Angela Barbuti – New York Press
Mezzo-Soprano Isabel Leonard is at home in the classical repertoire but is enticed by “different styles”
Having studied at LaGuardia High School and Juilliard, Isabel Leonard was exposed to the city’s rich artistic culture at an early age. At just 25, she graced the stage at the Metropolitan Opera House for the first time in “Roméo et Juliette.” And now, at 33, she already has a Grammy for her work in “The Tempest.”
That is why she now feels it important to pass an appreciation for the craft to young people. After performances, they sometimes meet her backstage, occasions that she counts as some of her most memorable moments as an artist. “It reminds you that it’s a great responsibility to hopefully inspire them to continue to love, not only opera, but all the culture they can absorb in different places,” she said.
We caught up with Leonard after her rehearsal with the San Francisco Symphony. Although she travels the world, Leonard, who lives on the Upper West Side, always returns back to where her career started. This Met season, you can find her in “The Barber of Seville” and “Le Nozze di Figaro.” Tonight, she will take the SummerStage at Central Park for the Met’s Summer Recital Series, which she tells us will mix opera with classical musical theater.
You went to LaGuardia for high school. What was that experience like?
It was high school. I don’t have anything to compare it to. I came from a very small private school where I went from kindergarten through eighth. When I went into high school, it was a much different atmosphere. We had an incoming freshman class of 600. For me, the biggest difference was the size. But, after that, it was a nice place for me to be because I was able to continue pursuing art and music.
Read the entire interview here.