M Mahler’s 4 | San Francisco, CA
NOV 24, 25, 26
Upcoming fall and winter performances
Isabel Leonard has a busy and exciting fall and winter ahead. On November 9, 10 and 11, in an all-Ravel concert, she sings Concepcion in L’heure espagnole at LA Opera. Next, she appears in Fort Worth to sing a concert on November 16 and afterwards she travels back to San Francisco to sing Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and the solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 on November 24, 25 and 26, with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Orchestra.
Her final performance of the year, on December 29, takes her back to the Metropolitan Opera to become Cherubino from Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, one of her signature roles, for which she’s received fantastic critical acclaim, the New York Times stating “when Richard Eyre’s 2014 production of “Figaro” returned to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera with the wonderful Isabel Leonard again in that role, Cherubino ruled. Ms. Leonard’s lustrous, full-bodied mezzo-soprano and her exquisite comic timing seized attention at every turn.” The performances will go on into 2018, when she sings at the Met on January 4, takes a break to sing two Bernstein recitals at Park Avenue Armory on January 5 and 7 and then continues as Cherubino on January 10, 13 and 19.
New album “Alma Española” now available
Ms. Leonard’s latest recording, “Alma Española” was released internationally on July 14, and is now available via Amazon.com. A collection of all Spanish songs recorded with guitarist Sharon Isbin, the CD includes duos by Federico García Lorca, Manuel de Falla, Xavier Montsalvatge, Agustín Lara, and Joaquín Rodrigo, and guitar solos by Granados and Tárrega.
IN THE PRESS
WOSU Radio | Sharon Isbin and Isabel Leonard Give Voice to Spanish Soul in ‘Alma Española’
That old guitar that you strum from time to time — did you know it has a soul?
If musical instruments are said to have souls, then there is no instrument with a soul more Spanish than the guitar. And now, there is arguably no recording with a more Spanish soul than Alma Española, a new recording of Spanish music performed by two of classical music’s most celebrated artists: guitarist Sharon Isbin and soprano Isabel Leonard.
The first of its kind in decades, Alma Española has the potential to become a landmark.
“It’s actually the first time in 40 years that this type of art song from Spain — with guitar and a well-known, major, Spanish-speaking singer — have been brought together,” Isbin said in a recent phone interview.
For more than 30 years, Isbin’s career has taken her to concert halls and recording studios around the globe and, on many occasions, on long sojourns in Spain, her instrument’s ancestral home.
Leonard, a native speaker of Spanish and English, brings top-drawer singing chops and an awareness of Spanish-speaking culture that might elude even other world-class singers.
“When you hear [Leonard] read the poetry in one of the songs and her pronunciation and her sense of spirit about the music — it’s got to be in the blood of the singer,” Isbin said. “I can’t imagine a more perfect partner with whom to have done this album.”
Listen to the interview and read the rest of the article on WOSU Radio.