American mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis has performed with international opera companies such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Teatro Colón, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Florentine Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Ash Lawn Opera, and Annapolis Opera, among others. One of her most notable roles is Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, for which Kathryn has been hailed as “ravishing,” adding that “her sheer vocal beauty allied to nimbleness and an astonishing range of dynamic and coloristic nuance,” (Dallas Morning News). Her other prominent roles include Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Dido in Pucell’s Dido and Aeneas, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Paquette in Bernstein’s Candide, Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Giulietta in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Amaltea in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto, and Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring.
As a mezzo-soprano soloist on the concert stage, Kathryn has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Ravinia Festival, the Grant Park Music Festival, the Boise Philharmonic, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival. She performed with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque in both Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis and Mass in the Time of War, with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago in Händel’s Messiah, and with Gloriae Dei Cantores in Mozart’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress. She has also performed multiple times with the Richmond Symphony, presenting Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht. Kathryn’s performance of Les nuits d’été was graciously embraced: “Her dark lower register tones seemed to fill the considerable space of the Carpenter Theatre and impose a profound quiet on both the accompanying musicians and the audience. It was a remarkable display of artistry exercising spell-binding authority,” (Virginia Classical Music).
During her years as a young artist, Kathryn performed multiple roles in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, including Giovanna in Verdi’s Ernani, Glasa in Janácek’s Kát’a Kabanová, Javotte in Massenet’s Manon, and the Kunstgewerblerin in Berg’s Lulu. She understudied Marguerite in Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Siebel in Gounod’s Faust, Varvara in Janácek’s Kát’a Kabanová, Kate Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. Kathryn was also a young artist with Opera Theatre St. Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist Program, the Carmel Bach Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where she performed Dorabella under the baton of Maestro James Levine.
As a singer in the competition arena, Kathryn has won several prizes, most notably with the Shreveport Opera, the New York Lyric Opera, the Opera at Florham, the Bel Canto Competition, the Heida Hermanns Competition, the National Opera Association, the Opera Birmingham, the Florida Grand Opera, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Fort Worth McCammon Foundation, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Sullivan Foundation, the George London Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition. She was a National Semi-Finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Leemhuis holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. In addition to performing internationally, she is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia. Leemhuis is a native of Columbus, Ohio.