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Anna Leese - Soprano

New Zealand Soprano Anna Leese completed a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours at the University of Otago. Anna was recipient of an impressive number of Australasian awards and prizes, and has won the 2004 Royal Overseas League Vocal competition (and was named best overseas competitor in the same competition) and the 2005 Richard Tauber Prize as well as the Maggie Teyte and Sybill Tutton awards. In 2011 Anna represented New Zealand in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

In 2006 Anna graduated from London's RCM Benjamin Britten International Opera School, where her performances had included Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) and Mahler’s 2nd symphony with Bernard Haitink. Upon graduating she became an Associate Artist of the Classical Opera Company, for whom Anna sang Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Tamiri (Il Re Pastore) and Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte).

Anna made her Covent Garden debut as Tamiri (Il re pastore), returning for Musetta (La bohème), Micaela (Carmen), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Echo (Ariadne), and her North American debut with the Canadian Opera Company as Musetta. Other roles have included Antonia (Les contes d’Hoffmann) for Opera Köln; Tatyana(Eugene Onegin) for Flanders Opera; Biancofiore (Francesca di Rimini), Suzel (L’amico Fritz) and Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) for Opera Holland Park. In her native New Zealand she has performed Ilia (Idomeneo), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Majenka (The Bartered Bride) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni).

Anna made her debut at the 2006 BBC Proms in an all-Mozart programme with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington, and has appeared in a number of opera gala concerts with Jose Carreras. Further concert engagements have included Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Madrid with Carlo Rizzi, Elijah with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony with the Malaysian Philharmonic, Mahler’s 2nd Symphonyand Messiah with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the roles of Anna (Nabucco) and Freia (Das Rheingold)in concerts with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Eckehard Stier, as well as recitals with the Prince Consort at the Wigmore Hall.

Anna has recorded Elgar’s The Apostles in Canterbury Cathedral with the Canterbury Choral Society, a debut recital disc for EMI with Graham Johnson, a Haydn disc on the Michael Storrs Music label, and ‘Italian Love Songs’ under the Champs Hill label.

Anna is currently based in Tuscany, and studies with Vincenzo Manno in Milano and Elisabetta Sepe in Firenze. 2014 engagements include Musetta in La bohème at the Royal Albert Hall, a Wigmore Hall recital, Brahms' Requiem with St Thomas's Choral Society, London and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for New Zealand Opera.


Anna_Leese_Rose is now available in selected nurseries throughout New Zealand.
Anna Leese (WEKscemala), bred by Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses, California, USA.
Blooms of an eye-catching combination of orange red suffused with apricot yellow are a feature of this rose, set off against mahogany red new growth.
Bred from Scentimental x Amalia.

What Anna Leese is doing now, find out via: twitter_dark


  • On performing in La Boheme with the Canadian Opera Company -
    "Vocally vivid, [Anna Leese as Musetta]... turned Act II into a mad scene, and stopped the show with her famous aria Quando m'en vo. I found myself wishing Puccini had given her more to do."
    - The Globe and Mail; 20th of April, 2009

  • Elijah/ Cardiff 1st of March, 2009
    "...the sheer vocal presence of Anna Leese's fine soprano provided an element of theatricality that might have surprised even Mendelssohn."
    - The Guardian; 5th of March, 2009

  • " particular, demonstrated a regal command of character and idiom in a voice bursting with dramatic potential. The big operatic roles can only be just around the corner."
    - Nigel Jarrett, South Wales Argus; 2nd of March, 2009

  • "The loveliness of her presence and of her art is indeed beyond compare. She shines like a flawless jewel, polished and ready to be placed in whatever crown the fates have prepared for her"
    - The Tribune; 11th of March, 2007

  • "I have rarely seen a substitute seize her chance more exuberantly. With her diamond-clear voice and natural comic timing she seemed born to play this part. Leese is one potential star in the making."
    - The Times; 25th of October, 2006

  • "Hers is a big, bright, gleaming soprano with richly coloured lower notes, and she uses it with taste and confidence beyond her years: one might think it rather cruel of a director to place a student singer atop a grand piano for the Czardas, but she carried it off with aplomb."
    - Seen and Heard; November, 2005

From Eugene Onegin

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