Anna Leese


Management: Australasia and Non-Exclusive Asia

Mozart’s Requiem, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

“…soprano Anna Leese made a particularly notable impression… Her entry in the Recordare, to mention just one example, was breathtakingly beautiful as well as heartmelting in its prayerful pleading quality.”

Tony Ryan, Radio New Zealand, 2 September 2019


Capriccio, Orchestra Wellington
“And what singing Anna Leese gave us… the glorious outpouring of vocal splendour... Never did Strauss' opulent orchestra overpower her, yet she gave us many unforgettably subtle moments as well.”
John Button, Dominion Post Wellington, 18 July 2016


Don Giovanni, NZ Opera
 “Best of all was Anna Leese's superbly sung Donna Elvira, her intonation faultless, her portrayal of this turbulent character utterly convincing”.

Roger Wilson, Dominion Post Wellington, 13th October 2014


La Bohème, The Canadian Opera Company 

"Vocally vivid, [Anna Leese as Musetta] ...turned Act II into a mad scene, and stopped the show with her famous aria Quando m'en vo. I found myself wishing Puccini had given her more to do."

The Globe and Mail; 20 April 2009


Elijah, Cardiff

"...the sheer vocal presence of Anna Leese's fine soprano provided an element of theatricality that might have surprised even Mendelssohn."

The Guardian, 5 March 2009


Soprano Anna Leese is the recipient of an impressive number of Australasian awards and prizes, including the Royal Overseas League Vocal competition (being named best overseas competitor in the same competition) and the Richard Tauber Prize as well as the Maggie Teyte and Sybil Tutton awards.  Anna represented New Zealand in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition and is now a vocal tutor at the University of Waikoto.


On the concert platform this year Anna will be heard in Strauss songs, Mahler’s 4th Symphony, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Messiah with Auckland Choral Society and the Manukau Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s B minor mass with the Orpheus Choir, Wellington and with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra .


Anna returned to New Zealand Opera last year for the world premiere performances of Strangest of Angels in Christchurch and Dunedin. Her appearances on the concert platform, included Mozart Requiem with New Zealand Symphony, and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Christmas Gala concerts.


Most recently she was heard at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson, with Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music New Zealand, Orchestra Wellington, Christchurch Symphony in Beethoven’s Mass in C, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in their Opera Gala, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra in a Beethoven Gala, and with New Zealand Symphony in Messiah.


Since graduating from London's RCM Benjamin Britten International Opera School, Anna has performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Tamiri (II Re Pastore), Musetta (La bohème), Micaela (Carmen), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos). Other roles have included Musetta with the Canadian Opera Company and at the Royal Albert Hall; Antonia (Les contes d’Hoffmann) for Opera Köln; Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) for Flanders Opera; Biancofiore (Francesca di Rimini)Suzel (L’amico Fritz) and Tatyana for Opera Holland Park; and Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) with the Classical Opera Company, UK. In New Zealand she has performed Ilia (Idomeneo), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), TatyanaMajenka (The Bartered Bride) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni).


Anna made her debut at the 2006 BBC Proms in an all-Mozart programme with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington and has appeared in opera gala concerts with Jose Carreras. Further concert engagements have included Mahler 2nd Symphony with Bernard Haitink (RCM Benjamin Britten International Opera School), Beethoven 9th Symphony in Madrid with Carlo Rizzi, Elijah with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony with the Malaysian Philharmonic, Mahler 2nd Symphony and Messiah with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the roles of Anna (Nabucco) and Freia (Das Rheingold) in concerts with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Eckehard Stier, as well as recitals with the Prince Consort at the Wigmore Hall.


Recent engagements include the role of Governess (Turn of the Screw) for New Zealand Opera; Haydn Nelson Mass and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise):Symphony No. 2 with Auckland Choral Society; Mozart Requiem with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra; returns to Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra for ‘Summer Matinee’ High Priestess in Aida, and “A Baroque Easter; Micaela in Carmen for Festival Opera in Napier; Mary/Luck in a new work by Ross Harris (libretto by Vincent O’Sullivan), Brass Poppies, for New Zealand Festival in both Wellington and Auckland; Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Bach Musica NZ; Tally Ho! , From the Southern Marches and Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony, all with Dunedin Symphony Orchestra; a tour with ‘Takiri’ for Chamber Music New Zealand; Messiah with the Queensland and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras; a recital at the Arts Festival Dunedin; as well as Anthony Richie’s oratorio Gallipoli to the Somme in London and Oxford with the Parliament Choir and Southbank Sinfonia.


Anna has recorded Elgar’s The Apostles in Canterbury Cathedral with the Canterbury Choral Society, a debut recital disc for EMI with Graham Johnson, a Haydn disc on the Michael Storrs Music label, and ‘Italian Love Songs’ under the Champs Hill label

Anna Leese is managed by Graham Pushee:
February 2023
  This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
Please contact Graham for an up-to-date biography to suit your needs.