Susan Dormady Eisenberg – Huffington Post
Isabel Leonard is a singer whose voice appeals to the heart as well as the ear. Some critics have called her lower register “amber-hued,” but I hear a pure, silvery sheen from the bottom of her range to the top and a luminous timbre that fits soprano roles as perfectly as the lyric mezzo repertoire. She infuses each song or aria with palpable emotion, and whether she’s funny or grave, pensive or passionate, she maintains a seamless vocal line.
Is it any wonder Ms. Leonard was tapped by the Metropolitan Opera to sing Stefano, a pants role, in Romeo and Juliette in 2007, a year after earning her master’s from Juilliard? She has been in demand at major opera houses ever since, earning accolades for both singing and acting. Some of her calling-card roles include Rosina in The Barber of Seville and Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, both of which she will reprise at the Met next season, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte (Salzburg 2009), and Angelina in Rossini’s Cinderella, which she sang this year in Munich and which she’ll sing throughout May in her company debut at Washington National Opera. The whimsical production by Joan Font, new to WNO, opens Saturday.
This month is also notable because on May 12 Ms. Leonard will release her first solo album, Preludios, on the Delos label. I received a preview CD from her publicist, and from what I heard the singer’s artistry and versatility are impressive in this foray into Spanish songs, accompanied by pianist Brian Zeger. [Note to D.C. fans: she will sign her album at the Kennedy Center after her May 13 Cinderella performance.]
Read the entire interview here.