Sean Martinfield – Huffington Post
Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard appears with conductor Charles Dutoit and the San Francisco Symphony this week in Ravel’s one-act comic opera, L’Heure espagnole. (The Spanish Hour). The program opens with Ravel’s brief “morning song,” Alborado del gracioso and concludes with Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain featuring pianist Javier Perianes. The opera (not quite an hour) also features tenors Jean Paul Fouchécourt and John Mark Ainsley, along with baritones Jean-Luc Ballestra and David Wilson-Johnson. Isabel sings the role of Concepion, a clockmaker’s wife with way-too-much time on her hands. And with three potential lovers in the shop – two of them hidden in tall standing clocks – each counting the minutes until her buffoon of a husband returns, Isabel says, “She’s hysterical! A woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown.”
Timing being everything, Isabel’s new CD, Preludios, was released the day we spoke. “I’m just super proud of it,” said Isabel. “It’s very fun music.”
“It’s all Spanish music. I picked all of it. Along with other songs, a lot of it is repertoire that started with my very first Spanish song cycle, de Falla’s ‘Canciones populares españolas’. The CD is for everyone.”
Read the entire interview here.