Baritone Brian Leeper is in his sixteenth year teaching Voice at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he teaches Studio Voice, Meistersingers, and directs the UWW Opera Workshop. He has presented numerous master classes at colleges and universities in the US and abroad. Mr. Leeper is the former Artistic Director of La Musica Lirica, an international summer opera festival in Italy, where he was also a voice faculty member for 12 years. In the summer of 2018, Brian performed with the orchestra of Operafestival di Roma during their productions of Suor Angelica in Rome and presented a masterclass for the program in Orvieto. Also an accomplished organist, Mr. Leeper also performed on concerts with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chamber singers in the summer of 2018 in Frankfurt, Leipzig, Dresden, and Talheim, Germany, and Poznan, Poland. While in Frankfurt, Brian also coached American Art Song with several vocal students at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.
Mr. Leeper has performed over twenty major roles with opera companies in the US and Europe, including a live national radio broadcast performance of Candide with the Cleveland Orchestra from the Blossom Festival Center. He has also appeared as soloist in oratorios with conductors Robert Shaw, Leon Botstein, Robert Page and Vance George. Solo Oratorio appearances in the past ten years include Brahm’s Deutsche Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Rutter’s Mass of the Children, Walton’s Belshazzar's Feast, and Mozart’s Requiem. In 2010, Mr. Leeper toured Poland, performing operatic arias, and accompanying Chopin Songs and Musical Theatre Selections. In spring of 2020, Mr. Leeper will sing the premier performances of Willa Cather Songs composed by Chris Ellenwood, with the Nebraska Chamber Players, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Mr. Leeper holds degrees from Luther College and The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and has done further graduate study at Florida State University. He is a past President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is advisor to the student chapter of SNATS at UW-Whitewater. Prior to his appointment at Whitewater, he was on the voice faculties of Butler University, Anderson University, Western Illinois University, Operafestival di Roma and Lutheran Summer Music Camp. In 2011, Mr. Leeper was the recipient of the university-wide Academic Staff Instructional Excellence Award at UW-Whitewater. Several of Mr. Leeper’s undergraduate students have gone on to graduate study at several prestigious schools, including students currently studying vocal performance at Indiana University, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Louisiana State University, The University of Minnesota and New York University.