Leah Heater has been hailed for her “exquisite voice” and considerable “acting capabilities”. She has sung as a soloist at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and with opera companies such as Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Maine, Sarasota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Washington Concert Opera. She has performed the operatic roles of Mother in Hansel and Gretel, Gertrude in Hamlet, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Principessa in Suor Angelica, Zita in Baba in The Medium, Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Carmen in Carmen and La tragedie de Carmen, Princess Eboli in Don Carlos, Riccardo in Riccardo Primo, Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Aloès in L’étoile, the Page in Salome, Flora in La Traviata, Aunt Cecelia in Little Women, Juno in Orpheus in the Underworld, and Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress.
She was fortunate to collaborate with Ricky Ian Gordon in workshops and world premieres of his operas 27 and Morning Star, and with Jake Heggie in his workshop of Great Scott. In concert, she has sung as mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, Dvorak’s Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Das Lied von der Erde, John Adam’s El Niño, Händel’s Messiah, Duruflé’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and most recently, Verdi’s Requiem with Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
She has received prizes from the Gerda Lissner International Voice Competition, Opera Ithaca International Voice Competition, Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, and the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition.
Leah is a graduate of the Master of Music and Artist Diploma programs at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. She also serves as adjunct professor of voice at West Virginia Wesleyan College and at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Other roles this past season include Fricka in The Valkyrie with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and Julia Child in the one woman show, Bon Appettit! Opera Maine. Leah is thrilled to make her role debut as Amneris in Aida this season with Virginia Opera, where she was a Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist in 2015-2016.