Jose Carreras and Anna Leese Jose Carreras and Anna Leese CREDIT:

Anna Leese stars with a legend

Thursday 21 February 2008, 5:03PM
By Palmerston North City Council


English opera buffs are being told to look out for Palmerston North soprano, Anna Leese, in the future.

This week Anna was guest artist in a recital featuring the legendary Jose Carreras, one of the “Three Tenors”, at The Sage Gateshead in England.

Reviewer, Thomas Hall, in Journal Live, was certainly impressed with Carreras but reserved some favourable comments for Anna Leese.

“Fewer of us, I imagine, will be as familiar with the voice of New Zealand-born soprano, Anna Leese, but I suspect many will look out for her in future,” he wrote.

The review highlighted the duets that Jose Carreras and Anna sang including Jose “mischievously echoing the opening of (Anna’s) I Could Have Danced All Night from somewhere in the wings” immediately before they sang the love duet from Lehar’s The Merry Widow.

The reviewer also described Anna’s aria One Fine Day from Madame Butterfly as “superbly done.”

Anna is currently starring in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at England’s pre-eminent opera house, Covent Garden.

She returns home briefly in August to sing with the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra including a Palmerston North performance and, while here, she will help to launch the award-winning Anna Leese rose.

Anna last year was the star of Wine, Women and Song which this year features Dame Malvina Major on March 2 and is a former recipient of a Next Step grant, administered by the Palmerston North City Council.

One of the organizers of Wine, Women and Song, Malcolm Hopwood, has described Anna as New Zealand’s next international diva.