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Leigh Melrose, “the emergent specialist of 20th-century opera” (The Financial Times), has carved out a formidable reputation for the performance of new works and dramatic 20th century repertoire. A wonderfully dynamic artist on both the concert and opera platform, his recent performances as Wozzeck with Zürich Opera and Fabio Luisi, Alberich Das Rheingold at Ruhrtriennale with Teodor Currentzis; Friedrich Das Liebesverbot and the Traveller Death in Venice, both at Teatro Real and Ruprecht Fiery Angel at Opern Zürich with Gianandrea Noseda have earned him wide critical and public acclaim.


In the 2017/8 season, Melrose makes an anticipated debut as Golaud Pelléas et Mélisande in his return to Ruhrtriennale Festival, Vlaamse Opera and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. He also returns to Teatro Real with two appearances: Cecil Gloriana in a new production by Sir David McVicar and Stolzius in Zimmermann Die Soldaten, a new production by Calixto Bieito.


Last season, Melrose made his role debut as Ruprecht in a new production of Fiery Angel in Zürich under the direction of Gianandrea Noseda and Calixto Bieto as well as premiering The Winter’s Tale at English National Opera by their composer-in-residence Ryan Wigglesworth.


His many other operatic engagements include Papageno for Seattle Opera, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream for La Monnaie, Stolzius Die Soldaten for Teatro Colon and Ned Keene Peter Grimes for Vlaamse Opera. Closely associated with English National Opera his roles there have included Wozzeck, Escamillo, Sonora, Ned Keene, Tadeusz The Passenger, Papageno, Bormenthal A Dog’s Heart, Count The Marriage of Figaro, Rodolfo in Leoncavallo’s La bohème and Junius The Rape of Lucretia.


One of the most sought-after interpreters of contemporary music, Leigh Melrose has given many world premieres including Dai Fujikura’s Solaris, a co-production between Theatre de Champs Elysees, Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Lausanne; Johannes Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen at Theater an der Wien; Elliot Carter’s On Conversing with Paradise at the Aldeburgh Festival under Oliver Knussen (also nominated for a Gramophone Award for ‘Best Contemporary Album); Luca Francesconi's Quartett at Royal Opera House and Evan in James MacMillan’s The Sacrifice at Welsh National Opera. Other performances include his debut at the prestigious Maggio Musicale festival in Florence singing Rihm’s Der maler träumt; title role of Birtwistle's Gawain with BBC Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Pintscher’s Solomon’s Garden with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris conducted by the composer; Rambo in the Channel 4 television film of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer; Punch in Birtwistle Punch and Judy in Porto; Xenakis’ Ais with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms and Berlin Festival and Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Orquesta de Cadaqués in Madrid, the London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, BIT20 in Bergen and Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra.


Further ahead Melrose makes debuts at Teatro alla Scala and Wiener Staatsoper as well as returning for new productions at Dutch National Opera and Opernhaus Zürich.