• BM, vocal performance, Oberlin College 
  • MM, vocal performance, Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music
  • DMA, vocal performance, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory

American mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis has performed with international opera companies such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Teatro Colón, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Florentine Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Ash Lawn Opera, and Annapolis Opera, among others. Her most notable roles include Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Dido in Pucell’s Dido and Aeneas, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Paquette in Bernstein’s Candide, Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Giulietta in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Amaltea in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto, and Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring.

As a mezzo-soprano soloist on the concert stage, Leemhuis has performed at the Ravinia Festival, the Grant Park Music Festival, the Boise Philharmonic, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival. She performed with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque in both Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis and Mass in the Time of War, with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago in Händel’s Messiah, and with Gloriae Dei Cantores in Mozart’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress. She has also performed multiple times with the Richmond Symphony, presenting Berlioz’s Les nuits d'étéBerlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht.

During her years as a young artist, Leemhuis performed multiple roles in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, including Giovanna in Verdi’s Ernani, Glasa in Janácek's Kát'a Kabanová, Javotte in Massenet’s Manon, and the Kunstgewerblerin in Berg’s Lulu. She understudied Marguerite in Berlioz's La damnation de Faust, Siebel in Gounod's Faust, Varvara in Janácek's Kát'a Kabanová, Kate Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. Leemhuis was also a young artist with Opera Theatre St. Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist Program, the Carmel Bach Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where she performed Dorabella under the baton of Maestro James Levine.

As a singer in the competition arena, Leemhuis has won several prizes, most notably  with the Shreveport Opera, the New York Lyric Opera, the Opera at Florham, the Bel Canto Competition, the Heida Hermanns Competition, the  National Opera Association, the Opera Birmingham, the Florida Grand Opera, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Fort Worth McCammon Foundation, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Sullivan Foundation, the George London Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition. She was a National Semi-Finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Leemhuis is a native of Columbus, Ohio.



As the Soloist in Berlioz's LES NUITS D'ÉTÉ with the Richmond Symphony:

"Kathryn Leemhuis returned [to the Richmond Symphony] to highlight the weekend’s Masterworks program in a tonally exquisite, richly expressive performance of Berlioz’s “Les nuits d’été.” In this cycle of night songs, Leemhuis, brightly animated in the opening Villanelle, plumbed greater emotional and atmospheric depths in the likes of “Le spectre de la rose” and “L’absence,” singing with a concentration and introspective passion that proved extraordinarily affecting. Her dark lower register tones seemed to fill the considerable space of the Carpenter Theatre and impose a profound quiet on both the accompanying musicians and the audience. It was a remarkable display of artistry exercising spell-binding authority."​ 

- Clarke Bustard, The Virginia Classical Music Blog

As the Soloist in Bernstein's SYMPHONY NO. 1 "JEREMIAH" with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra: 

"COYO's performance Sunday made a strong case for its return to regular repertoire, with a first-rate reading that featured the outstanding mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis. Her rich and often dark voice was well suited to the lamentation of the work's finale, which she rendered with a dramatic intensity that was incandescent."​

- Mark Satola, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

As Dorabellain Mozart's COSI FAN TUTTEat Fort Worth Opera: 

“Kathryn Leemhuis [sang] Dorabella ravishingly, [her] sheer vocal beauty allied to nimbleness and an astonishing range of dynamic and coloristic nuance."

- Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

As Amaltea in Rossini's MOSE IN EGITTO at Chicago Opera Theater:

"Kathryn Leemhuis delivered an excellent Amaltea, biting off her consonants like a scrappish piranha and coursing through the queen's volatile writing with precision and flash."

- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

As Didoin Purcell's DIDO AND AENEAS at the Teatro Colon: 

"Kathryn Leemhuis (Dido), with sweet and penetrating vocal timbre and a refined fit, in a very exposed role, conferred expressive interest in every moment. She and the rest of the cast–with perfect period diction–performed beyond the static characteristics of baroque classical music."

- Hector Coda, La Nacion Line, Buenos Aires

More on Kathryn Leemhuis website