British bass-baritone Ashley Riches read English at the University of Cambridge where he was a member of the King’s College Choir under Stephen Cleobury. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
A former Jette Parker Young Artist, his roles for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden include Morales Carmen, Mandarin Turandot, Baron Douphol La Traviata and Officer Les Dialogues des Carmelites. For the English National Opera, he has sung Escamillo Carmen, Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro, Schaunard La Bohème and the Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance. Elsewhere, he has appeared as Brander Le damnation de Faust for the Glyndebourne Festival under Robin Ticciati; Claudio Agrippina at the Grange Festival; Don Giovanni, Harasta The Cunning Little Vixen, and Ibn-Hakia Iolanta for Opera Holland Park; Simon Peter in Schubert’s Lazarus in a new Frederic Wake-Walker production at the Potsdamer Winteroper; and Count Almaviva in Tokyo.
Highlights on the concert platform include Berlioz’s Lélio with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Carnegie Hall, New York, Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, a European tour of Giulio Cesare and Agrippina with Les Talens Lyriques with Christophe Rousset, and Creon Oedipus Rex with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Last season’s engagements saw repertoire ranging from J. S. Bach to Tippett, with ensembles including the Academy of Ancient Music and the Helsinki Baroque, London Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras, as well as a US tour with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and a European tour with the Basel Chamber Orchestra. In the 2022/23 season Ashley sings Schumann’s Das Paradise und die Peri with the Czech Philharmonic under Daniel Harding, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Richard Egarr, Handel’s Messiah with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Laurence Cummings, and concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ryan Wigglesworth, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Stephen Layton, The English Concert/Harry Bicket, Gabrieli Consort & Players/Paul McCreesh and The Hallé/Sir Mark Elder.
An accomplished recitalist, and former BBC New Generation Artist 2016-2018, Ashley has collaborated with pianists including Graham Johnson, Iain Burnside, Julius Drake, Joseph Middleton, Anna Tilbrook, James Baillieu, Simon Lepper, Gary Matthewman and Sholto Kynoch.
He released his debut solo recital disc, A Musical Zoo, in 2021. His discography includes Purcell’s King Arthur with the Gabrieli Consort & Players under Paul McCreesh (BBC Music Magazine 2020 Recording of the Year), Wonderful Town with the London Symphony Orchestra under Rattle recorded for LSO Live and, most recently, Handel’s La Resurrezione with The English Concert under Harry Bicket.