British 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.
Ashley Riches was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 2012 to 2014. Previously he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and English at Cambridge University, where he was a member of the King’s College Chapel Choir under Stephen Cleobury.
Concert appearances include the UK Premiere of Shostakovich Orango with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Messiah in Symphony Hall, Birmingham with Stephen Cleobury, Mass in B Minor with Arcangelo at Flanders Festival in Ghent, Belshazzar’s Feast with David Temple at the Royal Festival Hall, Beethoven Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington, Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall and Winchester Cathedral, Handel L’Allegro with the Gabrieli Consort at St John’s Smith Square and in Beaune, Mozart Requiem with David Hill and the Bach Choir, Britten War Requiem with Jan Latham-Koenig and Novaya Opera, Moscow, Bach Cantatas with the AAM and Richard Egarr at the Wigmore Hall and Handel’s Israel in Egypt at Dartington with Jonathan Cohen.
Operatic appearances include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, Marcello and Schaunard La Bohème, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas, Father Hansel and Gretel, Tarquinius The Rape of Lucretia, Sid Albert Herring, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ibn-Hakia Iolanta and The Drunken Poet, Winter, Corydon and Sleep in The Fairy Queen with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Polyphemus Acis and Galatea with Paul McCreesh and Claudio Beatrice and Benedict with Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In November 2012 he made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing with Roberto Alagna in a Gala Concert and appeared as Salieri in Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri with the Jette Parker Young Artists at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Covent Garden for which he received outstanding reviews in the National Press. His roles at Covent Garden in the 2013/14 season included Morales Carmen, Mandarin Turandot, Baron Douphol La Traviata, Officier Les Dialogues des Carmelites and Osmano L’Ormindo at the Globe.
He has given song recitals at Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, the City of London Festival, Chelsea Schubert Festival and Ludlow Festival and has recorded Poulenc Chansons Gaillardes with Graham Johnson for Hyperion. He also sang several Handel arias for a David Starkey TV series “Monarchy and Music” with the AAM and Richard Egarr and has recorded Pilate St John Passion with Richard Egarr and the AAM, Mercury in Daniel Purcell’s The Judgement of Paris and Handel’s L’Allegro with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh.
He recently sang the title role in Owen Wingrave Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy. His future plans include Michael in the World Premiere of Glare by Eichberg for the ROH at the Linbury, Messiah with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Egarr and with the OAE in London, Seville and Barcelona, War Requiem at Cadogan Hall, Guglielmo Così fan tutte with Garsington Opera and his debut as Schaunard in La Boheme with English National Opera.
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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)
Former Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artist baritone Ashley Riches, and rising star pianist Emma Abbate, perform a ravishing selection of previously unrecorded Shakespeare Sonnets by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
RESONUS CLASSICS (2015)
Bach – St Matthew Passion
Ashley Riches sings Pilatus on this 1727 version of the St Matthew from the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Richard Egarr