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Special Reports

Where Are They Now?
Soprano Leah Crocetto

June 5, 2018 | By John Fleming

New Artist of the Month: August 2010

Leah Crocetto was a late bloomer. In 2010, when the soprano was one of five winners in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she was the oldest age at which a singer can enter the competition. “I was speechless,” she told MA. “I thought they weren’t ever going to give it to a 30-year-old. I won it in the last possible year I could have won it, and it was just surreal.”

Since then Crocetto has been making up for lost time, praised for her Italianate style in Verdi and Puccini. This season she sang the title role in Aida at both Washington National Opera (WNO) and Seattle Opera, and her Leonora in Il trovatore was heard at Oper Frankfurt. Also at WNO, she was Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlo and as the soprano soloist in his Requiem. Her Puccini included Liu in Turandot with San Francisco Opera, and she made her role debut as Tosca with Pittsburgh Opera.

“I do have an affinity for Italian music, and I love singing the language,” Crocetto says. “It has a natural musicality—it sings itself!”

Last summer, she made a significant foray into bel canto repertory as Eleonora in Donizetti’s The Siege of Calais, given its belated U.S. premiere at the Glimmerglass Festival. It was directed by Francesca Zambello, who heads both Glimmerglass and WNO and has cast the soprano in numerous productions. Crocetto thrives under Zambello’s emphasis on acting.

“The way Francesca approaches these operas and the way we work together in bringing them to life is definitely done from an acting viewpoint. She expects the singer to be an actor and to grab onto the character, full-on. There is no way around it. She expects greatness and that makes me work even harder.” (Photo: Rebecca Fay)

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