A native of Philadelphia, Leah Hawkins joins the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in the 2018-19 season. She recently completed the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera where she appeared as Ma Zegner in the world premiere of _Proving Up_ by Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, and Voce dal cielo in Verdi’s Don Carlo. In the 2016-17 season she appeared at WNO as the I-Will-Sell-My-Children-Mom in the premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s _The Dictator’s Wife_ and, to great acclaim, as Cousin Blanche/Sadie Griffith in Champion, Terence Blanchard’s “opera in jazz.” Additionally she appeared in _Justice at the Opera_ with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, performing scenes from _Aida_and _Un ballo in maschera_ with the Washington National Opera Orchestra.
In the 2015-16 season she appeared at WNO as Mrs. Dorsey/Amelia Boynton in the world premiere of the revised version of Philip Glass’ Appomattox; The Answerer/Ensemble in Lost in the Stars; Serena in _Porgy and Bess_ with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; and Lucia in _The Thieving Magpie_ as a young artist at The Glimmerglass Festival. Previously a mezzo-soprano, other roles include Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s one-woman opera, Bon Appétit, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, La Ciesca in _Gianni Schicchi,_ La Badessa in Suor Angelica, Tisbe in _La Cenerentola,_ and Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann.
On the concert stage she has appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra in _A Space Odyssey;_ at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in a concert of vocal works by Beethoven; as a guest soloist with the U.S. Air Force Orchestra; Carmen in _Carmen Jones_ with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s _Messiah_ with the Black Pearl Orchestra; Mahler Symphony No. 2 with Yale Philharmonia; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and _Suor Angelica_ with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra; _El amor brujo_ with the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra.
In the 2017-18 season she appeared as narrator with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops in Jonathan Holland’s Equality; 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; _Holiday Joy_ with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra; the National Symphony Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest; in _Effervescence: A Taste of MESS_ with Mise En Scène Studios (MESS) NYC; as a guest artist in concert in Accra, Ghana; Washington Performing Arts’ _Music in the Country_ concert series, and at The White House, singing for the President of France.
In the 2018-19 season she joins the National Symphony Orchestra for a Labor Day Capitol Concert, presents a Park Avenue Armory Recital, and makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as the Alms Collector in _Suor Angelica_ and the High Priestess in Aida.
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, is the 2018 recipient of The Richard F. Gold Career Grant (The Shoshana Foundation) from Washington National Opera, the Studio Artist Award from The Chautauqua Opera Guild, the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize, given to an outstanding singer in the Yale School of Music, and 2nd Place at the New England Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has also received prizes from The Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Vocal Competition, The George London Foundation Competition, Opera Ebony’s Benjamin Matthews Vocal Competition, The Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition, and NANBPWC, Inc.
Leah received her Master of Music in Voice from Yale University and Bachelor of Arts in Music from Morgan State University.