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www.leahwool.com

Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool has been hailed by Opera News as “among the more distinctive and accomplished artists of her generation, with a “voice of truly beautiful timbre”.

This season, Leah Wool joins the Cincinnati Symphony for Bach’s Magnificat. Most recently, Leah Wool made her debut with the Charlotte Symphony for Elijah, returned to Boston Baroque as Holofernes in Juditha Triumphans, and debuted with the Nashville Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem, Phoenix Symphony for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and the Defiant Requiem Foundation in Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer. Her 2014-2015 season saw anticipated returns to the San Francisco Symphony for Handel’s Messiah and Utah Opera as Dorabella in Così fan tutte.

Grammy nominated for her work as Minerva on Boston Baroque’s recording of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Ms. Wool is one of their frequent collaborators, having sung the title role in Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula and Amastre in Xerxes with the company, in addition to her return last season.

Other notable performances include appearances with the Metropolitan Opera in Suor Angelica, Thaïs, Le nozze de Figaro, and War & Peace; New York City Opera as Delia in Il Viaggio a Reims; Central City Opera as the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Erika in Vanessa; Santa Fe Opera as Léoena in La Belle Hélène; Glimmerglass Opera as the Secretary in The Consul; Spoleto Festival USA in Glass’ Kepler and as Betty in Flora; Toledo Opera as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette; Syracuse Opera as Meg in Little Women; Gotham Chamber Opera as Nancy in Albert Herring and the title role in El gato con botas by Montsalvatge; and The Little Orchestra Society at Avery Fisher Hall as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. She has sung Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel with Kentucky Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Newton Symphony. She has also sung Hänsel with Utah Opera where she is a frequent performer, having been heard as Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Karolka in Jenůfa, Kate in The Pirates of Penzance, Wowkle in La Fanciulla del West, and The Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel, a role she has also covered for the Metropolitan Opera.

Ms. Wool is also highly sought after for her extensive experience performing the works of Rossini, having bowed as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Sacramento Opera, Piedmont Opera, Opéra Louisiane, Knoxville Opera, and the Newton Symphony; Angelina in La Cenerentola with Nashville Opera, Knoxville Opera, Orlando Opera, Opera New Jersey, and Opera Fairbanks; Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri with Utah Opera; and the mezzo-soprano soloist in Petite Messe Solennelle with Gloria Musicae.

Equally in demand on the concert stage, Ms. Wool has appeared as the mezzo-soprano soloist for the San Francisco Symphony in Debussy’s The Martyrdom of St. Sebastien and the Duruflé Requiem; the Wiener KammerOrchester under Mark Laycock for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; Gloria Musicae for Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ; Avery Fisher Hall for Copland’s In the Beginning and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony;  the New Jersey Symphony for Haydn’s Theresienmesse; the Nashville Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem; the Greenwich Choral Society for Duruflé’s Requiem; the New Haven Symphony for Vivaldi’s Gloria; the Manchester Symphony for Bruckner’s Missa Solemnis; and sang Bach’s Magnificat, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass at Yale University. In addition, she has performed Handel’s Messiah for leading orchestras around the country, including the San Francisco Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony,  Cincinnati Symphony, Utah Symphony, Rochester Chamber Orchestra,

Ms. Wool is the recipient of a 2008 Sullivan Foundation Award. She was a Second Place Winner in the 2005 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition and subsequently made her Alice Tully Hall debut in the Foundation’s gala concert, receiving praise from Opera News as “the afternoon’s most arresting voice.”  A two-time Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she has also received an Encouragement Grant from the Sullivan Foundation Awards, the Judith Raskin Memorial Award from Santa Fe Opera, and was the First-Place Winner of the Amici Vocal Competition in 2003.  She was also the 2002 recipient of the Presser Award, a prestigious study grant from The Presser Foundation and the Yale School of Music.

Click here to read the “Sound Bites” article about Leah Wool from the March 2009 issue of Opera News

Boston Baroque – Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

“The goddess Minerva, sung by Leah Wool, is Ulisse’s guiding force throughout the opera. The ornate vocal writing, which Monteverdi reserves mostly for his superhuman characters, was carried luminously by Wool’s agile and impassioned tone.”

examiner.com

 

“The rest of the cast was impeccable, with standouts including Leah Wool’s imperious Minerva…”

Angela Mao, The Boston Classical Review

 

“But the real scene stealers were comic tenor Marc Molomot […} and mezzo-soprano Leah Wool, as Minerva, who made her entrance disguised as a shepherd carrying a little lamb, and who had the most glamorous voice and the liveliest stage personality in the entire cast.”

Lloyd Schwartz, NewYorkArts.net

 

“Leah Wool’s take charge Minerva, fresh and full of tone, provided the most consistently beguiling vocalism.”

David Shengold, Opera Magazine

Milwaukee Symphony – Handel’s Messiah

“Leah Wool sang with a warm, ringing, mezzo sound that mixed exceptional evenness and discipline with a great deal of musical personality.”
Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Piedmont Opera – The Barber of Seville

“The heroine of the opera, cunning Rosina, was played and sung by the beautiful Leah Wool, whose famous aria, “Una voce poco fa,” was sung exquisitely in the version Rossini composed, for coloratura mezzo-soprano rather than the soprano version currently in vogue. Wool has a lovely warm voice and a beautiful vibrato, nuanced and expressive.”
Peter Perret, Winston-Salem Journal

Spoleto Festival USA – Intermezzi Recital

Wool owns an absolutely gorgeous mezzo voice, with burnished, even tone from top to bottom. She demonstrated, amid exceptional stage presence, the ability to make every listener think she was singing straight to him or her.”
Lindsay Koob, Charleston City Paper

San Francisco Symphony – Le Martyr de Saint Sébastien

The brothers Mark and Marcellian, gorgeously sung by mezzo-sopranos Sasha Cooke and Leah Wool, saved by Sébastien, ask whether there has ever been a love such as theirs.”
Lisa Hirsch, San Francisco Classical Voice

Oregon Bach Festival – Dido and Aeneas

Ah! Leah Wool’s sumptuous voice made a queen’s lament one of the many highlights of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” on Monday evening (June 27th) at First United Methodist Church in Portland. Wool was the star in a performance that featured the Portland Baroque Orchestra under violinist Monica Huggett, soloists, and a superb vocal ensemble from the Oregon Bach Festival, which sponsored the concert. Their collaborative effort resulted in an exquisite interpretation of Purcell’s opera, but the near-capacity audience also heard an outstanding performance by the Portland Baroque Orchestra of Benjamin Britten’s “Simple Symphony” as well as an elegant and emotive rendition by a select vocal ensemble of the “Choral Dances” from Britten’s opera Gloriana.

Wool, a mezzo-soprano from New York, replaced soloist Golda Schultz with just a few days’ notice after Schultz was forced to cancel because of a visa problem. Wool wonderfully evoked Dido’s grief upon being abandoned by Aeneas, and she deftly put a little edge into her voice when she sang the role of the Sorceress who delighted in tricking Dido.”
James Bash, Oregon Music News

San Francisco Symphony – Duruflé Requiem

The vocal soloists were exellent [sic]; mezzo-soprano Leah Wool deployed rich, pliant tone in the Pie Jesu.”
Georgia Rowe, San Francisco Classical Voice

Utah Opera – Hänsel and Gretel

Brilliant casting paired mezzo Leah Wool as Hänsel and soprano Anya Matanovič as Gretel. Both singers are diminutive in stature and displayed an unaffected playfulness that translated to credibility as youthful siblings. They also matched each other vocally, conveying a sense of tonal purity and stylistic range during the Act I duets. “Brüderchen, komm tanz mit mir” was sung with lighthearted clarity, but “Abends will ich schlafen gehn” became a transcendent, harmonically balanced gem as they revealed the simple lullaby’s emotional depth.”
Robert Coleman, Opera News

And Leah Wool’s frolicsome Hansel lent a comedic balance to the duo, making the emotional investment in our protagonists an easy sell.”
Travis Poppleton, Deseret News

Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool and soprano Anya Matanovic displayed appealing chemistry as Hansel and Gretel on opening night. They played rambunctiously and squabbled like real siblings. Both singers also delivered strong vocal performances.”
Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune

Gotham Chamber Opera – El Gato con Botas

At the performance reviewed, Leah Wool gave Puss a sweet mezzo-soprano with an appropriate touch of roguishness as she traveled about the stage in tandem with the puppeteers.”
Ron Cohen, Back Stage

Thus the vocal acrobatics of mezzo-soprano Leah Wool as Puss compliment and enhance the physical acrobatics of the puppet Puss, allowing the puppeteers to soar Puss through the air, while Wool soars up to a high note.”
Daniel John Kelley, NYtheatre.com

Knoxville Opera – Il barbiere di Siviglia

Although productions often transpose the role of Rosina up for coloratura sopranos, the lovely mezzo-soprano Leah Wool proved this totally unnecessary. While her voice was perfect for the role, Wool is also an actress of substantial comedic ability, selling the role beautifully with both a calculating smirk and an open-mouthed ingenuousness.”
Alan Sherrod, Metro Pulse

Gloria Musicae – Petite Messe Solennelle

The four vocal soloists were exceptional in their own way. But the stars were the two women, Giglio and Wool, who in the duet Qui tollis peccata mundi of the Gloria, left us hanging on every phrase. Their ornamented final phrase together was perfection. Only Wool’s final solo, Agnus Dei, with the chorus, eclipsed this moment.”
Gayle Williams, The Herald Tribune

Utah Opera – L’italiana in Algeri

Mezzo soprano Leah Wool (Isabella), an alumna of Utah Opera’s Young Artist Workshop, returned to the Capitol Theatre stage as the feisty heroine. Her supple bel canto resonated in the low register and bloomed on ascending phrases. She established her character’s feminist agenda with a powerfully sung “Cruda sorte,” while swooning pirates added a comic counterweight to her earnestness.”
Robert Coleman, Opera News Online

Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool, who trained at Utah Opera early in her career, is back to sing the title role of Isabella. Her luscious, creamy voice was in fine form all evening Saturday.”
Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune

Leading [the cast] is mezzo-soprano Leah Wool. A former Utah Opera young artist, Wool makes her local debut in a major role as Isabella. Her characterization is wonderfuly crafted and polished, and her voice is well suited to the demands Rossini places on his singers. At Saturday’s opening night performance she sang the florid lines of her part with an ease that showed her to be a natural in the bel canto repertoire.”
Edward Reichel, Deseret News

Kentucky Opera – Hänsel und Gretel

I particularly enjoyed Leah Wool’s Hänsel, a trouser role that brought out this young mezzo’s delightful impetuousness.”
Andrew Adler, The Courier-Journal

Boston Baroque – Amadigi di Gaula

As Amadigi, a knight fleeing from a sorceress’s enchanted garden in search of his true love, mezzo-soprano Leah Wool was particularly effective in the role’s meditative moments, in which she could exploit the warmth and richness of her voice.”
Kalen Ratzlaff, Opera News

Leah Wool was fluid and sensitive in the title role.”
Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe

Glimmerglass Opera – The Consul

Leah Wool delivered a crackling performance as the Secretary…”
Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News

The cast members gave their all and were impressive, especially…the mezzo-soprano Leah Wool as the officious secretary.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Mezzo Leah Wool sang the pivotal role of the consular Secretary with an aptly numbing recitative of endless forms to be completed by Magda and her companions. Her sudden compassionate and lyrical outburst (“Oh, those faces! All those faces!”) at the end of Act 2 was especially striking for its abruptness and impassioned clarity.”
Stephen G. Landesman, The Ithaca Journal

Rarely has bureaucracy been given such a pretty face. In Glimmerglass Opera’s production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s 1950 opera “The Consul,” the tale of a bureaucracy so caught up in red tape that it ends up destroying the very people it was designed to help, that face belongs to Leah Wool. She gives bureaucracy a lovely mezzo voice, too.”
Wayne Myers, New York Cultural Arts Examiner

Representing the Consul is his Secretary, Leah Wool, also a singer with a bright future. She mastered saying “next” with just the right degree of boredom and derision. Every now and then she allowed her own humanity to peek through the gloom.”
David Rubin, The Freeman’s Journal

The prim and devastatingly efficient secretary is well played by mezzo-soprano Leah Wool, but even she eventually reveals a human side.”
Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union

Orlando Opera – La cenerentola

Cenerentola cannot succeed without a mezzo who can really sing the part. Leah Wool can. Wool has a fine-grained voice of truly beautiful timbre, silvery on top and with bottom notes that project well. Her coloratura work was stunning in its accuracy and revealed no breaks as she scooted around the two and half octaves required for the role. Her “Nacqui all’affanno…. Non più mesta” was about as fine a rendition as I have heard.”
Edmond Leroy, Opera News Online

Leah Wool, whose reputation as a rising major talent preceded her here, did not disappoint as Cenerentola. After a brief slow start, she found her voice with several nice turns in the first act and polished off the evening with a technically impeccable performance of the treacherous “Non piu mesta.” She is a singer whose career will bear watching.”
Scott Warfield, Orlando Sentinel

Opera New Jersey – La cenerentola

Leah Wool seems among the more distinctive and accomplished artists of her generation, worth traveling to hear: her mezzo has a distinguished, lovely timbre, and she has achieved admirable equalization in scale passages. She handles text, in both cantilena and recit, with aplomb and point. By the end of the performance, Wool gave the audience much to enjoy.”
David Shengold, Opera News

You’re tempted to think Rossini’s ultra-intricate coloratura writing is the near-exclusive property of Cecilia Bartoli. But Wool has a comparable accuracy rate and a more pleasing technical approach. Like many big-house singers, Bartoli tends to aspirate on individual notes, giving them a machine-gun-like penetration. With her more demure, smoky timbre, Wool phrases more smoothly – better to achieve moments of specific dramatic relevance. Born on Long Island and educated at Yale, she’s also an able actress: Her Cinderella was free of self-pity and full of mischief. She’s also a captivating presence. Can you ask for anything more?”
David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

The soul of “La Cenerentola,” of course, is in its Cinderella, and this production has a heartbreaker in Long Island native Leah Wool. With her doe eyes, wide smile and raven hair, the mezzo resembles the young Cecilia Bartoli (who made her name in this role)…Wool’s voice is perfectly formed, though, her phrasing of Cinderella’s slower, sad-eyed music beautiful, the top notes of her benevolent final aria and cabaletta sparkling.”
Bradley Bambarger, Princeton Star-Ledger

COMPOSER ROLE OPERA
Adamo Meg Little Women
Barber Erika Vanessa
Britten Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Britten Nancy Albert Herring
Gounod Stéphano Roméo et Juliette
Gounod Siebel Faust
Handel Sesto Giulio Cesare
Handel Arsamene, Amastre Xerxes
Handel Ruggiero, Bradamante Alcina
Humperdink Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel
Massenet Cendrillon Cendrillon
Menotti The Secretary The Consul
Meyerbeer Urbain Les Huguenots
Mozart Dorabella Così fan tutte
Mozart Annio, Sesto La clemenza di Tito
Mozart Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro
Mozart Zerlina Don Giovanni
Mozart Second Lady Die Zauberflöte
Mozart Idamante Idomeneo
Ravel L’Enfant L’Enfant et les sortilèges
Rossini Angelina La cenerentola
Rossini Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia
Rossini Isabella L’italiana in Algeri


Leah Wool sings the finale of Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” (July 2008)
from mezzo music on Vimeo.