Two-time Grammy Award-winning opera singer Isabel Leonard doesn’t tend to have a lot of free time. As a world-renowned singer, her work keeps her on the road for much of the year. But she is also a mother of one, who has to keep her energy up both for her son and also for her stage presence.
Last month, Leonard starred in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera House, a show that is over three hours long and involves a great deal of movement and cardio. Being sedentary is simply not an option for Leonard, who is appearing next week (on May 5) on the main stage of Carnegie Hall to celebrate its 125th anniversary. By the end of the month, she will be on the West Coast, performing as Claire in a semi-staged event of On the Town with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra on May 25, 26, 28 and 29.
It’s not a schedule that leaves a lot of time for wellness, but Leonard has no other option. “For me, what I have realized in the last year or so, in order to sing, my body has to be in the prime singing state.” Since much of Leonard’s early training came when she was a young with the stamina and body of the dancer she was, she has to keep in shape to keep her voice strong. And that’s not always easy.
The key ingredient, Leonard says, is sleep. Always sleep. At least eight hours. Of course, with an active 5-year-old son, that is not always practical. “I go through my son’s bedtime routine. He’s asleep by 7:30, 8:00 at the latest,” Leonard says. “Then I usually fall asleep with him and then crawl into my bedroom. Then I’m up. And I don’t go to bed until about 1. Then I’m up again at 6:30 in the morning with my son.”
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