Leon Turner, a native of Monroe, Louisiana, and bass-baritone, 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 and bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah as well as Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio. He also appeared as 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. His appearances also include leading roles with Fort Worth Opera, Portland Opera Theatre, and N.L.U. Opera Workshop.
Mr. Turner 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. Tuner 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 Regionl 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 recitals as well as makes guest artist appearances at surrounding universities and colleges.