Bio

A native of Philadelphia, soprano Leah Hawkins begins the 2020-21 season as Desdemona in 7 DEATHS OF MARIA CALLAS at Bayerische Staatsoper, and later debuts at Greek National Opera, Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Internationales Musikfest Hamburg. A recent alumna of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, last season she appeared at the Met to great acclaim as the Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess and Masha in The Queen of Spades. Other highlights include the 2019 North Carolina Opera Gala, Verdi’s Requiem with the Colorado Symphony, and the Caterina Jarboro Memorial Recital at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. 

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n the 2018-19 season she made her Met debut as an Alms Collector in Suor Angelica and the High Priestess in Aida. Additional appearances included a Park Avenue Armory Recital, a return to the National Symphony Orchestra for a Labor Day Concert and DECLASSIFIED, a Gala Concert with the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot Festival in Beaune, France, as a 'Young Talent' presenting concerts conducted by Met concertmaster, David Chan.

Ms. Hawkins is an alumna of the Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, where she performed Mrs. Johannes "Ma" Zegner in the world premiere of Mazzoli's Proving Up; Celestial Voice in Don Carlo; the premiere of Mohammed Fairouz's The Dictator's Wife; Cousin Blanche/Sadie Griffith in Champion, an "opera in jazz" by Terence Blanchard; Mrs. Dorsey/Amelia Boynton in the premiere of the revised version of Philip Glass' Appomattox; and in Justice at the Opera with late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, performing scenes from Aida and Un ballo in maschera with the Washington National Opera Orchestra.

On the concert stage she has appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra in A Space Odyssey; at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in a concert of vocal works by Beethoven; as a guest soloist with the U.S. Air Force Orchestra; Carmen in Carmen Jones with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra; Handel's Messiah with the Black Pearl Orchestra; Mahler Symphony No. 2 with Yale Philharmonia; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Suor Angelica with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra; El amor brujo with the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra.

In the 2017-18 season she appeared as narrator with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops in Jonathan Holland's Equality; with The Apollo Orchestra in Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder; the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in A Celebration of Black History where she performed Knoxville: Summer of 1915; Holiday Joy with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra; the National Symphony Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein's Songfest; as a guest artist in concert in Accra, Ghana; Washington Performing Arts' Music in the Country concert series, and at The White House, singing for the President of France.

Previously a mezzo-soprano, other roles include Julia Child in Lee Hoiby's one-woman opera, Bon Appétit, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, La Badessa in Suor Angelica, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, and Giulietta in Les contes d'Hoffmann.

Summer festival credits include The Martina Arroyo Foundation: Prelude to Performance Program, Houston Grand Opera's Young Artist Vocal Academy (YAVA), Central City Opera, The Chautauqua Opera Company, and The Glimmerglass Festival.

She is a 2018 Sullivan Foundation Award Winner, is the 2018 recipient of The Richard F. Gold Career Grant (The Shoshana Foundation) from Washington National Opera, the Studio Artist Award from The Chautauqua Opera Guild, and the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize, given to an outstanding singer in the Yale School of Music. She has also received prizes from The Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Vocal Competition, The George London Foundation Competition, Opera Ebony's Benjamin Matthews Vocal Competition, The Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition, and NANBPWC, Inc.

Leah received her Master of Music in Voice from Yale University and Bachelor of Arts in Music from Morgan State University.

*See the press packet above for a condensed biography.