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Leon Turner, a native of Monroe, Louisiana holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Northeast Louisiana University and a Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University. He has performed in master classes conducted by noted singers such as Leontyne Price and Blanche Thebom. Mr. Turner’s operatic and oratorio experiences include such roles as, Bonze, in Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Grandpa Moss in Copland’s The Tender Land, Frank in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, King Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mikado in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, and bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio. Smaller roles and excerpts include: 2nd Philistine in Saint-Saens’ Samson et Dalilah, Sergeant in Puccini’s La Boheme, Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, the title role in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and King Philip in Verdi’s Don Carlo. These performances occurred with, Opera North of Lebanon, N.H., Fort Worth Opera of Forth Worth, Texas, Portland Opera of Portland Oregon, S.M.U. Opera Theatre, and N.L.U. Opera Workshop.
Mr. Turner has made recital appearances at Northeast Louisiana University and with the Phi Mu Epsilon concert series in Dallas, Texas. He was cast in the movie “Leap of Faith” by Paramount Pictures as a gospel singer. The movie starred Steve Martin, Debra Winger, and Liam Neeson. This movie engagement resulted in a guest appearance with Steve Martin on the Arsenio Hall Talk Show as a featured soloist.
Mr. Turner spent the summer of ‘96 in Rome, Italy performing the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and concertizing with the Rome Festival Orchestra. He was chosen in 1996 as a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions in New Orleans, Louisiana, and winner of the National Opera Association Vocal Competition in Washington, DC. He is presently an Instructor of Prairie View A&M University, where he performs annual faculty recitals, and makes guest artist appearances at surrounding universities and colleges
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