Polly Leech is a mezzo-soprano from Wiltshire, currently training as a 2017/18 a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio. She graduated last year from the Royal College of Music, having gained a postgraduate Masters in Vocal Performance (Distinction) under vocal professor Amanda Roocroft and vocal coach Christopher Glynn. She was the Theo Max van der Beugel Scholar and was also supported by the Josephine Baker Trust. Polly is a Britten-Pears Young Artist.
Recent and current opera engagements include Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel (Pop-Up Opera), Fekluša Kat'à Kabanovà (Opera Holland Park), Pitti-Sing The Mikado (Charles Court Opera), Third Lady/Third Boy The Magic Flute (Charles Court Opera), Olga Eugene Onegin (Whitgift School), Queen/Second Village Woman/Mother Raven Snow (new commission by Murphy/Treacher/Lloyd for The Opera Story), Irene Theodora (RCM Oratorio Society), Tisbe Cinderella (HighTime), Countess of Desmond/Lady Lewson/Miss FitzHenry/Mrs Birch/Lady Jersey/Mrs Worrall/Second Nun English Eccentrics by Malcolm Williamson (British Youth Opera), Wife 76 Days by Kenichi Sekiguchi and Angel BEL and the DRAGON by Alex Paxton (RCM/Tête à Tête), Florence Pike Albert Herring (RCM International Opera School), Dritter Knabe Die Zauberflöte (RCMIOS), and Mrs Herring Albert Herring (Samling Academy Opera). For the performance of the seven roles she played in Malcolm Williamson's English Eccentrics, Polly was awarded the Basil A Turner Prize and the Dame Hilda Brackett Award from Sadler's Wells.
Polly's solo oratorio performances include Magnificat (Bach), Matthäus-Passion (Bach), Elijah (Mendelssohn), Messe de minuit pour Noël (Charpentier), Mass in D (Dvořák), Petite Messe Solennelle (Rossini), Messiah (Handel), Requiem (Mozart), Requiem (Verdi), Nelson Mass (Haydn), Mass in C (Beethoven), and Gloria (Vivaldi). In recital, Polly has performed Berlioz’ Les nuits d'été, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben, Britten's Cabaret Songs and A Charm of Lullabies, and Joseph Horovitz's Lady Macbeth: A Scena. Venues performed at include St Martin’s-in-the-Field, Durham Cathedral, York Minster, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, The Sage Gateshead and The Britten Studio at Snape Maltings.
Polly has participated in masterclasses with Christoph Prégardien, Julius Drake, Richard Stokes, Simon Keenlyside, Patricia Bardon, Patricia McMahon, Caroline Dowdle and Paul Farrington. She will return to Aldeburgh as a Britten-Pears Young Artist in March 2018 to study the role of Irene in Handel's Theodora with Sarah Connolly and Christian Curnyn.
Prior to her musical studies, Polly graduated from Durham University with a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.