Joseph Leon, Baritone
Hometown: West Des Moines, IA
Current City: Dallas, TX
Joseph Canuto Leon is a Mexican-American baritone who is poised to take the next step into the world of opera and oratorio. A recent graduate of The University of North Texas, Joseph completed his MM in Vocal Performance in 2017. Originally from Des Moines, IA, he received his BM in Music Education at Iowa State University. Joseph has studied with many high profile teachers, including his current teacher Carol Wilson, Molly Fillmore, Mary Creswell, Leanne Freeman-Miller, and internationally renowned bass-baritone and fellow Iowan Simon Estes.
2018 proved to be a major year of debuts for Joseph. October saw Joseph's debut with The Dallas Opera in their production of Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer, under the baton of maestro Emmanuel Villaume and directed by Christopher Alden. In July, Joseph joined Diversita Opera in Dallas for their concert production of Verdi's Falstaff. Joseph sang the role of Pistola, while also covering and eventually stepping into the role of Ford during the rehearsal process, with both roles being debuts. 2018 also saw Joseph return to St. Michael and All Angels for his debut of Ralph Vaughan Williams' 5 Mystical Songs, as well as singing the bass solos in Mozart's Coronation Mass, Haydn's St. Nicholas Mass, and selections of Schubert's Mass in Bb.
Joseph began the 2017-2018 season with his Chicago Theater debut in the world premiere of High Fidelity by Philip Seward at the Royal George Theater, where he created the role of Theodore Bumpass. In November Joseph also premiered another new piece, Flander's Fields, by Julliard Composition professor Robert Beaser. Joseph concluded 2017 with the bass solos from Schubert's Mass in G as well as the Nunc Dimittis by Charles Villiers Stanford at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas.
At UNT, Joseph was heavily active in the school’s opera program. While there, Joseph performed roles in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Uficiale), The Merry Widow (Kromow), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Soldato Secundo), The Mother of us all (T.T.), and Dialogues de la Carmelites (The Jailer) while performing leading roles in Les contes d’Hoffmann (The Villains) and Le nozze di Figaro (Il Conte d’Almaviva). Other operatic performances of note include Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas), and Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) with The Fillmore Opera Studio and Candide (Dr. Pangloss/Voltaire) and Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro) at Iowa State University.
Joseph also has a passion for Oratorio and early music performance. Joseph has been a featured soloist for the UNT Collegium choral ensemble and Baroque Orchestra, and performed with them in 2015 at the Boston Early Music Festival and recently in their celebrated St. John Passion (Bach 1725 version). Between his collegiate ensembles and regional choirs and orchestras, Joseph has performed the baritone/bass solos in Brahm’s Ein Deutche Requiem, Faure's Requiem, Mozart’s Vespers Domenica, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Schubert's Mass in G, Schubert's Mass in Bb, Haydn’s Missa Pauken, Haydn's St. Nicolas Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Outside of music, Joseph is an avid sports fan, supporting the Denver Broncos and Iowa State Cyclone football and men’s basketball teams. He graduated Iowa State University as a George Washington Carver Scholar in 2013, and previously taught in the Waukee, Iowa school district. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas.