Ashley Riches

Ashley Riches

BASS-BARITONE

Representation: General Management

Overview

British Bass-Baritone Ashley Riches was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden having previously studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at King’s College Cambridge.  Ashley has already established himself in both opera and concerts with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Stephen Cleobury, Sir Roger Norrington, Paul McCreesh, Jonathan Cohen, Robin Ticciati, Jan Latham-Koenig, David Hill and Richard Egarr.  His broad repertoire includes Britten, Puccini, Mozart, Handel as well as appearing on the recent release of Complete Songs (Poulenc) on Hyperion.

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Full Biography

Ashley Riches read English at Cambridge University, where he was a member of King’s College Choir.    He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 2012-14.

Ashley made his ROH main stage debut singing with Roberto Alagna in a gala concert.  During his two years at Covent Garden he also appeared as Salieri in Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, as Michael in the world premiere of Eichbert’s Glare (Linbury Studio), Morales Carmen, Mandarin Turandot, Baron Douphol La Traviata and Officer Les Dialogues des Carmelites.  He has since returned to the company to sing Osmano in L’Ormindo at the Globe Theatre.  Other roles previously sung include Marcello La Bohème, title roles Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas, Father Hänsel und Gretel,  Tarquinius The Rape of Lucretia,  Sid Albert Herring,  Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ibn-Hakia Iolanta.   Ashley made his debut for English National Opera as Schaunard La Bohème and has recently appeared in the title role of Owen Wingrave (Opéra National de Lorraine, Nancy).

Already well established on the concert platform,  Ashley’s appearances include the UK premiere of Shostakovich Orango (Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen), Messiah in Birmingham Symphony Hall and with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Mass in B Minor with Arcangelo at Flanders Festival,   Beethoven Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington,  Handel L’Allegro and Mozart Requiem with the Gabrieli Consort,   Britten’s War Requiem with Novaya Opera Moscow and in Cadogan Hall, and  Bach Cantatas with the AAM at the Wigmore Hall.   Most recently he made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic as Creon Oedipus Rex with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and joined the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra for an extensive European tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion.   Ashley also took part in the world premiere of John Powell’s Prussian Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra, sang Pollux Castor and Pollux with Christian Curnyn at St John’s Smith Square, Bach’s Weinachtsoratorium with the AAM and The Kingdom at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester.

As a recitalist Ashley has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, the City of London Festival, the Schubert Festival and the Ludlow Festival.   His recordings include Poulenc Chansons Gaillardes with Graham Johnson for Hyperion,  a solo disc of Shakespeare Sonnets set to music by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  for Resonus Classics,  St John Passion (AAM) and Daniel Purcell’s The Judgement of Paris and Handel’s L’Allegro (Gabrieli Consort).   He also made a TV appearance in David Starkey’s TV series “Music and the Monarchy”.

Highlights in the 2016/17 season include a return to English National Opera as the Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the AAM, Apollo e Dafne with the Pannon Philharmonic in Hungary, Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Christmas Oratorio on tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Ashley is a member of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme.

Artist website: www.ashleyriches.com

Promoters please note: If you want to include this biography in concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure you receive the most up to date version.
Email: Caroline Challis

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News

Eastertide

March 16th, 2017

Hazard Chase artists celebrate the culmination of the religious calendar

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The 12 Days to Christmas

December 7th, 2016

A festive feast of delights – a summary of Hazard Chase artists appearing in Christmas concerts this season

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Suzuki & the O.A.E.

December 6th, 2016

Masaaki Suzuki conducts Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in major European venues

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BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

November 23rd, 2016

Lucy Hall and Ashley Riches appear with top orchestra

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Riches announced as New Generation Artist

August 30th, 2016

Bass-baritone joins prestigious BBC Radio 3 scheme

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Reviews

Bach ST JOHN PASSION (Crouch End Festival Chorus & Bach Camerata/Temple, Chandos Records)

“Ashley Riches captures Jesus’s utterances with a heartbreaking simplicity. Frankly, none of the soloists could be bettered…”
Malcolm Riley, Gramophone (Apr 2017)

Gilbert & Sullivan PIRATES OF PENZANCE (ENO)

“Ashley Riches brought an appropriate touch of the good-natured head-boy to the nobly born Pirate King.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (Feb 2017)

“Ashley Riches, a rising star among baritones, is the Pirate King (the Johnny Depp role, if you like).”
Nick Kimberley, Evening Standard (Feb 2017)

“As the Pirate King, Ashley Riches combines flair with fanfaronade”
George Hall, The Guardian (Feb 2017)

1767: A RETROSPECTIVE (Classical Opera at Wigmore Hall)

“Page had three of the most impressive rising young stars of Britain’s music scene to demonstrate: Gemma Summerfield with her richly fluid soprano, beautifully controlled, dramatic tenor Stuart Jackson, and Ashley Riches’ mellifluously expressive bass-baritone.”
Cara Chanteau, Independent (Jan 2017)

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Elgar THE KINGDOM – Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester

“Ashley Riches was outstanding in the commanding bass role of Peter”
Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk (July 2016)

CHRISTMAS ORATORIO– Acadamy of Ancient Music

“Ashley Riches took the bass part and his voice revealed depth and warmth while maintaining clarity by not indulging in too excessive a vibrato. His performance of ‘Grosser Herr, o starker König’ was particularly fine as the solo trumpet rang out.”
Sam Smith, Music OMH (December 2015)

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“The real star of the evening was young Ashley Riches, only two years out of the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists programme, and the total artist: range secure from top to bottom, a highly dramatic way with the text and pure musicianship.”
David Nice, The Arts Desk, December 2015

“…the increasingly impressive bass Ashley Riches brought authority and clear German to his recitatives.”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, December 2015

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 LA BOHEME – English National Opera

“Riches’s raunchy, funny Schaunard is one of the best of recent years.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, October 2015

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JETTE PARKER YOUNG ARTISTS SUMMER SHOWCASE (ACT 1: COSI FAN TUTTE) – Royal Opera House

“The outstanding all-round male performance of the afternoon came from Ashley Riches as Don Alfonso. This young man is the perfect stage animal, confident without being overbearing, camp when appropriate, darkly sinister if need be. He looked as if he had been singing the role of Don Alfonso for the last twenty years in major houses. His use of Italian, particularly in the recitative, was exceptional and he has a lovely dark baritone, making him ideal to play sinister villains in future”
Opera Britannia, Miranda Jackson (20 July 2014)

“Ashley Riches sang the infamous role of Don Alfonso and he was outstanding in it. He has a marked, charismatic stage presence, projects his voice well, has clear diction and his baritone is powerful and expressive. His Don Alfonso was suitably manipulative but also charming, making it convincing that he can easily lead the two young men to do what he wants for his own amusement.”
Seen and Heard International, Margarida Mota-Bull (23 July 2014)

Purcell FAIRY QUEEN, The Gabrieli Consort – Spitalfields

“A dash of spontaneity, though, is not so foreign to Purcell’s semi-operas and the joie de vivre that coursed through scenes such as the Drunken Poet’s rant, wittily played by Ashley Riches, and the whole of the last act was true to the work’s spirit.”
Financial Times, Richard Fairman (June 2012)

“Fine support came from the young bass Ashley Riches.”
Neil Fisher, The Times (June 2012)

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Discography & Repertoire

Bach – St John Passion

Sung in English (Neil Jenkins translation), with Ashley Riches (Jesus), Sophie Bevan (soprano), Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Benjamin Hulett (tenor), Robert Murray (Evangelist) and Neal Davies (bass-baritone).  David Temple conducts Bach Camerata

CHANDOS (2017)

 

Bach ST MATTHEW PASSION

With James Gilchrist (Evangelist), Stephan Loges (Jesus) – with Hannah Morrison, Zoe Brookshaw, Charlotte Ashley (sopranos), Reginald Mobley, Eleanor Minney (altos), Hugo Hymas (tenor) and Ashley Riches, Alex Ashworth, Jonathan Sells (basses).  John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and Trinity Boys Choir in a performance recorded live in Pisa Cathedral

SDG (2017)

Haydn PAUKENMESSE

Grace Davidson (soprano), Anna Harvey (mezzo), Mark Wilde (tenor) and Ashley Riches (bass-baritone).   Hilary Davan Wetton conducts City of London Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

RPO (2016)

Artist Manager

Sue Nicholls (Cambridge)
sue.nicholls@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706023

Assistant Artist Manager

Caroline Slade (Cambridge)
caroline.slade@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706414