Meet the Artist: Leah Wool

Oct 3, 2012

Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool is Flora in La traviata. Flora is a party girl. One of Opera Omaha’s staff described her as Violetta’s frenemy”. Wikipedia says that the word is a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” that can refer to either an enemy disguised as a friend or someone who’s both a friend and a rival. This seems accurate for Verdi’s character and Leah Wool’s current role, Flora.

Ms. Wool plays the role with joy and skill. Her velvety mezzo-soprano and marvelous acting skills convey the impression that she is a friend with a past and an agenda. Join us for La traviata this weekend and see Ms. Wool as Verdi’s party girl, Flora.

La traviata is at Omaha’s beautiful Orpheum Theater on October 5 and 7. Need tickets? Visit the Ticket Omaha website or call 402-345-0606.

Leah Wool’s biography is printed below. This information and more is available on her website.

Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool has been hailed by Opera News as “among the more distinctive and accomplished artists of her generation,” with a “distinguished, lovely timbre.”
Ms. Wool’s 2012-2013 season includes appearances with Portland’s prestigious Chamber Music Northwest, both Nashville Opera and Knoxville Opera as the title role in La Cenerentola; Sacramento Opera, as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia; and as Flora in La traviata with Opera Omaha.
In the 2011-2012 season, Leah Wool returned to the San Francisco Symphony as the second mezzo-soprano in Debussy’s Le Martyre de St. Sébastien, bowed in Glass’ Kepler and in recital at Spoleto Festival USA, appeared with Gloria Musicae for Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, and sang Handel’s Messiah with both the Kansas City Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony.

Her 2010-2011 season included returns to Gotham Chamber Opera as the title role in Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas and Utah Opera as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opéra Louisiane , and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with The Little Orchestra Society at Avery Fisher Hall. On the concert stage, she returned to Avery Fisher Hall in Copland’s In the Beginning and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, debuted with the San Francisco Symphony for the Duruflé Requiem, and sang the roles of Dido and also the Sorceress in concert performances of Dido and Aeneas with the Portland Baroque Orchestra and the Oregon Bach Festival.
In the 2009-2010 season, she sang Hänsel with Kentucky Opera, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Knoxville Opera, and added three roles to her repertoire: the title role in Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula with Boston Baroque, Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri with Utah Opera, and Betty in Flora at the Spoleto Festival USA. On the concert stage, she performed Händel’s Messiah with the Utah Symphony and the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Gloria Musicae.
In 2008-2009, Ms. Wool sang the title role in La Cenerentola with Orlando Opera, Meg in Little Women with Syracuse Opera, Amastre in Xerxes with Boston Baroque, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera to cover Myrtale in Thaïs. In the summer of 2009, Ms. Wool made her debut with Glimmerglass Opera as the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul.

In previous seasons, Ms. Wool appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in performances of the Second Bridesmaid in Le Nozze di Figaro and Marshal Murat’s Adjutant in War and Peace, bowed as Angelina in La Cenerentola with both Opera New Jersey (role début) and Opera Fairbanks, and joined fellow Yale Opera alumni in concert at Weill Recital Hall as part of the inaugural “Yale at Carnegie” series.
Notable past performances also include the Second Novice in Suor Angelica at the Metropolitan Opera (company début), the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Erika in Vanessa with Central City Opera, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette with Toledo Opera, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Newton Symphony, Delia in Il Viaggio a Reims at New York City Opera, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Utah Opera, and Léoena in La Belle Hélène with Santa Fe Opera. Ms. Wool was one of a select group of Yale Opera alumni invited to record the complete song collection of Charles Ives, which was released in 2008 on Naxos Records.

Sought after on the concert stage, she has appeared as mezzo-soprano soloist for works including Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Gloria Musicae, Haydn’s Theresienmesse with the New Jersey Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Utah Symphony, Duruflé’s Requiem with the Greenwich Choral Society, Vivaldi’s Gloria with the New Haven Symphony, Bruckner’s Missa Solemnis with the Manchester Symphony, and Bach’s Magnificat, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass at Yale University.

A two-time Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she is also a 2008 Winner and a 2004 Encouragement Grant recipient of the Sullivan Foundation Awards. Ms. Wool was a Second Place Winner in the 2005 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition and subsequently made her Alice Tully Hall debut in the Foundation’s gala concert, receiving praise from Opera News as “the afternoon’s most arresting voice.” Other honors include a 2008 Encouragement Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, a 2007 Grant from the Giulio Gari Foundation, and the 2003 Judith Raskin Memorial Award from Santa Fe Opera. She was also the 2002 recipient of the Presser Award, a prestigious study grant from The Presser Foundation and the Yale School of Music.

Ms. Wool has been a Young Artist at Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Utah Symphony & Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera North, and the Caramoor Festival. She holds an Artist Diploma and Master of Music from Yale University and received her Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from Westminster Choir College. Ms. Wool is a native of Long Island, New York.

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