Described as ‘a polished and radiant soprano’ (Opera Magazine), Jessica Leary has worked throughout the UK and abroad with companies including Scottish Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Grange Festival Opera, Buxton International Festival, Iford Arts, Dunedin Consort, RedNote Ensemble, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and OAE Choir.
Jessica made her debut at the Edinburgh International Festival when she stepped in at short notice to sing in Rodgers and Hammerstein's A Grand Night For Singing (conducted by Wayne Marshall and directed by Kim Criswell). Her other performances throughout 2021 include Second Woman in the world premier of Wallen's Dido's Ghost at The Barbican Centre (London), Buxton International Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival (conducted by John Butt and directed by Freddie Wake-Walker), Bach St Matthew Passion with Dunedin Consort and Scottish Opera's Pop-Up Opera Tour.
Jessica has sung several times with Scottish Opera as a soloist for the Pop-Up Opera Roadshow, and in the roles of Euridice Orfeo & Euridice, Sandman (Cover) Hansel and Gretel, Eurydice Orpheus in the Underworld (Education Tour), and Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She made her debut with Grange Park Opera, singing the role of Tebaldo in Don Carlo. Further roles include Musetta La Boheme (Edinburgh International Festival, Schools Tour), Edelknabe Lohengrin (Bayreuth Festival), Damigella/Venere L’incoronazione di Poppea (Aldeburgh), Iphis Jephtha (Cover, Iford Opera), and Adina L’elisir d’amore, Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress, Lucia The Rape of Lucretia.
Highlights on the concert platform include Bach St Matthew Passion, Blow Venus and Adonis (Cupid) and various education projects with the Dunedin Consort; Bach A Christmas Oratorio with Ludus Baroque and with Dundee Choral Union; Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (recorded for BBC Radio 3), and Vaughan Williams A Pastoral Symphony with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Passionate about music education, Jessica has worked regularly with the education and outreach departments of companies including Scottish Opera, Dunedin Consort, Edinburgh International Festival, McOpera, LiveMusicNow, and Music in Hospitals. Alongside her work as a singer, she is currently undertaking doctoral research into Opera Outreach work at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as a Carnegie Trust PhD Scholar.
A Samling Artist and Britten-Pears Young Artist, she was a semi-finalist in the Royal Overseas League Competition and London Bach Singing Competition, and was the winner of multiple awards at the RCS including the Ye Cronies Opera Prize, the Frank Spedding Lieder Prize, Bill Dewar Memorial Award, Governor's Recital Prize (Runner-Up), and Robertson Trust Award. Prior to graduating with Distinction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Jessica obtained a First Class Honours degree from the University of Edinburgh.