W Werther | London
SEP 17, 20, 24, 27
OCT 2, 5
Isabel Leonard sings Charlotte in Massenet’s ‘Werther’ at the Royal Opera House
This season, Isabel Leonard returns to the Royal Opera House as Charlotte in Massenet’s tragic Werther. Performances take place September 17, 20, 24, 27, and October 2 and 5. This Benoît Jacquot staging also features Juan Diego Flórez in the title role and Jacques Imbrailo as Albert, with Edward Gardner leading from the pit.
Dialogues des Carmélites on PBS
Season 13 of Great Performances at the Met comes to a close Sunday, September 1 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) with Poulenc’s classic Dialogues des Carmélites. Metropolitan Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts this devastating story of faith and martyrdom starring Isabel Leonard in the touching role of Blanche de la Force alongside Adrianne Pieczonka as Madame Lidoine, Erin Morley as Sister Constance, Karen Cargill as Mother Marie and Karita Mattila, returning to the Met as Madame de Croissy, the prioress of the monastery.
IN THE PRESS
Isabel Leonard had just finished singing Sesto in Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” in Paris and was taking a few days off with her 8-month-old son Teo when her manager’s office contacted her and asked whether she was on a plane back to the U.S.
“I’m like, no, I’m actually in Vienna,” she said.
That was good news for the Vienna State Opera. The performer scheduled to play Cherubino had gotten sick, and the company wanted the mezzo-soprano to make an unscheduled debut that night in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.”
“I just need to find a baby sitter,” Leonard said.
Three days after her 29th birthday in February 2011, Leonard rushed through a one-woman rehearsal that lasted about 30 minutes per act — “just add hot water. It’s an instant opera” she said with a chuckle. She took the Staatsoper stage hours later in a cast that included Luca Pisaroni, Erwin Schrott and Dorothea Roschmann.
Such has been the life of Leonard, a two-time Grammy-winner and, at 37, a single mom and a sought-after singer.
After starring in three productions at the Metropolitan Opera this season, she appeared at Carnegie Hall on Monday night in an all-French program for new music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin. It was his first concert leading the Met Orchestra.
“This is probably for me one of the healthiest voices I have ever encountered in my life,” Nezet-Seguin said. “The incredible artistry and the attention to words and meaning that she brings to every role she approaches makes it a conductor’s dream.”