Following performances of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Leann Sandel-Pantaleo was praised by the Portland Press Herald with the exclamation that “she has a glorious voice…. and she took fire.”
Original engagements during the COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 season included performances asthe mezzo-soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Portland Symphony (cancelled), and in a concert of operatic highlights with the Southwest Florida Symphony (performed).
In recent seasons, she returned to Chautauqua Opera as The Old Lady in Candide, appeared in concert with the Plano Symphony and the Santa Barbara Symphony, debuted with Opera Santa Barbara as the title role in Bizet’s Carmen, returned to the role of Amneris in Aida with Sarasota Opera, and created the role of Tamara in the world premiere of Enemies, A Love Story with Palm Beach Opera.
The 2013-2014 season saw Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo join Lyric Opera of Chicago to cover Jezibaba in Rusalka, appear with both Opera Omaha and Tulsa Opera as the title role in Carmen, and make her role debut as Augusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe with Chautauqua Opera.
During the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago, to cover and perform the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, and returned to Teatro alla Scala and the Berlin Staatsoper as Siegrune in Die Walküre, and to North Carolina Opera, as Amneris in Aida. She also sang Siegrune at the BBC Proms in London.
Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo began the 2010-2011 season covering the title role in Carmen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and later debuted at Teatro alla Scala and the Berlin Staatsoper as Siegrune in Die Walküre.
In the 2009-10 season, she returned to the title role of Carmen with Utah Opera, and sang her first performances of Bluebeard’s Castle with Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi under the baton of Oleg Caetani.
In the 2008-09 season, Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo made debuts at Houston Grand Opera as Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict followed by Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and San Francisco Opera as Flora in La traviata. She also sang further performances of the title role in Carmen with Hawaii Opera Theater and returned to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise Siegrune in Die Walküre.
Other recent performances to her credit include Amneris in Aida with both Portland Opera and El Paso Opera, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with PORT Opera, and the title role of Carmen with Chautauqua Opera. She has joined the Metropolitan Opera for previous performances of Siegrune in Die Walküre and Flora in La traviata as well as numerous other productions including Die Ägyptische Helena, Luisa Miller, Manon, and Parsifal.
Headshot by Karsten Schilling, http://www.bigpr.de
Sarasota Opera – Aida
Leann Sandel-Pantaleo is a truly great Amneris with a luxurious, huge sound throughout her range that, even in her jealous tirades, never loses its luster and beauty. Having sung at the Met and La Scala, she is a singer to watch although, judging from this performance, she’s already at the top of the list of greats for this role.”
June LeBell, Observer (Sarasota Edition)
“…Leann Sandel-Pantaleo tore up the stage so intensely in the opening scene of Act 4 that it almost felt right to retitle the opera Amneris. The Ohio-born mezzo-soprano made a spectacular Sarasota debut as the king’s vindictive daughter, her impassioned singing and full-blooded characterization delivering the best all-round performance of the night. Her final confrontation with Radames became a virtual mad scene, played and sung with alarming intensity.”
Lawrence A. Johnson, Opera
Palm Beach Opera – Enemies, A Love Story
“In the role of Tamara, mezzo soprano Leann Sandel-Pantaleo walked away with the show. Her voice, which is highly reminiscent of Tony Award winning diva Patricia Neway, is a full and rich voice with a velvety tone and crystal clear diction. Her characterization was superb and she has a lot of the comedic moments in the show. It is possible to have one-liners in opera and Sandel-Pantaleo delivers them perfectly. This was a true star performance from a great singer.”
Jack Gardner, EdgeMiami
“Leann Sandel-Pantaleo was a darkly expressive Tamara. With a rich mezzo sonority, her narrative about being shot by the Nazis was riveting and her tense scenes with Okulitch radiated real theatrical sparks.”
Lawrence Budman, South Florida Classical Review
North Carolina Opera – Carmen
Leann Sandel-Pantaleo’s Carmen is appropriately independent and defiant, her firm mezzo capable of fiery outbursts and soft insinuations.”
Roy C. Dicks, Raleigh News & Observer
Utah Opera – Carmen
Mezzo-soprano Leann Sandel-Pantaleo plays the title role as a vibrant, lusty girl who lives for the moment and doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions. Her Carmen seethes with a sexual energy that is barely contained. It’s easy to see how a small-town innocent like Don Jose can quickly fall for her considerable charms. This is Utah Opera’s sixth staging of Bizet’s opera, and Sandel-Pantaleo is without question the best Carmen that has been seen here. She lends wonderful credibility to her character. Her voice is warm and supple, and she sings with gorgeously crafted expressiveness.
Edward Reichel, Deseret News
Leann Sandel-Pantaleo sings the title role of the Gypsy who refuses to play by anyone else’s rules. Her rich mezzo-soprano voice, technical assurance and dramatic chops bowled over Saturday’s audience.”
Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune