Soprano Sara LeMesh, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “powerhouse performance of vocal majesty and expressive translucency,” is a dramatic presence on the opera stage, an avid chamber musician, and an advocate of contemporary music. Her most recent triumph was with West Edge Opera in August 2019, where she starred as Bess McNeill in the West Coast premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s award-winning opera, Breaking the Waves. The San Francisco Classical Voice called her performance an “extraordinary realization of Bess” with “singing [which] soars and swoons.” Opera News lauded her “mesmerizing” performance during which she “projected the character’s anguish, fervency, and increasingly fragile emotional state” in an “urgent, tonally secure and affectingly plangent vocal performance.”
Ms. LeMesh has performed throughout the United States and Europe at venues and festivals including The Morgan Library & Museum, Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, American Bach Soloists, and International Summer Academy of the Mozarteum Salzburg. While at Tanglewood, she was a soloist in Berlioz’s Les nuits d'été under the baton of Stéphane Denève and premiered Folk Songs by Bernard Rands. She is also a regular soloist at Bard Music West in San Francisco, where she has performed Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, George Crumb’s Apparition, Copland’s Dickinson Songs, and works by Henry Cowell, William Grant Still, and Grażyna Bacewicz. Recent opera roles include Norina in Rossini’s Don Pasquale with the Mendocino Music Festival and Juno in Marais’s Sémélé with the American Bach Soloists. With pianist Allegra Chapman, Ms. LeMesh performs in the duo Chordless, creating welcoming spaces to explore and appreciate music that has historically been ignored or is brand new.
Ms. LeMesh received her Master of Music Degree from the Bard College Conservatory of Music where she coached with soprano Dawn Upshaw and studied with Lorraine Nubar. She earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from Rice University where she studied with mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer and graduated Magna cum laude. When she isn't singing in traditional venues, you can find Ms. LeMesh performing outreach recitals in prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other institutions.