Polly Leech is a mezzo-soprano from Wiltshire, England. She is currently a member of the Dutch National Opera Studio in Amsterdam, after recently training at the National Opera Studio in London as a 2017/18 Young Artist. Previously, she trained at the Royal College of Music, gaining a postgraduate Masters in Vocal Performance (Distinction). Polly is a Britten-Pears Young Artist and an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary Recipient. She now studies with vocal teacher Janice Chapman. Polly is represented by Mark Kendall Artists Management.
Her 2018/19 season at De Nationale Opera includes Pastuchyňa Jenůfa, Une femme thébaine Oedipe, Abra Juditha Triumphans and Fidalma Il Matrimonio Segreto. She will also perform the role of Hippolyta A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Opéra Comédie with the Opéra Orchestre Nation Montpellier Occitanie in May 2019.
During her time at the NOS, Polly performed scenes directed by Christopher Alden, Keith Warner, Max Hoehn and Emma Jenkins. Role excerpts included Ariodante (Opera North), Martha Khovanshchina (Scottish Opera), and Lucretia The Rape of Lucretia and Meg Page Falstaff (Welsh National Opera). She also collaborated with composer Sally Beamish and librettist Peter Thomson to create the aria 'The Frog Prince' as part of 12:40, a project set up by the NOS and Second Movement to create 12 new operatic arias.
Other recent opera engagements include Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel (Pop-Up Opera), Mrs Noye Noye’s Fludde (Lichfield Festival), Irene Theodora (Snape Maltings, BPYAP), 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), 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 Snape Maltings.
Polly has participated in masterclasses with Sarah Connolly, Joyce DiDonato, Christoph Prégardien, Julius Drake, Richard Stokes, Simon Keenlyside, Patricia Bardon, Patricia McMahon, Caroline Dowdle and Paul Farrington.
Prior to her musical studies, Polly graduated from Durham University with a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.