Lee Blakeley was born in Yorkshire, England. He studied directing, acting and singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and at Glasgow University.
Whilst studying he directed several drama productions, and gained further experience assisting at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre and the RSAMD. On leaving college, he directed his first music theatre production - GIGI - in Glasgow. Lee Blakeley directed a student première of A grand night for singing at the Royal Schools of Music in 1996. He went on to gain experience as Company Manager and Producer of several shows.
He also researched the acclaimed CD-ROM, The art of singing. Other projects as dramaturg include Les Contes d'Hoffmann for De Vlaamse Opera, a new production of Billy Budd at the Lyric Opera Chicago and script reading and development for ACT Theatres in London's West End.For Opera North, Lee directed a 90 minute Don Giovanni in Newcastle in 1999. In 2000 he assisted David McVicar in the Glyndebourne Touring Opera production of La Bohème for which he also wrote the English-language surtitles seen on Channel 4 television on Christmas Day, later revised for performances by Scottish Opera in 2004. He devised and directed a site-specific production Damned and divine at the Coliseum for the English National Opera Studio in 2000.
In 2001 he re-staged Manon for Opera New Zealand, directed the world première production of Händel's Clori, Tirsi e Fileno in London's Heaven club for Covent Garden Festival and directed workshop performances at the Royal Scottish Academy where he directed Cavalli's La Calisto in 2002. That year began with a contemporary opera joint project for the English National Opera Studio and the National Opera Studio and he later revived Carmen for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He directed Le Nozze di Figaro for British Youth Opera at London's South Bank that autumn.
In 2003 he worked on Die Zauberflöte with David McVicar at the Royal Opera House (also revival director later in 2003) and revived Les Contes d'Hoffmann in Antwerp and Manon for Houston Grand Opera.
Productions in 2004/05 included The vanishing bridegroom for Royal Scottish Academy and Lee Blakeley directed highly praised revivals of David McVicar’s production of Faust at the Royal Opera House, Monte-Carlo, Lille and Trieste. He also revived Carmen for Glyndebourne Festival and again in Tenerife.
Future plans as director include the British premiere of Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin– the first project of Lee’s new company Opera Theatre Europe - at the Linbury/Royal Opera House and Die Fledermaus for Scottish Opera Go Round.