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. In the 2019-20 season, she makes her role debut as Gilda in Rigoletto in a return to Seattle Opera and repeats Verdi’s tragic heroine with Austin Opera. She sings her first performances of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with North Carolina Opera and joins Tulsa Opera for the title role in Picker’s Emmeline. On the concert stage, she returns to the Florida Orchestra for Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and sings Handel’s Messiah with the Jacksonville Symphony. Future engagements include a leading role and company debut with Dallas Opera. Last season, she joined Seattle Opera as Chrisann Brennan in Bates’ The [R]evolution of Steve Jobs and Frasquita in Carmen. She sang Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in a return to Inland Northwest Opera, her hometown company, returned to the Florida Orchestra for her first performances of Haydn’s Creation, and offered a solo recital at Washington Adventist University.
She recently returned to Wolf Trap Opera for two role debuts: Ilia in Idomeneo and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette following previous performances as Madeline in Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher and the Daughter in Glass’ The Juniper Tree. She is a former Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist of Washington National Opera, at which she sang Morgana in Alcina, the High Priestess in Aida, the Rose in Portman’s The Little Prince, and Little Zegner Sister in Mazzoli’s Proving Up. Other recent highlights for the soprano include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Amarillo Opera, Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opera Idaho, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Inland Northwest Opera.
On the concert stage, she has twice joined the National Symphony Orchestra: her debut with Gianandrea Noseda conducting Stravinsky’s Pulcinella as part of the SHIFT Festival followed by an immediate return soloist in Vaughan William’s Symphony No. 3 (A Pastoral Symphony) under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. She is a frequent guest of the Florida Orchestra, having previously joined the institution for Orff’s Carmina Burana and a concert of opera favorites. She sang her first performances Fauré’s Requiem with the Apollo Orchestra in Washington, D.C. and has joined the New York Festival of Song for a program of music from the British Isles at Caramoor and Merkin Hall in New York City
With the 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 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.
“Soprano Madison Leonard was an impressive Gilda, with exemplary high notes, a fine way with a musical line, and the vocal presence to more than hold her own in ensembles. Plus she looked the part, and handled its incongruities with conviction.”
— Vancouver Sun