy of song with an increasingly global audience.
He recently went on a successful tour of Japan singing Pinkerton in a series of concert Madama Butterfly s conducted by Maestro Seiji Ozawa.
And in 1996, in his first Eastern European appearance, he was a guest artist at the Prague Autumn International Music Festival where he sang the title role in a concert version of Berlioz' La Damnation de Faust.
In 1999, his European audience broadens as he makes his debut with the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam - as Massenet's Werther , a role he only performed previously in San Diego. Maestro Edo de Waart conducts all ten performances that begin August 30.
By adding new roles to his repertoire, for another. And doing so quite prudently - about one year at a time. Never one to rush headlong into a new role, he waits until the time is right, until the role vocally becomes his friend. Thus this lyric tenor waited to take on the heavier dramatic roles that he sings with some regularity today - Riccardo in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera and Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca, and waited until 1997 to sing his first Don José.

And yes, by being as at home in concerts, recitals and festivals as in opera, as ardent a singer of popular songs as of arias.
It is his way of making himself and his kind of music accessible to all... as he did recently in Chicago - at the Grant Park Festival where he paid tribute to his boyhood inspiration, Mario Lanza. (Photo: courtesy KKN Enterprises)

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THE RICHARD LEECH PAGES:
HOME THE ARTIST & HIS CAREER HIS RECORDINGS 1998-99 SEASON
AS DON JOSE AS ROMEO AT GRANT PARK FESTIVAL A FAN'S THOUGHTS

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