Sarah Shafer



Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and total presence,” American soprano Sarah Shafer will return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in the 2021-2022 season, covering Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte. She will also sing Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, perform the world-premiere of Karkinos, a multi-media opera by Jacob Bancks, with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and join the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society for a performance of Bach’s Cantata No. 51 and other selections.

Cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic include Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilerias with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a concert of Mozart arias and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nicola Luisotti, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Spokane Symphony, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with Voices of Ascension, a residency on Nantucket Island with Ms. Shafer’s alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music, and a season-opening concert of arias with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

In the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Shafer returned to Opera Philadelphia, first in a program entitled “Larry Brownlee and Friends” and then for a concert of arias hosted at the Mann Center. She also joined frequent collaborator Opera Lafayette as Jeanette in Philidor’s La maréchal ferrant, and presented a virtual recital for Friends of Chamber Music Portland (Oregon).

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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

More Reviews

“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