Sarah Shafer



Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for her, “crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and total presence” as well as, “remarkable, artistically mature … a singer to watch” by Opera News, American soprano Sarah Shafer actively appears on the leading operatic and concert stages of the world. In the 2020-21 season, Sarah Shafer will continue her concert work as the guest soloist for the Kalamazoo Symphony opening gala, Haydn’s Creation with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and continued recital dates with frequent collaborator Richard Goode.  She will also perform at the National Gallery with the Jasper String Quartet and embark on a tour of Europe with the Curtis Institute of Music. Finally, she will return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in a new production of Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

The 2019-2020 season saw Sarah Shafer return to Opera Philadelphia for a comedic turn as Iris in Semele, Cupid in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis with Opera Lafayette, and the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in Le nozze di Figaro. Continuing her thriving concert career, Ms. Shafer appeared with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra singing Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Nicola Luisotti, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with the Cincinnati Symphony, a series of concerts entitled “Emerging Voices” with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Omaha Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Spokane Symphony, and a world premiere work entitled Karkinos by Jacob Bancks with the Quad City Symphony. Recital appearances included a collaboration with Martin Katz and the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan presenting Hugo Wolf’s Mörike Lieder. Two recordings were released: Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child with Bridge Records, and with Naxos Records, Richard Danielpour’s Talking to Aphrodite.

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“She has a beautifully crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and a total presence that (if not huge or showy) hews in meaningful ways to text. There was no end of pleasure in hearing the way she perfectly tracked the pitch and color or her instrumental doubles in the orchestra pit.”

Peter Dobrin

Philadelphia Inquirer

“Shafer wasted no time in making the role her own, bringing copious amounts of vocal power, lyricism and dramatic urgency to the assignment. To date, she’s been a dazzling presence in the world premieres of Nolan Gasser’s “Secret Garden” and Marco Tutino’s “La Ciociara” — isn’t it time she got the star vehicle she deserves?”

Joshua Kosman

San Francisco Gate

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“As Pamina, Sarah Shafer was equally up to the task with her lucid voice and expressive stage presence. “

James Ambroff-Tahan – San Francisco Examiner – Die Zauberflöte – San Francisco Opera 

“One of the pleasures of these fall festivals is coming across young singers who’ve not appeared in Chicago before. One such discovery is Shafer, a recent graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music who joined O’Connor and Gemmill for the “Fetes galantes.” The freshness, purity and agility of her voice were complemented by the charm of her singing in such songs as “Pantomime,” “Fantoches” and a lightly tripping “Mandoline.””

John von Rhein – Chicago Tribune 

“Perhaps the evening’s most exciting contribution came from soprano Sarah Shafer as Rosetta, in a performance marked by gleaming, powerful vocalism and a probing dramatic intelligence. Shafer’s company debut two years ago in the world premiere of Nolan Gasser’s “The Secret Garden” marked her as an artist to watch, but this was an achievement of an entirely new order.”

Joshua Kosman – San Francisco Gate – La Ciociara – San Francisco Opera 

“…soprano Sarah Shafer, a feisty, vocally powerful Pamina…”

Pamela Feinsilber – Huffington Post – Die Zauberflöte – San Francisco Opera 

“Soprano Sarah Shafer was a pure-voiced Rosetta.”

Heidi Waleson – Wall Street Journal – La Ciociara – San Francisco Opera 

“Sarah Shafer deployed a large, refulgent soprano to often radiant effect as Rosetta.”

Georgia Rowe – Opera News – La Ciociara – San Francisco Opera