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The mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, who was born in County Durham in England, studied piano and voice at the Royal College of Music in London. She began her career as a member of the BBC Singers, but in the middle of the 1990s she made the move to a soloist career and had her breakthrough in 1998 singing the title role in Handel’s Serse at the English National Opera. Since then Connolly has been invited to appear on the leading international stages singing an unusually broad repertoire that ranges from Monteverdi to the music of the present. At the Royal Opera in London she most recently appeared as Jocaste in Enescu’s Œdipe; she has performed Purcell’s Dido at La Scala in Milan, Phèdre in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Opéra National de Paris, the Composer in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Gluck’s Orfeo at the Bavarian Staatsoper. Connolly has also earned a reputation as a Wagner performer: she sang Brangäne from Tris-
tan und Isolde in March 2016 under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, and currently she is appearing as Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival. Other credits include engagements by the festivals at Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne, Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Salzburg, and Tanglewood – and of course by the BBC Proms, starring in the latter’s legendary Last Night concert in 2009. Connolly has worked with such conductors as Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Daniel Harding, Philippe Herreweghe, Vladimir Jurowski, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Her recording of Mahler’s Wunderhorn Lieder won the Edison Award. In 2010 she was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2012 she won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Singer Award.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 11 August 2011 for a concert with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, which presented Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.