W Werther | London
SEP 17, 20, 24, 27
OCT 2, 5
Dialogues des Carmélites on PBS
Season 13 of Great Performances at the Met comes to a close Sunday, September 1 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) with Poulenc’s classic Dialogues des Carmélites. Metropolitan Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts this devastating story of faith and martyrdom starring Isabel Leonard in the touching role of Blanche de la Force alongside Adrianne Pieczonka as Madame Lidoine, Erin Morley as Sister Constance, Karen Cargill as Mother Marie and Karita Mattila, returning to the Met as Madame de Croissy, the prioress of the monastery.
The Sound of Music at Glimmerglass Festival
The Glimmerglass Festival welcomes Isabel Leonard and William Burden as Artists in Residence for the 2020 season. Both artists will star in The Sound of Music, as well as provide mentorship for the Young Artists Program.
The 2020 Festival will open with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music in a new co-production with Houston Grand Opera directed by Francesca Zambello, associate directed and choreographed by Eric Sean Fogel and conducted by Music Director Joseph Colaneri.
The Sound of Music tells the classic story of Maria, a former novice-turned-governess for strict naval captain Georg von Trapp’s seven children. Maria imbues light into the lives of the von Trapp family through music, even as looming fears of a changing Europe sweep across the Swiss Alps. Classic tunes such as “Do Re Mi” and “Edelweiss” keep this story of love, music, and morality one of audiences’ favorite things more than 60 years after its debut.
Isabel Leonard and William Burden headline the production as Maria and Captain von Trapp, respectively. Leonard makes her Glimmerglass debut after turns at the Metropolitan Opera as Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande and as the title role in the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie. Leonard has also appeared as Rosina in The Barber of Seville at Washington National Opera and as the title role in La Cenerentola at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, among other engagements.
The production runs July 11 through August 25, 2020. Tickets are not yet available for purchase.
IN THE PRESS
Isabel Leonard had just finished singing Sesto in Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” in Paris and was taking a few days off with her 8-month-old son Teo when her manager’s office contacted her and asked whether she was on a plane back to the U.S.
“I’m like, no, I’m actually in Vienna,” she said.
That was good news for the Vienna State Opera. The performer scheduled to play Cherubino had gotten sick, and the company wanted the mezzo-soprano to make an unscheduled debut that night in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.”
“I just need to find a baby sitter,” Leonard said.
Three days after her 29th birthday in February 2011, Leonard rushed through a one-woman rehearsal that lasted about 30 minutes per act — “just add hot water. It’s an instant opera” she said with a chuckle. She took the Staatsoper stage hours later in a cast that included Luca Pisaroni, Erwin Schrott and Dorothea Roschmann.
Such has been the life of Leonard, a two-time Grammy-winner and, at 37, a single mom and a sought-after singer.
After starring in three productions at the Metropolitan Opera this season, she appeared at Carnegie Hall on Monday night in an all-French program for new music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin. It was his first concert leading the Met Orchestra.
“This is probably for me one of the healthiest voices I have ever encountered in my life,” Nezet-Seguin said. “The incredible artistry and the attention to words and meaning that she brings to every role she approaches makes it a conductor’s dream.”