Soprano Leah Partridge has received consistent praise world-wide for her compelling stage presence and intelligent interpretations of opera’s most beloved characters. Opera Magazine admired her for her “clarity, accuracy and poise,” and the Detroit Free Press hailed her for her “lovely presence and shining voice.” Since making her debut in 2003 as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Ms. Partridge has had a career full of remarkable milestones. Her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 2008 as the First Niece in Peter Grimes followed by a return engagement as La Charmeuse in Thaïs. Both roles were part of the MET’s Live in HD broadcasts and were released on DVD (EMI). In 2010, Ms. Partridge performed Marie in La fille du Regiment with The Metropolitan Opera to great acclaim as a last minute replacement, which was captured live on Sirius Satellite Radio.
During the 2011- 12 season the soprano will be heard as Leila in The Pearl Fishers with both the Pittsburgh Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre and as La Contessa di Folleville in Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims with the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Italy. She will also offer a recital in Augusta, Georgia. Upcoming seasons include leading roles with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, among others.
During the previous season she made her debut at the Semper Oper in Dresden, Germany as Violetta in La Traviata and returned to Florida Grand Opera to reprise the role of Roxane in David DiChiera's Cyrano, a role she created for the 2007 World Premiere in Detroit. South Florida Classical Review raved of her Roxane that she spent “much of the opera in the vocal ionosphere where she is clearly comfortable, easily spinning out high notes in DiChiera’s long, arching melodies.” In addition, she traveled to Eisenstadt, Austria where she performed with Mezzo-Soprano Elina Garanca in an outdoor concert with conductor Karel Mark Chichon, and offered a series of recitals of American Songs by Heggie, R.I. Gordan, Larsen, Corigliano, and Michael Tilson Thomas. She made her first CD recording of these pieces for an anticipated release in 2012.
During the 2009 - 2010 season the soprano was heard as Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Atlanta Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for productions of La fille du regiment, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Hamlet and made her company debut to great acclaim as Violetta in La Traviata with The Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Ms. Partridge opened the 2008–2009 season at Deutsche Oper Berlin singing Gilda in Rigoletto, and joined Washington Concert Opera to sing the title role in Maria Padilla, The Metropolitan Opera as La Charmeuse in Thaïs, Opera North as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Florida Grand Opera in the title role of Lakmé prompting Opera News to write that “Partridge's bell song was a little bit of magic: patient and confident, the whole of it was imbued with an air of mystery, intriguing nuance and rubato.” In addition, she joined Marcello Giordani in a Superstar Series concert.
A highlight of the soprano’s 2007 - 2008 season included her debut with The Metropolitan Opera where she sang the First Niece in a new production of Britten’s Peter Grimes. In addition she joined Michigan Opera Theatre as Roxane in David DiChiera’s Cyrano for its World Premiere production, and Florida Grand Opera as Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare. Concert appearances during the season include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and a concert in Dresden, Germany.
A favorite among South Florida audiences, she has had a long relationship with the Florida Grand Opera performing such diverse roles as Violetta in La Traviata, Gilda in Rigoletto, Amina in La Sonnambula, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, the title role in Lakmé, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. The Miami Herald praised her performance of Lucia as “a singular triumph” and the Sun-Sentinel wrote that, “The charismatic singer has undeniable star quality… [her] precise high notes and subtle acting wedded pyrotechnics with dramatic truth in a way few artists can accomplish.”
Additional operatic highlights include her debut at the Atlanta Opera as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Leila in Les pêcheurs de perles with Madison Opera, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Michigan Opera Theatre, as well as Contessa di Folleville in I Viaggio a Reims, Leonore in Charles Dibdin’s The Padlock and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail all with Chicago Opera Theatre. Other recent engagements have included Cunégonde in Candide at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Lucia at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, and Susanna in concert performances of Le nozze di Figaro with the Atlanta Symphony, conducted by Robert Spano.
As a concert soloist, Ms. Partridge has sung Handel’s Messiah with the Cleveland Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Atlanta Symphony. She returned to Atlanta for a performance entitled Bernstein’s Broadway, featuring some of Leonard Bernstein’s greatest stage music with the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano. She also appeared as a guest soloist in Atlanta Opera’s spring gala. In addition to an extensive oratorio repertoire, she has been heard in concert performances of arias with orchestras including the North German Philharmonic, South London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gibraltar Philharmonic and Opera Omaha.
A native of Georgia, Ms. Partridge earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Mercer University and her Master of Music degree from Indiana University, where she received the prestigious Wilfred C. Bain opera fellowship. She won first place in the vocal competitions of Palm Beach Opera and Opera Birmingham and in 2004 was a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Competition.