Known for her effervescent energy, "sweet lyrical voice" (Plays to See), and "gloriously nimble coloratura" (Winston-Salem Journal), British-American soprano Sarah Labiner is one to watch as she quickly rises onto the European opera scene. She made her debut with the English National Opera where she "made a vivid impression" (Opera Magazine) as Jano in Jenufa and was hailed as "lively" (Planet Hugill) and "outstanding" (Opera-Világ). She returned to ENO in the autumn of 2016 as 15-year-old Girl in the new Kentridge-directed production of Lulu, and recently sang Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos as a guest artist with the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, where "Ms. Labiner outdoes herself (and most rivals) with her extraordinary lightness of movement and clarity of pitch.” (Classical Voice of North Carolina).
Sarah trained with the English National Opera’s Opera Works programme. She earned her Master of Music degree from the Royal College of Music and was a Watson Scholar at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Sarah recently sang Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos- standard version and original 1912 version), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), and Poppea (Agrippina) in scenes with ENO Opera Works. She has sung roles including Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Clarice (Il mondo della luna), and Graduation Girl (Street Scene) with the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, Gasparina (La canterina) with the North Carolina School of the Arts, made appearances with Piedmont Opera, and covered the roles of Sophie (Werther) at the London Grimeborn Festival, and Hecate/The Oracle of the Dead (The Mask of Orpheus) and Beketaten (Akhnaten) at the English National Opera. Other scenes performances include Amore (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria), Despina (Così fan tutte), and Flora (The Turn of the Screw) with the Royal College of Music, and Asteria (Tamerlano), and Ilia (Idomeneo) with Canta in Italia. Performance venues include the London Coliseum, Bloomsbury Theatre, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, The Travellers Club, The Whitechapel Gallery, The Stevens Center, Fletcher Opera Theatre, Agnes De Mille Theatre, and the Britten Theatre.
As a concert soloist in the USA and UK, Sarah has performed the Brahms Requiem, Schubert Mass in G, Vivaldi Gloria, Fauré Requiem, Bernstein Mass, Mozart Exsultate Jubilate, Britten Rejoice in the Lamb, Handel Messiah, and Mozart Great Mass in C minor. Song repertoire in recital has included works by Strauss, Debussy, Fauré, Poulenc, Schubert, Wolf, Pasatieri, Argento, Rorem, and Meirion Williams.
Having grown up in the theatre, Sarah has a strong foundation in ballet and dramatic training. Also a keen linguist, she has studied German, Italian, and French, and is currently working to gain further proficiency in Welsh. Sarah takes a particular interest in vocal pedagogy, having written her Master of Music thesis on methods of breath management and support and also having researched and taught workshops on harmonic overtone singing. With a great enthusiasm for musical outreach, Sarah has worked with English National Opera’s Baylis programme as well as helping run workshops at the Royal College of Music and other London events.
Sarah has won multiple awards at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. She has been a Concordia Foundation artist and was awarded a Dean’s Discretionary Grant through the North Carolina School of the Arts to study in Italy with the Canta in Italia programme. Sarah is sincerely grateful for support received from the Watson Scholarship, an anonymous sponsor, and Help Musicians UK.