Richard Leech

Richard Leech

American tenor Richard Leech is one of the most celebrated tenors of his generation. He is currently an Associate Professor of Applied Voice and Opera for George Mason University’s Dewberry School of Music and Stage Director for the Mason Opera Theater.

Since his heralded 1989 Metropolitan Opera debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème, Mr. Leech has sung nearly 200 Met performances in over a dozen leading roles. From Vienna and Paris to La Scala, Covent Garden, and Carnegie Hall, he has been a frequent guest with virtually every major opera house and renowned symphonies worldwide. He is best known for his interpretation of iconic tenor roles such as Rodolfo, Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Don José, Faust, Roméo, Hoffmann, the Duke in Rigoletto, and Riccardo in Un ballo in Maschera. He is featured on over twenty recordings and videos. His solo release from the heart can be found on the Telarc label.

Following his 1987 European debut with Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, as Raoul in Les Huguenots, the headline of the Berliner Morgen Post read: “A World Star is Born” and true to its forecast, Mr. Leech had soon made debuts with virtually every major opera house of the world. Of his first performance with the Metropolitan Opera, as Rodolfo in La Bohème, Will Crutchfield of the New York Times wrote: “Other than Pavarotti on his best night, I can’t think of another tenor I’d rather hear in the part.”


In addition to the Met, he was a frequent guest with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the opera companies of San Francisco, LA, Washington, San Diego, and Cincinnati, as well as many other important American opera companies and symphonies. Internationally, he was often seen in Paris, London, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Florence, Rome, and at La Scala in Milan, where he had the honor of singing La Bohème with the great Mirella Freni. Other countries where he has performed include Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, The Netherlands, Canada, Russia, Cyprus, Japan, China, and South Korea.


Also, a passionate teacher and mentor, Mr. Leech has worked extensively with aspiring artists at all levels of their development throughout his career.  Before his position with George Mason University, he had previously served on the faculties of Rutgers University and The University of Michigan.  As Director of Resident Artist Programs for Michigan Opera Theatre (now Detroit Opera) from 2015 -2021, Mr. Leech created and ran MOT Studio, the company’s first young artist program, offering full-time engagement, training, and experience to artists in the early stages of a professional career. In his leadership role with MOT, he also oversaw the company’s many education and community engagement initiatives.


Mr. Leech attended Eastman School of Music and Binghamton University and credits his success to his training in the Tri-Cities Opera Resident Artist Training Program in Binghamton, NY, under the mentorship of the company’s founders, Peyton Hibbitt and Carmen Savoca. He has been a frequent guest teacher and presenter of masterclasses for many institutions in the US and internationally.  He was the 1988 winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award and the recipient of The Voice Foundation’s Voice Education Research and Awareness (V.E.R.A.) Award and the Giulio Gari Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award.