Rising young soprano Madison Leonard is a 2018 winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, at which she sang arias from Rigoletto and Hänsel und Gretel with Bertrand de Billy conducting. She will debut Gilda in the 19/20 season, first at Seattle Opera and then at Austin Opera. She will also appear as the title role in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline with Tulsa Opera. This season she made her house debut in Seattle as Chrisann Brennan in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, returning there to sing Frasquita in Carmen along with returns to the Florida Orchestra and her hometown company, Inland Northwest Opera in Idaho.
Last summer brought her return to Wolf Trap Opera for her role debuts as Ilia in Idomeneo and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette after a season joining the Washington National Opera as a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program where she sang the High Priestess in Aida, The Rose in Portman’s The Little Prince, Morgana for the young artist performance of Alcina, and Little Zegner Sister in Missy Mazzoli’s new opera, Proving Up as a part of the American Opera Initiative Festival. She recently made her National Symphony Orchestra debut with Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducting Stravinsky’s Pulcinella as part of the SHIFT Festival and returned later this year as soloist in Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 3 (A Pastoral Symphony) under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. Also this season, she sang her first performances of Fauré’s Requiem with the Apollo Orchestra in Washington, D.C., returned to the Florida Orchestra for Orff’s Carmina Burana, sang on a program of music from the British Isles with New York Festival of Song at Caramoor and Merkin Hall in New York City, and joined Dallas Opera for its production of Der Ring des Polykrates.
In the summer of 2017, she joined Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist and sang Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the National Orchestra Institute as well as Madeline in Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher and the Daughter in Glass’ The Juniper Tree. Other highlights from her 2016-2017 season include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Amarillo Opera, Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opera Idaho, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Coeur d’Alene, and a concert of opera favorites with the Florida Orchestra.
With the prestigious Merola Opera Program in association with San Francisco Opera, she sang Monica in Menotti’s The Medium as well as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel for the program’s annual Grand Finale Concert while also covering Norina in Don Pasquale. She is also a former young artist of Des Moines Metro Opera, for which she covered Nannetta in Falstaff and sang Musetta in scenes of La bohème. She has also sung Handel’s Messiah in Neenah, Wisconsin.
She is a previous first place winner of the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition. Additionally, she received the Women’s Voice Fellowship from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation and scholarships from the Lynn Harvey Foundation and the Musicians Club of Women. The soprano earned her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Arts from Pepperdine University.