Anna Leese

Anna Leese Biography

Anna Leese (born 7 March 1981) is a New Zealand born soprano opera singer based in Tuscany. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2006, as understudy for the part of Musetta in Giacomo Puccini's La bohème. She returned to sing the part in her own right in 2008.

She graduated and earned multiple prizes at the University of Otago, plus the 2002 Mobil Song Quest and the Sydney McDonalds Aria before moving to London to study toward a graduate diploma in Opera at the Royal College of Music and at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School. She performed at Opéra Les Azuriales Festival at Cap Ferat in 2007 and sang solo arias by Mozart, Gounod, Bizet, Dvo?ák, Puccini and 'Cara la mia fiamma' from Adriano in Siria by J C Bach in Seillans and Mons in the Var, France at the 2007 Musique-Cordiale Festival. Other Covent Garden engagements in 2007 were as Micaela in Carmen and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos.

In 2008, she sang as Musetta in La bohème at Covent Garden. She also sang in the choral solo in Beethoven's Fantasia in the Last night of the BBC Proms, accompanied by the famous pianist Helene Grimaud, and conducted by Sir Roger Norrington at the Royal Albert Hall before going on tour to Korea with José Carreras. She has an extensive New Zealand tour at Christmas, soon followed by the Mozart Requiem in Canterbury Cathedral in January 2009. Among many other 2009 scheduled recitals and performances, there is a further series with Carreras in New Zealand, concerts in Germany, Belgium & Britain and return solo performances at the Musique-Cordiale Festival in Seillans, France (August 2009) and the Linari Festival in Tuscany, Italy (July 2009). She sang Tatyana in Eugene Onegin for the New Zealand Opera and in March 2009 made her North American debut as Musetta for the Canadian Opera Company. She also served as Artist in Residence for the New Zealand Singing School in 2011. Leese is the founding soprano member of the vocal-piano ensemble The Prince Consort, which has performed world-premieres and recorded works by Stephen Hough and Ned Rorem.

Anna Leese joined Andrea Bocelli at his concert in Auckland, New Zealand at the Vector Arena on 20 August 2008.


  • Benson, Nigel, "Soprano back among friends", Otago Daily Times, 9 August 2008
  • Coulbourn, John, "Songs of tragic love", Toronto Sun, 20 April 2009
  • Morrison, Richard, "La bohème", The Times 25 October 2006
  • New Zealand Herald, "Soprano's opera quality voice", 17 July 2003

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