Catherine E. Leech

Performer, Actress, Singer, Philosopher

Catherine Leech is an American mezzo-soprano specializing in opera, operetta, and French mélodies. Her mission is to explore the profound depths of human emotion and the absurdity of the human condition in order to help people connect to their intrinsic humanity and to the divine. The New York Times called her performance of Rosina in the New York premiere of Scarlatti’s Il Trionfo dell’Onore “notable,” and the Examiner has hailed her voice as “sublime.”

Catherine decided to become a musician at the age of 12, onstage packed into the middle of the percussion section during a performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana as a member of the Los Angeles Children’s’ Chorus (LACC). She continues to have a special place in her heart for LACC, and returned to the City of Angels for their 30th Anniversary Gala. Pasadena Star News said Catherine Leech was the "highlight of the evening” as she "dazzled the crowd.”

Catherine recently appeared as L’Enfant in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges at the Théâtre le Palace in Périgueux, France, and completed a Master’s Recital consisting of pieces by Hector Berlioz, Frédéric Chopin, Pauline Viardot, Maurice Ravel, Robert Schumann, Isabelle Aboulker, Rebecca Clarke, and Herbert Hughes. The recital included the New York premiere of Isabelle Aboulker’s “Cher Pierre que je ne reverrai plus ici,” a setting of the journal entries of Marie Curie in the year after her husband’s death. Other New York appearances include Filli in Musica Nuova’s pasticcio production of Il Ballo delle Ingrate at Le Poisson Rouge, Marta in Opera Slavica’s Iolanta at the Bohemian National Hall, and Suzy in Opera of Brooklyn’s La Rondine.

In Los Angeles, Catherine performed the role of Mad Margaret in Sierra Madre Playhouse’s Ruddigore to great acclaim. Lauri’s List described her performance as “impressive,” “supple,” “comic,” and “strong,” while the Stage Struck Review named her portrayal “just creepy enough.” Catherine also had the opportunity at the age of 15 to become the youngest singer ever to solo at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in the premier of Billy Childs’ Voices of Angels.

Catherine has made a lifelong study of music, philosophy, and all the ways we can engage with our genuine selves in this ever more technologically driven and hectic world. As a Philosophy major concentrating in Aesthetics at Yale University, Catherine performed prolifically with the Yale Baroque Opera Project, the Opera Theatre of Yale College, and the Yale Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and presented the role of Achille in the American premiere of Sacrati’s La Finta Pazza. Catherine completed her Masters in Music from Mannes the New School for Music in Manhattan. At Mannes, she was selected to appear in concerts with the Mannes Sounds Festival, Mannes Opera Studio, and Mannes Apprentice Studio, and sang the American premiere of three of Dariusz Przybylski’s Broch Lieder in Mannes Sounds’ “An Evening of Music by Dariusz Przybybylski.”