Sarah Shafer

Soprano

Biography

Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for her, “crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and total presence” and named “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. The 2019-2020 season sees Sarah Shafer returning to Opera Philadelphia for 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 will appear with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra singing Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Nicola Luisotti, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Pari with the Cincinnati Symphony, a concert 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 Quad City Symphony. Recital appearances include a collaboration with Martin Katz and the University Musical Society at University of Michigan presenting Hugo Wolf’s Mörike Lieder. Two recordings will be released: Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child with Bridge Records, and with Naxos Records, Richard Danielpour’s Talking to Aphrodite.

In the 2018-2019 season, Sarah Shafer made her house and role debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with San Diego Opera, Virginia in Scarlatti’s La caduta de’ Decemviri at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and appeared with Harrisburg Symphony singing Poulenc’s Gloria and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5; Carmina Burana with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong, Handel’s cantata Aminta e Fillide, HWV 83 and Mozart’s Requiem, conducted by Jane Glover, with the Oregon Bach Festival, Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Indianapolis Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Toledo Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the St. John Passion with Louisiana Philharmonic, and Shanan Estreicher’s Songs of Emily Dickinson with Chamber Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall. Recital work included a residency and performance with Chamber Music Sedona, lieder recitals with Chamber Music Society of Detroit and Spivey Hall with pianist Richard Goode, recitals in Palm Beach and New York City with Richard Stoltzman and Anna Polonsky, John Harbison’s monodrama IF as well as Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen with Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Five Borough Music Festival with Martin Katz.

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Reviews

“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