Sarah Joanne Davis, Soprano

Sarah Davis, Soprano Opera Singer

Sarah Joanne Davis, Soprano - Biography

Listen to Elliott Carter's "what are years"

**WATCH "Come Scoglio"  Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (Fall 2011) Fiordiligi**

REVIEW from the French Premiere of Elliott Carter's what are years with Radio France: February 17th, 2015
The soprano, Sarah Joanne Davis, exerted such a fascinating presence that we forgot the orchestra that accompanied her. Her supple and luminous voice was deployed in all registers with perfect homogeneity, without losing the power of clear elocution. She inhabits the text and and underlines the dramatic material with a natural blend.
(ResMusica - Michele Tosi)


Hailed by the New York Times as "a voice with considerable warmth," and the Boston Globe as “elusive, delicate, silvery and persuasive,"  lyric-soprano, Sarah Davis has been recognized as a gifted performer both on the recital and operatic stage. She has had success singing Mozart, new music and her first love, art song. Ms. Davis has debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra singing under the baton of composer/conductor Matthias Pintscher and  premiered Elliott Carter's song cycle for soprano and chamber orchestra, "What are years" at the Tanglewood Music Center, under the baton of Oliver Knussen. She just gave the French premiere of Carter's "what are years" in February with Radio France in Paris. Notable concert credits include: Albany Symphony singing in Mendelssohn's Midsummer Nights Dream, the Berkshire Lyric Theater in Orff's Carmina BuranaVaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem with the North Valley Chorale (Phoenix, AZ) and was soprano soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Opera credits include: Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) with Lancaster Opera, Countess (Le nozze di Figaro) with Vox Ama Deus, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with Chesapeake Chamber Opera,  Gilda (Rigoletto) and Pamina (Magic Flute) with Center City Opera Theater, Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Anne Trulove (Rake’s Progress) and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos) with the Chautauqua Institution, Cendrillon   (Massenet’s Cinderella) and Nannetta(Falstaff) with Peabody Opera Theater. 

She made her professional recital debut with the “Trinity at One Concert Series” in New York City singing song cycles by Jake Heggie and Libby Larsen, appeared in the Joy in Singing series at the Lincoln Center Library and premiered John Harbison's grand aria for soprano and piano, Vocalism, at SongFest in Malibu, CA.  Twice, Ms. Davis  was an Artist in Residence at the Cleveland Art Song Festival working with Stephanie Blythe and Christine Brewer.  She also spent two months in residence as a Vocal Fellow with the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts (Repertoire included; Mahler, Canteloube, Mozart, Schumann, Carter and Eric Nathan).

In the last few years Ms. Davis debuted with the Annapolis Opera singing an evening of Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (Verdi, Vaughan-Williams and Nicolai),  and was the lead in Barbara White's world premiere, one-act opera, Weakness at Princeton University, soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Brahms Requiem with the University of Pennsylvania,  and sang Poulenc GloriaBarber Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and PDQ Bach's Oedipus Tex with Kent State University under the baton of Scott MacPherson. 

Ms. Davis was a featured artist at the Pan-American Festival singing art songs of North and South America in Texas, gave an art song recital in Seattle, sang Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate and Coronation Mass in Arizona, performed Wernick's Oracle and sang the local premiere of John Harbison's chamber song cycle, Crossroads  both for Network for New Music at the Curtis Institute. She sang her first Verdi Requiem with rousing success this April with the University of Pennsylvania. 

Ms. Davis performed an incredibly meaningful run of the Witch in Hansel and Gretel for Coeur d'Alene Opera which reached over 22 elementary school audiences in 2014. 

She holds degrees from Trinity University in Texas and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.


BREAKING NEWS ~ SEPT 2014: SARAH DAVIS of Seattle, WA is the 2014 winner of The American Prize in Voice

—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, 
in the professional art song/oratorio division. 

Ms. Davis was selected from applications reviewed this summer from all across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Complete information on the

REVIEW for Barbara White's Weakness - World Premiere One-Act Opera at Princeton University, March 2012

"The most theatrically complicated production was saved for last — Barbara White’s Weakness. Based on the Celtic story of The Curse of Macha, Ms. White’s music and libretto introduced one character whose voice and body were separated into two performers: soprano Sarah Davis and dancer Leslie Kraus. With brilliant hair (also matched by the dancer), Ms. Davis showed a spectacular range of vocal styles and intensity, backed by a multi-aged chorus and an unusual orchestration of electric guitar, clarinet, bass clarinet, percussion and shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute. The soaring quality of Ms. Davis’ sound was matched by the litheness and agility of Ms. Kraus, with sections of the opera being positively eerie in mood. No matter what the demanding vocal requirement, Ms. Davis hit every note right, and her regal demeanor was a good contrast to Ms. Kraus’ lightness on the stage. " Nancy Plum  - Town Topics Princeton News 

 REVIEW for Vox Renaissance Ensemble: December 2010

"Among the soloists, soprano Sarah Davis' singing stood out for its creaminess of tone, purity of pitch, elegance of phrasing and potency of textural delineation." - Chesnut Hill Local by MIchael Caruso

 REVIEWS for Elliott Carter's What are years Song Cycle for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra

  Performed August 16, 2010 at Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music:

"Soprano Sarah Joanne Davis was skillful, forceful, yet sensitive to her well-enunciated texts, and her voice was perfect for the piece. I wanted to hear it again right away."  Mary Wallace Davidson  - The Boston Musical Intelligencer

"Elliott Carter sat quietly in his seat about seven rows back in Seiji Ozawa Hall the other night listening to an elegant young woman, Sarah Joanne Davis, sing his 2009 composition "What Are Years, 5 poems of Marianne Moore".  This was the most miraculous confluence of all — the superb young voice expertly negotiating the angular and somehow natural settings which had come out of Mr. Carter's centenarian head. Art knows no age. Age is no limit to it. With just a piece of paper and some marks on it, the old speak to the young, and the young sing back."  Keith Kibler  - A Singer's Notes 22  

 "Davis sang with perfect diction and a hint of sensuality, almost as if it was a hit aria, not something that required rigorous advanced study." Joseph Dalton - Classical Region Arts