A native of Philadelphia, soprano Leah Hawkins began the 2020-21 season as Desdemona in 7 DEATHS OF MARIA CALLAS at Bayerische Staatsoper, and later debuted 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. In 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, and a Gala Concert with the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Hawkins is an alumna of the Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, where stage appearances included 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 Yale Philharmonia in Mahler Symphony No. 2; the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven Symphony No. 9; as Serena in Porgy and Bess with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; and in A Space Odyssey with The Philadelphia Orchestra. In the 2017-18 season she appeared 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; the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra in Holiday Joy; the National Symphony Orchestra in Songfest by Leonard Bernstein; at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in a concert of vocal works by Beethoven; as a guest artist in concert in Accra, Ghana; and at The White House, singing for the President of France.
Leah’s 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, and the 2018 recipient of The Richard F. Gold Career Grant (The Shoshana Foundation) from Washington National Opera. She has received awards from The Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Vocal Competition, The Chautauqua Opera Guild, Yale School of Music, George London Foundation, Marcello Giordani Foundation, Opera Ebony, NANBPWC, Inc., and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Leah received her Master of Music in Voice from Yale University and Bachelor of Arts in Music from Morgan State University.