Ashley Riches

Ashley Riches

BASS-BARITONE

Representation: General Management

Photo: Debbie Scanlan

Overview

British bass-baritone Ashley Riches was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at Covent Garden and is currently one of the BBC’s New Generation Artists.    Ashley has quickly established himself on both the opera and concert stage, working with many eminent conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Robin Ticciatti, Richard Egarr, John Eliot Gardiner,  Peter Dijkstra and Paul McCreesh.  His broad repertoire includes Britten, Puccini, Mozart, Bach, Handel, Purcell, Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams and Elgar.

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Full Biography

Currently a BBC New Generation Artist, bass-baritone Ashley Riches read English at Cambridge University, where he was a member of King’s College Choir and sang under Stephen Cleobury.  Ashley went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and from 2012-14, was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Ashley made his ROH main stage debut singing with Roberto Alagna and represented the house at a gala celebrating Young Artist Programmes at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.  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 Carmélites.  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 most recently made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic as Creon Oedipus Rex under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and joined the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra for an extensive European tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. He 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 Weihnachtsoratorium with the AAM and The Kingdom at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. Further 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.

Ashley’s song discography includes Poulenc Chansons Gaillardes with Graham Johnson (Hyperion), the songs of Arthur Sullivan with David Owen Norris (Chandos) and a world premier recording of the Shakespeare Sonnets of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Emma Abbate (Resonus). He has also recorded Handel L’Allegro, il Pensieroso ed il Moderato with the Gabrieli Consort, Paul McCreesh (Gabrieli) Bach St Matthew Passion (Bass arias, Pilate) with the Monteverdi Choir (Soli Deo Gloria) and Bach St John Passion (Jesus) with Crouch End Festival Chorus, the first recording in English for over fifty years. He also made a TV appearance in David Starkey’s TV series “Music and the Monarchy”.

The 2016/17 season sees his debut with Opera Holland Park in the title role of Don Giovanni, as well as his return to English National Opera as the Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance. Other highlights include Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the Academy of Ancient Music, Ferryman in Britten Curlew River with the Britten Sinfonia at the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Apollo e Dafne with the Pannon Philharmonic in Hungary, Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Christmas Oratorio on tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and various song recitals and recordings with pianists Simon Lepper, Sholto Kynoch, Anna Tilbrook and Joseph Middleton.

Future appearances include the Count in The Marriage of Figaro at English National Opera and performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the Bremen Philharmonic.

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: Evie Parker

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News

Hazard Chase at the BBC Proms

June 27th, 2017

Hazard Chase artists appearing at the BBC Proms 2017

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Don Giovanni opens at Opera Holland Park

June 2nd, 2017

HC artists Ellie Laugharne and Ashley Riches star in Mozart’s bodice ripper based on an italian libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte

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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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Reviews

Opera Holland Park DON GIOVANNI

“Ashley Riches, towering over everyone else, has the vocal potential — the honeyed, seductive sotto voce as well as the channelled rage — to be an outstanding Giovanni; all he needs is a more menacing physicality.”
Richard Morrison, The Times (June 2017)

“In the title role, Ashley Riches has the elegance and swagger to make us believe in him to the bitter end.”
Financial Times, Hannah Nepil (6 June 2017)

“A distinguished company of principals has been cannily cast. Ashley Riches, tall, fair and handsome, sang the title role with a golden timbre laced with incipient seduction.”
Whats on Stage, Mark Valencia (6 June 2017)

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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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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

Evie Parker (Cambridge)
evie.parker@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706414