Anna Leese is a soprano opera singer who is fast gaining an international reputation. Born in Palmerston North in 1981, at high school Leese joined every choir she could before conducting her own vocal group for two years. She was a member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir and the New Zealand Youth Choir. She studied piano, violin, bassoon, clarinet, guitar and recorder, before deciding to concentrate on solo voice in 1998.
In 2002 Leese graduated from the University of Otago with a first class honours degree in music, and won the Mobil Song Quest. She graduated from the RCM Benjamin Britten International Opera School in London in 2007.
Anna has won an impressive list of awards and aria prizes, both nationally and internationally. She has performed roles in numerous well-known operas with many of the renowned orchestras and opera companies, and in some of the great world opera houses.
Leese has also shared the concert stage with several of the world’s most-loved singers incuding Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carreras, and with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in Twickenham Stadium in 2005 for Jonah Lomu's return to rugby sevens.
Her recordings include ‘Debut Recital’ (2008) and ‘Life is a Dream: Haydn Songs and Duets’ (2009).
In 2010 she was the recipient of an New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award, and in 2011was a finalist in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.