British bass-baritone Ashley Riches read English at the University of Cambridge where he was a member of the King’s College Choir. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and subsequently joined the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House. He is a member of the BBC New Generation Artist scheme.
After making his Royal Opera main stage debut in concert with Roberto Alagna, further appearances at the house included Salieri in Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, Michael in the world premiere of Eichbert’s Glare (Linbury Studio), Morales Carmen, Mandarin Turandot, Baron Douphol La Traviata and Officer Les Dialogues des Carmelites.
Other roles include Osmano in L’Ormindo, Marcello La Bohème, title roles Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni and Owen Wingrave, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas, Father Hänsel und Gretel, Tarquinius The Rape of Lucretia, Sid Albert Herring, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ibn-Hakia Iolanta. He made his debut for English National Opera as Schaunard La Bohème and returned as The Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance and Count Le Nozzie di Figaro. Other recent highlights include Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the Academy of Ancient Music, Apollo e Dafne with the Pannon Philharmonic in Hungary, Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Christmas Oratorio on tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
In concert, he has appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Arcangelo, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Consort, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Monteverdi Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music under some of the world’s finest conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robin Ticciati, Richard Egarr, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Peter Dijkstra, Sir Simon Rattle, Christian Curnyn and Sir Roger Norrington. He has performed at festivals including Southwell, Flanders, Three Choirs, City of London, Schubert, Ludlow and most recently at the BBC Proms.
His recordings include Poulenc Chansons Gaillardes with Graham Johnson for Hyperion, a solo disc of Shakespeare Sonnets set to music by Mario Castelnuovo-Tadesco, St John Passion with Bach Camerata for Chandos, St Matthew Passion with English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Hayden Paukenmesse with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also made a television appearance in David Starkey’s series Music and the Monarchy.
Future engagements include Dido and Aeneas with the Academy of Ancient Music, Lélio with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra on tour in the US under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, The Silver Tassie with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Ryan Wigglesworth, Le Nozze de Figaro in Tokyo, concerts with MDR Rundfunk, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Concert and his debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera.