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. Quickly garnering praise in international vocal competitions, the "mesmerizing" and "affectingly plangent" soprano (Opera News) recently won First Prize in the Federation of the Art Song Fellowship Competition with her collaborative partner, pianist Allegra Chapman. In addition, she was a Grand Finalist in the 16th International Opera Vocal Competition of Gabriela Beňačková in Jihlava, Czech Republic, 3rd Place Winner in the 2023 Serge & Olga Koussevitzky Young Artist Awards, and 3rd Place Winner in the MIOpera International Vocal Competition.
Winning over audiences with her "lush tone, exceptional high-register clarity, dramatic breadth, and fearless command" (San Francisco Classical Voice), the rising soprano was recently the resident soprano at Opera Naples where she performed the roles of Josephine in Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, Woman #1 in Rodriguez’s Frida, and Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen. In September 2023, LeMesh joined Opera Philadelphia to cover the leading role of Nellie/Madwoman in the world premiere of Rene Orth’s 10 Days in a Madhouse. Other notable opera credits include Bess in Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s award-winning opera, Breaking The Waves (West Edge Opera), Lisa/Young Leah in the New York Premiere of Lori Laitman’s Uncovered (City Lyric Opera), Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Pocket Opera), Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (Mendocino Music Festival), and Lucy Brown in Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera (City Lyric Opera).
A devoted recitalist, LeMesh was a Vocal Fellow at the Marlboro Music Festival from 2022-23 where she performed with pianist Jonathan Biss and tenor Mark Padmore, among many other esteemed artists. Passionate about Jewish art song, she recently debuted her program, Songs of the Jewish Diaspora, with the Musicians Club of New York. Featuring works in Yiddish, Ladino, and Hebrew, LeMesh will continue performing this program in 2024 with pianist Allegra Chapman in their duo, Chordless. Other recent concert appearances include her debut with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players (New York, NY) and the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (Fort Meyers, FL). Upcoming engagements include a song cycle premiere (Melissa Dunphy's The Generations) at the American Guild of Organists Convention and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Fairfield County Chorale (Fairfield, CT) under the baton of David Rosenmeyer.
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, Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, 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 co-premiered Folk Songs by Bernard Rands. With pianist Allegra Chapman, LeMesh performs regularly in the piano-vocal duo Chordless, creating unique spaces to explore and appreciate music that has historically been ignored or is brand new.
The Californian soprano received her Master of Music Degree from the Bard College-Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree from Rice University. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and furbaby, Coco. When she isn’t singing, you can probably find LeMesh sipping coffee in East Village dog parks.
Updated November 2023
“LeMesh, known in the world of classical and contemporary opera for lush tone, exceptional high-register clarity, dramatic breadth, and fearless command in roles offering unpredictable vulnerability, is in demand.”
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE