Rare Recital


Since his receipt of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award for exceptional vocal artistry in 1988, American tenor Richard Leech has sung everywhere from the Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera houses to La Scala, the Royal Opera House, and the Paris Opera. Yet, despite an impressive discography, his sole solo recital, From the Heart, was recorded for Telarc back in 1995 in what was then state-of-the-art sound. All the more reason to avail yourself of this rare opportunity to hear this emotionally committed tenor hold forth in a number of well-loved Italian arias and Neapolitan songs that he has not otherwise recorded to this date.

The disc's 16 selections, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Fiore, are devoted half to arias, with the other half reserved for song. Repertoire includes the two big tenor arias from Puccini's Tosca, along with other major Puccini arias from Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, and Turandot.

Besides singing a beautiful rendition of Donizetti's "Una furtive lagrima," Leech acquits himself in two arias especially well suited to his emotional affect and timbre, "Addio, fiorito asil" from Butterfly and "Lamento di Federico" from Cilea's L'Arlesiana. Accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Fiore, he also gives us a beautiful rendition of Donizetti's "Una furtive lagrima,"

Leech sings his heart out on three Neapolitan selections by Tosti, two by De Curtis, and, of course di Capua's "O sole mio." Every one of them is a joy.