Mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft, hailed as “extraordinary… a born storyteller” (Voce di meche), is catching the attention of audiences around the world with her “warmly romantic vocalism” (New York Observer). In 2016 Carnegie Hall presented her in a solo Spotlight Recital with renowned pianist Warren Jones, a triumphant performance that drew high praise from critics; Opera News described her as “exquisite… glowing… charming… affecting, genuine… Craft fully inhabited the music with intensity and focus.” Ms. Craft and Mr. Jones performed their recital again in Santa Barbara the following season, and Carnegie Hall invited her back for another solo recital in 2018 for their Neighborhood Concerts Series. Her recent performance as Dorabella in LoftOpera’s Così fan tutte drew universal acclaim as well; the New York Times praised her “soft-grained mezzo” while Parterre Box called her performance “excellent… pliant and luminous” with “fluid, robust singing.” Upcoming engagements include Joseph Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and a duet recital with soprano Megan Pachecano as Guest Artists at Colorado State University.
Passionate about art song and chamber music, Ms. Craft participated in “The Song Continues: Paris Residency” presented by Carnegie Hall at the Opéra Bastille. She has been an Artist-in-Residence with Judson Arts at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village and is a member of Con Vivo chamber ensemble. Her love of both new music and early music is reflected in her multiple appearances in readings of new works with American Opera Projects and in regular concerts with Amor Artis chorus and New York Baroque Incorporated.
Ms. Craft’s operatic roles have included Cherubino, Dorabella, Dido, Rosina, Hansel, Orfeo, Hermia, Annio in La clemenza di Tito, Nancy in Albert Herring, Giunone in Agrippina, Ninetta in Les vêpres siciliennes, and the title role in Cendrillon, working with companies such as the Caramoor International Music Fesitval, Opera North, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, operamission, and the Macau International Music Festival. She has performed the title role in La cenerentola with both Fargo-Moorhead Opera and Opera at Florham, and appeared in Matt Aucoin’s mini-opera for NPR’s This American Life live at BAM.
Highly sought after as a concert soloist, Ms. Craft made her Lincoln Center debut at Avery Fisher Hall 2012 as both the alto and soprano II soloist in Bach’s Mass in B minor and Handel’s Messiah with the National Chorale. She has since made her debuts at Alice Tully Hall in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the American Classical Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Masterworks Festival Chorus. Other notable performances have included Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, both with Princeton Pro Musica, and Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra. Other favorite concert roles include Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion and Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, Copland’s In the Beginning, and Duruflé’s Requiem.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Craft holds a Bachelor’s Degree (cum laude) in Italian and music from Dartmouth College and a Master’s Degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas College of Music. She received further training at the Music Academy of the West where she worked with Marilyn Horne who continues to be a mentor. She has been a first prize and audience choice award winner at the district level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a semifinalist in the Opera Columbus Irma M. Cooper International Vocal Competition, and won third place in The American Prize in Art Song and Oratorio 2016.