Richard Leech

born 26 March 1957 Hollywood

Richard Leech sings Turandot: Nessun dorma
In RA format

Richard Leech sings Les huguenots: Zur Rettung aller, with Pilar Lorengar
In RA format
Leech grew up in the state of New York. At age 15, he began to sing small roles at the Tri-Cities Opera in Binghampton. He never took any voice lessons; he learned the trade on the job, for no less than twelve years at the Tri-Cities Opera. Even when he won the Enrico Caruso Competition in Italy in 1981, which would have given him the right to a beginner contract with La Scala, he preferred to stay in Binghampton.

Only in 1984, he felt ready for a debuts at Carnegie Hall and at the New York City Opera (as Rodolfo). In 1987, he began a two-year tenure at the Cincinnati Opera, and also made his European debut as Raoul at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. From 1988 to 2008, he appeared regularly in San Diego. In 1989, he actually sang at La Scala for the first time, as well as at the Met, where he was to sing 176 performances until 2012. As a guest, he also came to San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, the Paris Opéra, Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, Amsterdam, Washington, Florence, Rome, Barcelona...

I only heard him three times (rumour had it that the fees he asked for were so enormous that the Vienna Staatsoper wasn't readily willing to hire him), as Duca in 1989, as Rodolfo in 1990, and as Riccardo in 2001. His Duca was spectacularly good, his Rodolfo only slightly second to it; but eleven years later, the voice had lost its intriguing radiance, and he was just ok, nothing more.

Other important roles in his repertory were Don José, Cavaradossi, Edgardo, Pinkerton, Hoffmann, Gounod's Faust and Roméo; in later years, he ventured to sing Kaiser and Canio.

Reference 1, reference 2 and picture source: Leech's website, reference 3

I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording (Huguenots).
I would like to thank André Wium for the recording (Turandot).

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