Sarah Leonard, soprano

Photograph of Sarah Leonard (© Sarah Leonard)
© Sarah Leonard

Sarah Leonard is one of Britain’s most respected and versatile sopranos. She was born in Winchester and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She has a wide repertoire with a particular interest in contemporary music and has appeared throughout the world in major concert halls, opera houses and festivals. She has worked closely with many leading composers including Birtwistle, Boulez, Dusapin, Ferneyhough, Harle, Harvey, Huber, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nyman and Sciarrino and premièred numerous works. Her 30-plus recordings include a recital series of English Song with Malcolm Martineau, works by Varèse with Riccardo Chailly and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures with the Schoenberg Ensemble and Alistair Hinton’s String Quintet with Jagdish Mistry, Marcus Barcham-Stevens, Levine Andrade, Michael Stirling and Corrado Canonici. She recently recorded a new song cycle by Joe Cutler, In Praise of Dreams, with Stephen Gutman, piano, for NMC.

Sarah regularly sings with the ensemble Gemini, and has a duo with cellist Robin Michael. They have performed in the BMIC’s Cutting Edge series and given many workshops and concerts throughout the UK.

Recent concerts include the UK première of Got Lost, a major new song cycle written for her and pianist Rolf Hind by Helmut Lachenmann at the 2009 Aldeburgh Festival, and Elliott Carter’s A mirror on which to dwell, with the Northern Sinfonia. She recently gave acclaimed recitals of English and French songs with Stephen Gutman at Poole Lighthouse Centre for the Arts and Little Benslow Hills, and sang Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Hull Sinfonietta.

Concerts in 2012 include new works by Gabriel Jackson and Edward Bell at the Leeds Contemporary Music Festival, and Britten’s Cantata Academica in St. David’s Hall, Cardiff.

Sarah is a member of AOTOS (the Association of Teachers of Singing), the BVA (British Voice Association) and a committee member of AESS (the Association of English Singers and Speakers). She teaches on the Musical Theatre course at Central School of Speech and Drama, at Hull University and at her studio in London. She also gives termly English Song classes at Trinity College of Music, and runs COMA Voices, London. Sarah is delighted to be on the AOTOS Council and is the new SE representative.