Praised for her “luminous voice” and “intensely expressive interpretations,” (The New York Times), and named “remarkable, artistically mature,” and “a singer to watch” by Opera News, soprano Sarah Shafer is quickly emerging as a remarkable operatic and concert artist.
Sarah made her professional operatic debut in 2012 in the role of Barbarina and the cover role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival. Other recent roles include Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore with Opera Memphis, Mary Lennox in the world premiere of San Francisco Opera’s The Secret Garden, and Papagena in Opera Philadelphia’s Die Zauberflöte. Last season she sang the role of Nuria in Opera Philadelphia’s Ainadamar. Roles for her 2014-15 season include Rosetta in Marco Tutino’s world premiere of Two Women with San Francisco Opera and Voce dal Cielo in Don Carlo with Opera Philadelphia.
A recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Sarah’s credits for the Curtis Opera Theatre include over twenty productions and a variety of roles including Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Almirena in Rinaldo, Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Elizabeth Zimmer in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, Ilia in Idomeneo, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Sofia in Il Signor Bruschino, and Mélisande in Impressions of Pelléas. Most recently she sang the role of Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites.
On the concert stage, Sarah recently made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra singing works of Floyd, Bernstein, and Gershwin. She has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, and at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Other recently performed works include Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Bach’s St John Passion, Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables, Fauré’s Requiem, Tchaikovsky’s Duet for soprano and tenor, Strauss’ Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Handel’s Messiah, and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. Sarah has appeared as a soloist with the National Orchestra of Mexico, the Wroclaw Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond and Maryland Symphony Orchestras, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, among others. This season she will be performing Mendelssohn’s St. Paul at Carnegie Hall with the New York Choral Society.
An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Sarah recently appeared in recitals with legendary pianist Richard Goode, performing at venues including Town Hall in New York City. She will perform with Mr. Goode on a concert of chamber music at Carnegie Hall next spring. She has collaborated with musicians such as guitarist Jason Vieaux and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. Sarah spent four summers as a resident artist at the Marlboro Music Festival, where she worked with Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Benita Valente, Sir Thomas Allen, and the late Martin Isepp. She has also performed in the Mozart and Handel Académie européenne de musique in Aix-en-Provence, France, and most recently at the Bard Music Festival, and Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival.
A native of State College, PA, Sarah holds degrees in voice and opera from the Curtis Institute of Music, and is currently based in Philadelphia.