About Sara LeMesh

SaraLeMesh_072Sara LeMesh, of San Rafael, CA, is a versatile soprano with a passion for opera, new music, and composition. Sara’s songs represent multiple influences; they draw upon her classical training, interest in American folk music, and love for Irish ballads. Her innate musicianship manifests through striking vocals that feature a three-octave range, as well as her finely crafted piano accompaniments. In addition to her musical talents, Sara is an accomplished lyricist with a natural propensity towards poetic yet deeply confessional language.

As a classically trained singer, Sara has performed internationally to the acclaim of many critics, most notably the New York Times, who praised her “plush” voice that plunges to “expressively guttural depths.” A frequent guest soloist with orchestras, Sara has performed under the baton of Stéphane Denève, Matthias Pintscher, and Leon Botstein.

Performing Schedule

Upcoming Appearances 

July 14 – Mendocino Music Festival – Performing the role of Norina in the opera Don Pasquale

Recent Appearances in 2017

May 14 – Medium-sized Living Room Concert – performing several art songs A capella – San Francisco, CA

March 26 – Bazaar Cafe – 6PM – Performing original works; free admission – San Francisco, CA

March 17th & 18th Bard Music West – Mysteries of the Macabre (Ligeti) with Allegra Chapman, Pianist – Noe Valley Ministry – San Francisco, CA

Recent Appearances in 2016

December 23rd Doc’s Lab – 8PM – Performing original works and holiday music! Featuring Amity Rose, singer-songwriter – San Francisco, CA

December 3rd KC Turner Presents at Bazaar Cafe – 10-10:45AM – Performing original works with other local artists! – San Francisco, CA

SaraLeMesh_054April 19 Bread & Roses Volunteer Concert – Harbor Light Center Chapel 

March 18Revolution Cafe – 5-8PM – San Francisco, CA

March 4 & 5The Computer Kid’s Magic Night – Solo Opera; Concord, CA

March 11 & 12 – Volti – San Francisco, CA

Recent Appearances in 2015

December 2015 – Handel’s Messiah at Calvary Presbyterian Church – San Francisco, CA

November – December 2015  Chorus in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – San Francisco Opera

August 2015 – Bach’s Mass in B Minor – American Bach Soloists Academy – San Francisco

August 2015 Sémélé by Marin Marais  American Bach Soloists Academy – San Francisco

June – July 2015 – Chorus in Les Troyens – San Francisco Opera

June 2015 – Encouragement Award Winner – James Toland Vocal Arts Competition

April 2015 – Fourth Place Winner – East Bay Opera League Scholarship Competition

Listen & Learn

Sara LeMesh began writing songs for voice and piano as a teenager in Marin County. While studying impressionistic French composition, she became enamored by the rapturous harmonies of Eric Satie and Claude Debussy; practicing was dominated by her desire to improvise and hum melodies with these enticing sounds. Sara’s love for the singer-songwriter genre developed quickly thereafter upon hearing Joan Baez sing at a benefit for Bread & Roses, a non-profit organization founded by Baez’s sister for which Sara has been volunteering since 2003. This discovery led to a deep admiration for the music of Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco, Tracy Chapman, and many other writers. Sara’s deeply personal compositions feature the marriage between her two biggest loves: poetry and song.

Sara also applies her love for poetry through the study of contemporary music. She has performed numerous world premieres and enjoys overcoming preconceived vocal limitations. Sara honed her strong vocal technique at Rice University and Bard College where she studied with esteemed singers and coaches, including soprano Dawn Upshaw and mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer. In addition to her academic studies, she has participated in numerous vocal festivals, most notably the Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, and American Bach Soloists. Sara currently resides in San Francisco where she freelances as a versatile and dramatically engaging soprano.

 

Press

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March 2017: Bard Music West – San Francisco Classical Voice

“She was outstanding: her theatrical timing, tone, and technical control, especially in the highest register, made the music lucid. If this performance is representative, she’d be the star of any cast.”

August 2015: American Bach Soloists Academy – San Francisco Chronicle

“Other standouts in the large cast included baritone Corbin Phillips as Sémélé’s father, Cadmus, and [soprano] Sara LeMesh as Juno…”

August 2015: American Bach Soloists Academy – San Francisco Classical Voice

“[Soprano] Sara LeMesh impressively portrayed the vengeful Juno (Jupiter’s wife in disguise) during her attempts to manipulate Sémélé.”

August 2015: The Opera Tattler – ABS Performs Sémélé

“[Soprano] Sara LeMesh was also particularly vivid in her portrayal of Juno. One did not have to understand the exact words she was singing to know how she felt, the jealously and indignation was palpable.”

August 2015: The Berkeley Daily Planet – A Sumptuous French Opera: Marin Marais’ SÉMÉLÉ

“Juno is ably sung by [Soprano] Sara LeMesh.”

August 2015: The Examiner reviews American Bach Soloists Marathon

“…those who knew the music were definitely not disappointed, not only by the rapturous close harmonies of Grace Srinivasan (soprano) and Sara LeMesh…but also by the deft cello accompaniment of Frédéric Rosselet.”

August 2014 Denève, the TMC Orchestra, and Berlioz

“So diaphanous was the orchestral environment for each of the songs, the young voices could merely whisper and be heard. “Au Cimitière” in particular benefitted from this. Sara Lemesh said the words as much as she spoke them.”

July 2013: The LA Times reviews Stravinsky’s Pulcinella – Matthias Pintscher

“The ballet also has vocal movements; and [Soprano] Sara Lemesh, tenor Mingjie Lei and bass-baritone Keith Colclough sang with earnest expression but were not showy.”

February 2013: New York Times reviews Bard College Singers at Morgan Library

“One of those songs, “Sveitaar, sveimen var Kvieoinen: ‘Koorwei, Koorwei’ ” pushed Sara Lemesh’s plush [Soprano] into expressively guttural depths.”

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