Sarah Connolly

born on 13/6/1963 in County Durham, England, United Kingdom

Sarah Connolly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Sarah Patricia Connolly CBE (born 13 June 1963)[1] is an English mezzo-soprano. Although best known for her baroque and classical roles, Connolly has a wide-ranging repertoire which has included works by Wagner as well as various 20th-century composers. Connolly was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[2]


Sarah Connolly was born in County Durham and educated at Queen Margaret's School, York, and then studied piano and singing at the Royal College of Music, of which she is now a Fellow. She then became a member of the BBC Singers for 5 years.[3][4]


Sarah Connolly's interest in opera and a full-time career in classical music began after she left the BBC Singers. She began her opera career in the role of Annina (Der Rosenkavalier) in 1994.[5] Her breakthrough role was as Xerxes in the 1998 English National Opera production of Handel's Serse (Xerxes), directed by Nicholas Hytner. In 2005 she sang Giulio Cesare by Handel for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The DVD of the production, directed by David McVicar won a Gramophone Award.[3][6] As Sesto in David McVicar's La Clemenza di Tito for ENO, 2006, Ms Connolly was nominated for an Olivier Award . Her 2005 debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in the same opera, but in the role of Annio.

In 2009 Ms Connolly sang (Dido and Aeneas) at Teatro alla Scala and made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.[7] In 2010, Connolly made her role debut of "Der Komponist" in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera. Connolly was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Musician Award from the Incorporated Society of Musicians.[8]

In her recital at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Connolly was received a rave review in the New York Times[9] She made her debut as ("Fricka") in Wagner's Der Ring (Royal Opera House)[10] and earlier that year she sang Phèdre in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie (Paris Opéra at the Palais Garniér). Connolly reprised Phèdre for Glyndebourne Festival Opera in a production by Jonathan Kent 2013, conducted by William Christie.

Connolly won the Silver Lyre 2012 from the Royal Philharmonic Society for Best Solo Singer[11] and was nominated in the Best Female Singer category in the inaugural International Opera Awards held in London in 2013, and she was also the recipient of the 2013 Most Outstanding Achievement in a Main Role for WhatsOnStage Opera Poll as "Octavian" in "Der Rosenkavalier" with the English National Opera.[12]

During the 2011 Gustav Mahler celebrations, Connolly performed all of his vocal works in the UK and abroad with The Philharmonia and Maazel, The LPO and Jurowski and Nezet Séguin, The LSO with Alsop, The OAE with Rattle and The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Chailly. Ms Connolly sang in the opening concert of the BBC Promenade concerts televised from the Albert Hall 2012, also performing Tippett's A Child of our Time later in the series. Committed to promoting new music, her performances include Sir John Tavener's Tribute to Cavafy at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham and his film music to Children of Men. She also made the first commercial recording of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Twice Through the Heart with Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra having previously given the Belgian and Dutch premieres of the work with the Schoenberg Ensemble conducted by Oliver Knussen. She sang the role of Susie in the premiere production of Turnage's opera The Silver Tassie at English National Opera in 2000,[13][14]

Connolly's other commercial recordings include Schumann lieder with Eugene Asti for Chandos, "Songs of Love and Loss",[15] Korngold lieder with Iain Burnside, the Duruflé Requiem for Signum and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment[16] for which she raised the funds and selected the cast for the recording.[3]

In September 2009, Sarah Connolly made her first appearance as a guest soloist at The Last Night of the Proms, singing Rule, Britannia! while wearing a replica Royal Navy uniform of Lord Nelson.[17]


She lives with her husband, and their daughter Lily (born in 2003[5]) in Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds.[3][4]

Operatic roles

Royal Opera House

Henry Purcell
  • Dido and Aeneas (Dido)
Richard Wagner
  • Das Rheingold (Fricka)
  • Die Walküre (Fricka)

Welsh National Opera

Richard Strauss
  • Ariadne auf Naxos (Der Komponist)

Opera North

Gaetano Donizetti
  • Maria Stuarda (Maria)
Vincenzo Bellini
  • I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Romeo)

English National Opera

Vincenzo Bellini
  • I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Romeo)
Hector Berlioz
  • Les Troyens (Dido)
Benjamin Britten
  • The Rape of Lucretia (Lucretia)
George Frideric Handel
  • Alcina (Ruggiero)
  • Agrippina (Agrippina)
  • Ariodante (Ariodante)
  • Semele (Ino)
  • Xerxes (Xerxes)
Claudio Monteverdi
  • L'incoronazione di Poppea (Empress Ottavia)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • La clemenza di Tito (Sesto) 2006 Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Opera
Henry Purcell
  • Dido and Aeneas (Dido)
Richard Strauss
  • Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian)
Mark-Anthony Turnage
  • The Silver Tassie (Susie)
Marc-Antoine Charpentier
  • Medea (Medea)

Scottish Opera

Glyndebourne Festival Opera

La Scala

Henry Purcell
  • Dido and Aeneas (Dido)

La Monnaie

Henry Purcell
  • "Dido and Aeneas" (Dido)

De Nederlandse Opera

  • "Giulio Cesare" (Giulio Cesare)


  • "L'incoronazione di Poppea"(Nerone)

Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

  • "La Clemenza di Tito" (Sesto)

Roles in the USA

New York City Opera
Metropolitan Opera
San Francisco Opera


Recordings include:


  1. Tomorrow's birthdays, The Guardian, 12 June 2010
  2. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282, page 7, 31 December 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Erica Jeal, Who wears the trousers?, The Guardian, 10 October 2008. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Neil Fisher, Sarah Connolly: The diva who wears the trousers, The Times, 19 May 2009. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ivan Hewett, Diva who dies for a living, Telegraph, 21 September 2004. URL accessed on 23 May 2007.
  6. Hugh Canning, Sarah Connolly stardom beckons, The Times, 6 February 2005. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  7. Erica Jeal, Dido and Aeneas; Acis and Galatea (Royal Opera House, London), The Guardian, 2 April 2009. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  8. ISM celebrates singer Sarah Connolly, JanuaryFebruary 2012.
  9. Woolfe, Zachary, A Mezzo Keeps It Simple, and Makes It Profound, 15 April 2011.
  12. Winners of the Opera Poll 2013 announced,, 24 February 2013.
  13. Michael Billington, Triumph from the trenches, The Guardian, 18 February 2000. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  14. Edward Greenfield, Turnage, The Silver Tassie, The Guardian, 12 July 2002. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  15. Tim Ashley, Classical review: Schumann: Frauenliebe Frauenliebe und -leben; Liederkreis Op 39, etc; Connolly/Asti, The Guardian, 14 November 2008. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  16. Tim Ashley, Purcell: Dido & Aeneas; Connolly/ Bardon/ Finley/ OAE/ Devine/ Kenny, The Guardian, 13 February 2009. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  17. Richard Morrison, Proms 7376: Last Night of the Proms at the Albert Hall/ BBC TV/ Radio 3, The Times, 14 September 2009. URL accessed on 21 November 2009.
  18. Tim Ashley, Sarah Connolly The Exquisite Hour, The Guardian, 10 February 2006. URL accessed on 23 May 2007.

External links

  • Sarah Connolly's Official Website
  • Sarah Connolly (Naxos biography)
  • Sarah Connolly mezzo soprano
  • Sarah Connolly (Mezzo-soprano)
  • Sarah Connolly
  • Sarah Connolly
  • Sarah Connolly (IMDb)
  • BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Sarah Connolly (link to radio interview RAM file)
  • Mezzo of the Moment Interview October 2008
  • Music Web International article on ENO production of La Clemenza di Tito, 2005
  • Music Web International article on Prom 52, 2005, Julius Caesar
This page was last modified 06.02.2014 01:50:06

This article uses material from the article Sarah Connolly from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.