Dr. Matthew Leese is known as a versatile singer, conductor and director.
His extensive performing experience in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Asia and Europe includes dozens of opera, recital and oratorio performances. CD credits include Le Stagioni and Elements with First Step Records, a disc of new music by NZ composer Anthony Ritchie, as medieval soloist on the 2007 Norton Anthology, In a Vale of Tears with Tudor Voices and Crowned with Laurel with medieval ensemble LIBER. Matthew has sung under the direction of such illustrious musicians as Simon Carrington, Joseph Flummerfeld, Michael Lloyd, John Poole, Nigel North, Karen Grylls, Fred Stoltzfus and Chet Alwes.
As a stage director, Matthew has led dozens of staged projects and is known for his expertise in baroque stage movement and preparing his own performance texts, seen in productions of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen, Charpentier’s Le Malade Imaginaire, in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Lincoronazione di Poppea and in collaborative works such as a choral/spoken word/dance performance of Virgil Thomson’s Medea of Euripides. Recent singing engagements include performing French Baroque Cantatas with Bourbon Baroque in Louisville KY, appearing as an ensemble singer for the Mark Morris Dance Group, and as baritone soloist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Handel's Messiah with the Spire Ensemble at the Kauffman Center, Kansas City. Recent conducting work has seen Matthew lead productions of staged Bach Cantatas for Millikin Opera Theater, serving as Guest Conductor for the Passamaquoddy region’s Voices of the Bay 2013 and 2014, and two years as the conductor of the Millikin University Women's Choir. Matthew is Co-Artistic Director of NewBEMF (New Brunswick Early Music Festival), and an adjunct professor at Keene State College, New Hampshire.