Sara Couden

Friday, January 18th, 2019 - 9:20 am

Sara Couden, mezzo/contralto (or contralto/mezzo), is a classical singer with a wide variety of passions, a joyful perfectionist who is constantly working and experimenting with sound, color, communication, genre, range, text, ensemble, and all of music’s beautiful and nameless depths. A former violist, literature major, and choir singer, Sara began to seriously study voice at age 23. She graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (MM, Honors in Opera) and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music (AD in Early Music, Chamber Music, and Oratorio), and recently finished three years as part of the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera. She has been a fellow at the Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Music Academy of the West, and the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, and has studied with Cesar Ulloa, Marilyn Horne, Warren Jones, John Churchwell, Ken Noda, Dolora Zajick, James Taylor, Fred Carama, and Ken Noda, and been coached by Deborah Voigt and Renata Scotto.

Ever-grateful for her training at Yale, Sara is an early music enthusiast, always excited to be exploring and perfecting her performance of Handel’s characterizations, Bach’s harmonies, Vivaldi’s coloratura, the intricacies of Monteverdi’s monody, and whatever else might happen to crop up in that beautiful and ever-expanding genre. She is also an indefatigable performer of 20th and 21st-century music, tirelessly pursuing exactitude, communication, and beauty in works by composers such as Menotti and Janaçek. Her love of chamber music in all forms spans from small-group Bach vocal duets to percussion-laden Crumb ensembles, two-on-a-part oratorio presentations, and duets for voice and instrument such as Sofia Gubaidulina’s Ein Engel for double bass and contralto and Petr Eben’s Loveless Songs for viola and mezzo.

Sara has a deep appreciation for the skill, wit and wildness of the writings of Heine, and is always excited to perform songs based on his poetry, particularly the Schumann and Schubert song-cycles, with their beautiful, human, and at times terrifying and desperate stories. She is also a huge fan of the song-cycles of Mahler.

In the standard operatic repertoire, Sara ranges from Monteverdi to Menotti. She is a gifted actress, capable of the terrifying (Baba, The Medium; Dejanira, Hercules) and tragic (Cornelia, Giulio Cesare; Penelope, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria), and has a strong comic streak that comes out in pieces such as La Grande Duchesse de GerolsteinFalstaff, and The Mikado. She is in training at The Barrow Group, an acting school and theater in New York. Sara is represented by Musica Grande Artists.