About Sara LeMesh

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“Plush” soprano Sara LeMesh (New York Times) resides in her birthplace of San Francisco where she impresses audiences with her “theatrical timing, tone, and technical control, especially in the highest register”(San Francisco Classical Voice). She has performed throughout the United States with many prestigious music festivals, including the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and American Bach Soloists. LeMesh was also recognized during several Bay Area vocal competitions; she received an Encouragement Award in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition and Fourth Place in the East Bay Opera League Scholarship Competition.

A skilled technician and riveting actress, LeMesh is a highly sought-after performer of both traditional and also contemporary operatic works. Recent roles include Norina in Rossini’s Don Pasquale with the Mendocino Music Festival and Juno in Marais’ Sémélé with the American Bach Soloists. In August 2019, LeMesh will portray Bess in Missy Mazzoli’s award winning chamber opera, Breaking the Waves, with West Edge Opera.

In addition to opera, LeMesh is passionate about song and chamber music. She regularly appears with the Bard Music Festival which explores the world of one contemporary composer each year. Her 2017 performance of three arias from Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre received praise from the San Francisco Classical Voice: “If this performance is representative, she’d be the star of any cast.” During the 2018 festival, she sang a chilling version of Crumb’s Apparitions; SFVC described her vocal line as “droop[ing] slowly and delicately, like a browned leaf floating to the ground.”

Outside of her performances in concert halls and theaters, LeMesh brings classical music to isolated people and institutions with Bay Area nonprofit, Bread & Roses Presents. She has performed volunteer recitals in rehab clinics, prisons, nursing homes, and other facilities since 2003. She also operates a startup in San Francisco called Ayuda Care which provides an online marketplace for senior-friendly activities and events.

LeMesh studied with mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer at Rice University where she earned her Bachelor of Music Degree. She continued her studies at the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program where she coached with soprano Dawn Upshaw and received a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance. LeMesh resides in San Francisco with her partner and mischievous rescue dog, Rosie.  

Performing Schedule

Upcoming Appearances

December 8th and 9th, 2018 – Handel’s Messiah with the Vallejo Choral Society (tickets here)

August 2019 – West Edge Opera – Bess in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves

Spring 2019 – Top Secret New Music Project (Stay tuned!!!!)

Recent Appearances

March 2018 – Bard Music West – Press here

December 2017 Live at Mission Blue Concert Series – Solo recital with pianist Allegra Chapman

Live at Mission Blue Concert Series; Allegra Chapman, piano; photograph by Kevin Fryer

July 2017 – Mendocino Music Festival – Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale – press here

March 2017 Bard Music West – Mysteries of the Macabre (Ligeti) – Press here

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March 2015 The Computer Kid’s Magic Night – Solo Opera; Concord, CA

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 2015 – Encouragement Award Winner – James Toland Vocal Arts Competition

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

Press

April 2018: Bard Music West – San Francisco Classical Voice

“Soprano Sara LeMesh welcomed this grim reaper with a warm, gentle delivery of the opening line. Her shadowy dress and matching black lipstick made a striking, somewhat uncanny impression; in a particularly chilling moment, the soprano addressed the audience directly to sing Whitman’s text that death comes “to all, to each.” The movement closed with a second invocation to Death, this time with LeMesh allowing Crumb’s vocal line to droop slowly and delicately, like a browned leaf floating to the ground.”

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 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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