British bass-baritone Ashley Riches read English at the University of Cambridge where he was a member of the King’s College Choir. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and subsequently joined the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House. This season he joins the BBC New Generation Artist scheme.
After making his Royal Opera main stage debut in concert with Roberto Alagna, further appearances at the house included Salieri in Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, Michael in the world premiere of Eichbert’s Glare (Linbury Studio), Morales Carmen, Mandarin Turandot, Baron Douphol La Traviata and Officer Les Dialogues des Carmelites.
Other roles include Osmano in L’Ormindo, Marcello La Bohème, title roles Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni and Owen Wingrave, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas, Father Hänsel und Gretel, Tarquinius The Rape of Lucretia, Sid Albert Herring, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ibn-Hakia Iolanta. He made his debut for English National Opera as Schaunard La Bohème and returned last season as The Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance. Other recent highlights include Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the Academy of Ancient Music, Apollo e Dafne with the Pannon Philharmonic in Hungary, Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Christmas Oratorio on tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
In concert, he has appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Arcangelo, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Consort, Berlin Philharmonic, Monteverdi Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music under some of the world’s finest conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robin Ticciati, Richard Egarr, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Peter Dijkstra, Christian Curnyn and Sir Roger Norrington. He has performed at festivals including Southwell, Flanders, Three Choirs, City of London, Schubert, Ludlow and most recently at the BBC Proms.
His recordings include Poulenc Chansons Gaillardes with Graham Johnson for Hyperion, a solo disc of Shakespeare Sonnets set to music by Mario Castelnuovo Tadesco, St John Passion with Bach Camerata for Chandos, St Matthew Passion with English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Hayden Paukenmesse with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also made a television appearance in David Starkey’s series Music and the Monarchy.
Highlights of the 2017⁄18 season include his first Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro at the English National Opera, Claudio Agrippina at the Grange Festival, Purcell’s King Arthur with the Academy of Ancient Music under Richard Egarr, Schumann Requiem with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Egarr and Levite Solomon also with the SCO under Peter Dijkstra, Mozart Requiem with the Bremen Philharmonic under Paul McCreesh, and Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He will also give recitals with Joseph Middleton at the Wigmore Hall (BBC lunchtime series), Sheffield and Leeds Universities, as well as at the Oxford Lieder Festival with Sholto Kynoch.