Bass-Baritone & Baritone
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  • 17 March 2023

    Ashley Riches debuts at Bayerische Staatsoper

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  • 26 February 2021

    Ashley Riches releases debut album on Chandos

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  • 11 May 2020

    Winners of BBC Music Magazine Awards 2020

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  • Verdi Requiem

    Symphony Hall, Birmingham
    Sep 2023
  • Bach St. John Passion

    St, John Smith's Square
    Apr 2023
    • Bass Ashley Riches was commanding in everything Bach asked of him. As Pilate he was a voice of reason, if exasperated at times. His Arioso “Betratchte meine Seel’”, with as slow a tempo as the evening asked of him, was superbly sustained, and his numbers with chorus were well integrated.

    • Riches also took the bass arias, urgent yet elated in Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen and allowing Mein teurer Heiland to unfold with grave eloquence.

  • Elgar The Dream of Gerontius

    Birmingham Symphony Hall
    Mar 2023
  • Handel Messiah

    Barbican Hall
    Dec 2022
    • Ashley Riches is no stranger to this piece and his authority was never in doubt; neither was his accuracy (his ‘shake’ in the accompagnato ‘Thus saith the Lord’ incredibly clear. He revelled in the drama of ‘Why do the nations so furiously rage together’, too.

    • Bass Ashley Riches sang the entire role from memory (there was a score for 'The trumpet shall sound' but he barely consulted it), which meant that even more than usual his recitatives were directed at us. This was a dramatic performance in the sense that the drama imbued everything, even when Riches wasn't singing, yet not operatic. That opening accompagnato was wonderfully trenchant, and his later contributions to part one were serious and intent, with a sense of conveying message or story to us. In part two, 'Why do the nations' was strong and direct, and we ended with a terrific account of 'The trumpet shall sound'. Riches duetting with some superb trumpet playing, and both performers gave us lovely flexibility and mobility, yet vividness too.

  • Handel Messiah

    Birmingham Symphony Hall
    Dec 2022
  • Handel Israel in Egypt

    Usher Hall, Edinburgh
    Dec 2022
    • Bass-baritone, Ashley Riches, and baritone, Peter Harvey, come forward from opposite sides, for a duet, or possibly a singing duel. [...] The singers relish the chance to use the acoustic of the Usher Hall, as the duet develops into a competition. Each singer’s line ends with a decorated phrase, and each mimics the other’s last phrase then adds his own embellishment. It’s very funny and elicits much applause.

    • Riches and Harvey showboating shamelessly on their The Lord is a man of war a few minutes later, to general delight.

  • Handel Solomon

    Royal Albert Hall
    Aug 2022
    • Ashley Riches’ Levite and Peter Davoren’s Attendant made up the rest of the court personnel, each injecting colour, light and shade into their long, grave (and potentially wearying) recitatives and stately arias. Riches’ bass-baritone a teak-hued depth and fullness, that helped bring flesh to these ceremonial roles.

    • As the Levite, Ashley Riches was firm of voice and his characterisation was strong, his diction excellent. The text of his first aria, ‘Praise ye the Lord’, may be fairly mundane but he sought out the nuances and genuine sentiment, and he was totally secure in ‘Thrice bless’d in Act 2, issuing his words of wisdom with authority.

  • Rectial Ashley Riches & Joseph Middleton

    Leeds Lieder Festival 2022
    Jul 2022
    • Ashley Riches makes a strong impression in the former in his lunchtime recital. The bass-baritone has real stage presence these days and lived every song, with fine dynamic variation - from whisper to roar - and expression

      • Mark Pullinger, Gramaphone
      • 01 July 2023
  • Handel La Resurrezione

    Linn Records
    Apr 2022
    • With his tightly focused bass-baritone, Ashley Riches brings a malign swagger to the jagged intervals and improbable range of Lucifer’s music, rolling his tongue gleefully round every sneering syllable

    • While the Angel soars, Lucifer rages and Riches dignifies his parodic extremes with easy execution.

  • Mimma Siemiginowski

    Cadogan Hall
    Feb 2022
    • ... there is a huge amount of talent on display, not least Elena Xanthoudakis as Mimma's mother and Ashley Riches' Aldo whose operatic performances are ovation worthy.

      • Maryam Philpott, ReviewsHub
      • 01 March 2022
  • Haydn The Creation

    Barbican Centre
    Sep 2021
    • Rather than have the angelic soprano and bass soloists return, as usual, the AAM had the luxury of fresh voices as the blessed pair: Rachel Redmond and Ashley Riches, both mellow in their tone, precise in their diction and fully attuned to the gorgeous ebb and flow of their joint numbers... Physically expressive, vocally polished, Redmond and Riches made the unstained loveliness of "Holde Gattin" (or, as we heard it, “Graceful consort”) a feast for the ears and balm for the soul... Cummings, the AAM and their singers had, magnificently, opened the gates of choral Eden for us again.

    • The vocal soloists, mostly English, are generally well known and polished in this kind of repertoire... Adam was sung by baritone Ashley Riches bringing a warm presence to the role vocally and dramatically.

  • Tippet The Midsummer Marriage

    Royal Festival Hall
    Sep 2021
    • The dominating presence, physically and vocally, is the fine Ashley Riches as King Fisher... A superb ensemble performance and a thrilling experience.

    • Ashley Riches was the impressively arrogant King Fisher...

    • King Fisher, Jenifer's father, was sung by Ashley Riches; suave, bossy and authorative, Riches' extended solos in Act I were particularly impressive and he pulsed through to his tragicomic end with flair.

  • Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen

    Jul 2021
    • Ashley Riches makes a particularly striking impression as the villain of the piece, Harasta the Poacher, whose casual shot kills the Vixen, the focus of the audience’s interest throughout, his iron-strong baritone and arrogant manner perfectly delineating his destructive power.

    • … the show was stolen by the stand-in Poacher of Ashley Riches

    • … and the only real sense of danger in the woods comes from Ashley Riches as Harasta the Poacher, a ringing and vivid portrayal of a born destroyer

    • Ashley Riches is a luxurious jump-in as the Poacher who kills the Vixen

    • There was a luxury replacement, though, in Ashley Riches … I am not sure I would have known that Ashley Riches was just a substitution as the Poacher; his trademark confidence and command of the stage – he has huge stage presence – was there in full, as was his full-voiced delivery.

    • Other standout performances come from … Ashley Riches as the Poacher.

  • Ravel L’Heure Espagnole

    Grange Park Opera
    Mar 2021
    • However the standout performance is Ashley Riches as Don Iñigo Gomez. As well as providing the evening’s best gag—a man called Riches playing a banker—he brings a momentary touch of long-legged, vocally curdled menace to the scene. But of course he’s no match for Concepción.

    • Ashley Riches’s arrogant Don Iñigo Gomez (self-styled “king of bankers”) and Elgan Llŷr Thomas’s drippy, sonnet-spouting dilettante Gonzalve are exactly the types you might expect to find in Kensington Church Street. It’s richly comic to see these two hopelessly inept would-be lovers not only failing to impress Catherine Backhouse’s delightfully scheming Concepción, but getting themselves irretrievably stuck inside two grandfather clocks in the process.

    • Riches is ideally dour and hypocritical as Iñigo

    • Ashley Riches, as Don Iñigo, launching a declaration of passion with something akin to a snarl of masculine pride before tapering off into something altogether more winning.

  • A Musical Zoo

    Feb 2021
    • Embracing German, French, Russian and English, not to mention moods ranging from lambent lullaby to directions including ‘acute suffering’ and ‘kind of groovy’, Riches has the versatility to sound at home in any language or musical idiom. He possesses a natural authority that never has to strive for effect, and his warm, supple bass-baritone is eminently ‘grounded’ – whether revelling in the jocular heaviness of Musorgsky’s oft-scratched flea, or creating a sense of enrapt contentment as Ravel’s angler contemplates the kingfisher that has alighted on his rod. Particularly persuasive are the English settings, among them Ireland’s The Three Ravens (beautifully characterised by pianist Joseph Middleton) and Howells’s King David; but Wolf’s Ratcatcher affords plenty of swaggering bravado to both performers, while the 13-year-old Richard Strauss impresses beyond his years. In all, imaginatively plotted and beautifully recorded.

    • Riches summons a wide range of colours and character for this hugely appealing musical menagerie: Strauss’s Thrush and Fauré’s Butterfly are brought to life with an airy charm, Ravel’s guinea-fowl is properly pugnacious, and there’s plenty of sardonic bite (as well as real Slavic darkness) for Mussorgsky’s Flea and Cockroach; he and Middleton have a ball with Vernon Duke’s Musical Zoo, a series of tiny vignettes delivered with cabaret-esque flair and a pitch-perfect American accent.

    • A magical and wide-ranging selection of animal songs in vivid, engaging and stylish performances This delightful disc on Chandos from bass-baritone Ashley Riches and pianist Joseph Middleton takes animals as its inspiration. But the charm of the disc, A Musical Zoo, is the way the performers have cast their net widely so that we have songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Richard Strauss, Faure, Ravel, Mussorgsky, Shostakovich, John Ireland, Herbert Howells, Samuel Barber and ending with Vernon Duke's settings of Ogden Nash ... This is a recording which wears its learning lightly, we can sit back and enjoy the engaging performances and vivid storytelling, or we can dig deeper and appreciate the work that has gone into the artists' sheer versatility at bringing all these different styles and eras to life.

    • This recital, Ashley Riches' first solo, is absolutely delicious. The choice of an international program demonstrates the singer's comfort in slipping easily into each language... On the vocal level, Ashley Riches enjoys a beautiful range, wide and blooming, a clear articulation and a melodic charm, both fresh and controlled, and proves capable of emphasizing the art of comedy without excess, elegance always being the order of the day

  • Salieri Armida

    Les Talens Lyrique
    Mar 2021
    • The only male voice belongs to Ubaldo, the knight who has come to rescue Rinaldo. Ashley Riches, suitably martial when scattering the demons, ends the first act by vigorously commanding God to remove the blinkers from Rinaldo’s eyes.

    • Ashley Riches lends Ubaldo the proud accents of his clear baritone combining valour and emotion...

  • Bizet Carmen

    English National Opera
    Jan 2020
    • Escamillo, played by the imposing baritone Ashley Riches, held his own with a self-assured, heroic depiction of the toreador who drives José to murderous jealousy.

    • Charismatic baritone Ashley Riches.

    • Ashley Riches excels as Escamillo and is especially good at goading Don Jose.

    • Ashley Riches makes for an excellent, fame-hungry Escamillo.

    • ...Ashley Riches here, owning the role of Escamillo. He seems to inhabit completely everything he touches. His characteristic vocal power and stage presence both needed here, his ‘Votre toast’ equivalent (the Toreador moment) wonderfully projected, and, after the chorus has entered, his voice seamlessly entering the vocal tapestry.

  • Purcell King Arthur

    St. John Smith's Square
    Oct 2019
    • At the start of Act 5 Ashley Riches’ richly proclaimed announcement that Britannia must “rise/In triumph of the main” was accompanied by surging strings which were then becalmed by soft oboes as Riches’ baritone, rippling with anticipation, foretold the appearance of the Queen of the Islands.... In Act 3, Rowan Pierce was a luxuriantly vibrant Cupid, waking Riches’ yawning Cold Genius. Riches was characteristically attentive to the text, its comic nuances exploited neatly, while the pianissimo chorus of ‘Cold People’ quivered and shivered evocatively.

  • Handel Giulio Cesare

    Théâtre des Champs Elysées
    Sep 2019
    • Entendu récemment à Versailles dans Benvenuto Cellini, le baryton Ashley Riches prend à bras le corps le rôle d’Achillas pour délivrer ses conseils malfaisants et mener ses avances envers Cornelia. La voix montre un certain enrobé, un vibrato large et ample ainsi qu’une projection idéale faisant la part belle aux médiums et aux basses du chanteur (les chutes octaviées, points d’orgue forçant le respect, à côté de vocalises ronronnantes)... il gagne en complexité à la fin de l’ouvrage par un chant legato plus décharné et sincère. Heard recently at Versailles in Benvenuto Cellini , the baritone Ashley Richestakes on the role of Achillas to deliver his evil counsels and make advances to Cornelia. The voice shows a certain mix, a wide and ample vibrato as well as an ideal projection giving pride of place to the mediums and the bass of the singer (the octave falls, points of organ forcing respect, next to purring vocals)... he gains in complexity at the end of the work by a legato song more emaciated and sincere.

    • L’Achilla d’Ashley Riches quant à lui est tout de profondeur et d’autorité dans le timbre, idéal dans le rôle du traître. Ashley Riche's Achilla, on the other hand, is deep and authoritative in tone, ideal in the role of the traitor.

  • Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini

    Royal Albert Hall
    Sep 2019
    • And Ashley Riches, who is nothing if not consistent in his excellence across music of all centuries, gave his all as Bernardino.

    • Lionel Lhote, Vincent Delhoume, Ashley Riches and Adèle Charvet all acquitted themselves well with idiosyncratic contributions, rounding out an inspired cast and keeping pace with the exacting demands of Berlioz’s writing.

  • Purcell King Arthur

    Festival International d'Opéra Baroque de Beaune
    Aug 2019
    • Ashley Riches déploie sa basse, longue, profonde mais toujours très claire... L’acteur est là aussi, très grand, avec un corps flexible et adoptant toutes les postures idoines. Le visage en soi est un théâtre tant il est mobile et sait arborer de physionomies. Son air du froid sait conférer à ce personnage de Génie une quasi humanité, dans la lassitude et la vieillesse. Ashley Riches unfolds its bass, long, deep but still very clear...The actor is there too, very tall, with a flexible body and adopting all the appropriate postures. The face itself is a theater as it is mobile and knows how to display physiognomies. His air of cold knows how to give this character Genius a near humanity, in weariness and old age.

  • Tchaikovsky Iolanta

    Opera Holland Park
    Jul 2019
  • Purcell The Fairy Queen

    Festival International d'Opéra Baroque de Beaune
    Jul 2019
    • ...tandis qu’Ashley Riches fait valoir l’étalage de toute sa classe vocale en de multiples emplois, comiques ou dramatiques, sans jamais faillir. Il fait partie des plus belles satisfactions des deux soirées... ...Ashley Riches makes the display of his entire vocal class in multiple jobs, comic or dramatic, without fail. It is one of the most beautiful satisfactions of the two evenings...

    • Enfin, le baryton-basse Ashley Riches, puissant, somptueux, complète l’équipe de solistes. Finally, the bass-baritone Ashley Riches , powerful, sumptuous, completes the team of soloists.

    • L’impressionnant Ashley Riches frappe les trois coups avec une hilarante Scène du Poète ivre. The impressive Ashley Riches hits all three shots with a hilarious scene from the Drunken Poet.

    • Ashley Riches, basse, doté d’une belle voix, ample, étendue et sonore, devient le centre de gravité lors de ses interventions en magistral poète ivre. Ashley Riches , bass, endowed with a beautiful voice, ample, extended and sonorous, becomes the center of gravity during his interventions in masterful drunken poet

  • Berlioz La Damnation de Faust

    Glyndebourne Festival
    May 2019
  • Anthony-Turnage The Silver Tassie

    Barbican Centre
    Nov 2018
    • The cast was consistently strong. Ashley Riches, who is rapidly emerging as one of today’s finest young singers, made an outstanding Harry...

    • Top-notch soloists all round, but the standout performance, unsurprisingly, came from Ashley Riches as Harry, superbly depicting the contrast between the cocky, carefree lad and the humiliated, shunned cripple.

    • It’s Gurney and Butterworth and Finzi that you hear in Harry’s aching Act IV music (sung with such rueful tenderness by Ashley Riches...

  • Berlioz Lélio, ou Le retour à la vie Op. 14b

    Carnegie Hall
    Oct 2018
  • Purcell Dido and Aeneas

    Oct 2018
  • Bernstein Wonderful Town

    LSO Live
    Sep 2018
  • Parry Hear my words, ye people

    BBC Proms
    Jul 2018
    • Spirited and suitably emotive vocal solos too from Francesca Chiejina and Ashley Riches...

  • Handel Agrippina

    The Grange Festival
    • ...and Riches has fun with Claudio’s preposterously self-important vocal lines.

    • ...Ashley Riches as the ineptly philandering Claudio delivered the gentle “Vieni O cara” whilst crawling around with his trouser around his ankles – comedy gold.

    • ...Ashley Riches’s sad old groper Claudius is a complex but believable creation...

    • ...Ashley Riches is a consummate musical actor, capable of revealing the somewhat hapless side of Claudio’s personality within a musical performance that is secure and authoritative.

  • Mozart The Marriage of Figaro

    English National Opera
    Mar 2018
    • On Ashley Riches the role of Count Almaviva fits like a glove – he’s haughty, sulky, spoilt, predatorily lubricious, and his sound is darkly seductive.

    • Ashley Riches is all charisma and machismo as the Count...

    • Ashley Riches cuts an imposing figure as the Count, authoritative and lascivious...

    • ... Ashley Riches gives a remarkably assured account. He takes advantage of his height to dominate proceedings; his character’s actions within, and reactions to, the intrigue are to the fore. You get a real sense of what drives this aristocrat and what frustrates him. Riches’s singing is also first rate – his warm coppery tone sounds very well in the large theatre.

    • Ashley Riches both sang and acted superbly as the hapless Count, puffing out his chest, squaring his shoulders, striding imperiously in his black leather boots, but ever sporting an air of slight bafflement as to how everyone else seemed to be in the know. Riches’ recitatives were fluently and convincingly delivered and in ‘Vedrò mentr’io sospiro’ he used all of his vocal might and nuance to offer a momentarily persuasive riposte to the uncovered plotting of Susanna and Figaro.

    • Ashley Riches is a convincing Count, revealing his strong bass-baritone...

    • ...Riches gave us a beautifully three dimensional portrait, so that his behaviour never tipped over into the extreme and there was always a facade to put on. Riches and Lucy Crowe developed a nicely complex relationship between the married couple, you sense the attraction as well as the problems. And Riches really was seductive, which helps enormously.

    • Just as good, though, was Ashley Riches's Count, who projected vain overconfidence and seductive swagger...

      • Ditlev Rindom, Opera
      • 01 May 2018
  • Bernstein Wonderful Town

    Dec 2017
  • Berlioz La Damnation de Faust

    Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms
    Aug 2017
    • ...the chorus managed brilliantly with lighter moments earlier on, and after the drinking song by Ashley Riches in his comic turn as Brander...

    • Ashley Riches with his own strong bass-baritone also went to town on his effective portrayal of Brander, and overall this performance felt as polished as it was entertaining from start to finish.

    • Add the characterful, vigorous contributions of Gardiner’s massed choruses and a genuinely comic cameo from young bass-baritone Ashley Riches and you had exactly the kind of overflowing evening this music was made for, layering sensation on sensation.

  • Mozart Don Giovanni

    Opera Holland Park
    Jun 2017
    • There are some fine singers to support the enterprise. Ashley Riches makes a masterful Don Giovanni. Tall, suave and honey-toned he oozes a sense of privilege and entitlement.

    • Ashley Riches, tall, fair and handsome, sang the title role with a golden timbre laced with incipient seduction...

    • In the title role, Ashley Riches has the elegance and swagger to make us believe in him to the bitter end..

    • Dane Lam conducts well, while Ashley Riches is good in the title role with his smooth baritone and natural presence

    • ...his singing is virile, expressive and very suave....

    • Vocally, he sounded in good form, singing his Serenade most beautifully.

  • Gilbert & Sullivan The Pirates of Penzance

    English National Opera
    Feb 2017
    • Riches, with his firm bass-baritone, and Lucy Schaufer, with her sensitive portrayal of a superficially comic character, also make an impression as The Pirate King and Ruth respectively.

    • was the swashing and buckling of Pirate King Ashley Riches that injected some much-needed oomph in to the pacing – not to mention some excellent singing.

    • As the Pirate King, Ashley Riches combines flair with fanfaronade...

    • ... Ashley Riches brought an appropriate touch of the good-natured head-boy to the nobly born Pirate King.

  • Purcell The Fairy Queen

    Academy of Ancient Music, Barbican Centre
    Oct 2016
    • Ashley Riches’ riotous Drunken Poet - ‘I’m drunk as I live boys, drunk’ - was blessed with a wonderful swagger of demeanour and voice; his confession of poverty was couched in such soft sweetness...

    • Ashley Riches was a great asset, his fun drunken poet in the first scene a massive contrast to the section on Winter that closes the fourth act (“Now Winter comes slowly, pale, meagre and old.”) Riches has great stage presence, which tied to his fine, focused bass is a great combination.

    • And what singers they were...bass Ashley Riches, a Radio 3 New Generation artist, swaggering with great panache as the drunken poet...

  • Puccini La bohème

    English National Opera
    Oct 2015
    • ...Riches’s raunchy, funny Schaunard is one of the best of recent years.

    • Duncan Rock as Marcello and Ashley Riches as Schaunard gave strong performances.

    • Pick of the bohemian boys were the two baritones: Duncan Rock’s sympathetic, warmly sung Marcello, and Ashley Riches’ more incisive Schaunard.

  • Bach Christmas Oratorio

    Academy of Ancient Music, Barbican Centre
    Aug 2015
    • The real star of the evening was young Ashley Riches, only two years out of the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists programme, and the total artist: range secure from top to bottom, a highly dramatic way with the text and pure musicianship.

    • ...the increasingly impressive bass Ashley Riches brought authority and clear German to his recitatives.