Mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft is a “born storyteller” whose commanding, versatile voice has caught the attention of audiences around the world. Carnegie Hall recently 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 performance as “exquisite… glowing… charming… affecting… Craft fully inhabited the music with intensity and focus.” Her most 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 the New York Observer lauded the “pliant and luminous Craft,” calling her performance “excellent” with “fluid, robust singing.” The 2014-15 season brought her to France where she participated in “The Song Continues: Paris Residency” presented by Carnegie Hall at the Opéra Bastille. Ms. Craft made her Caramoor Festival mainstage debut in 2013 as Ninetta in Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes and in several concerts there for which she was noted as a “young singer to watch out for” (taminophile.com). She also received critical acclaim for her performance as Giunone in Handel’s Agrippina with New York City’s operamission: she “knocked this exciting aria out of the park” (Parterre), and her “imposing mezzo scored in Giunone’s lone aria” (Opera magazine).
Ms. Craft’s operatic roles have included Cherubino, Dorabella, Dido, Rosina, Hansel, Hermia, Annio in La clemenza di Tito, Nancy in Albert Herring, and the title role in Cendrillon, with companies including Opera North, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, 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 recently performed at Alice Tully Hall with the American Classical Orchestra in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and at Carnegie Hall with the Masterworks Festival Chorus in Vivaldi’s Gloria. 2012 marked her Lincoln Center debut at Avery Fisher Hall as the alto soloist in both Bach’s Mass in B minor and Handel’s Messiah with the National Chorale. Other notable performances have included Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, both with Princeton Pro Musica; Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra; and Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the Brooklyn Symphony 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.
Ms. Craft is a frequent recitalist as an Artist-in-Residence with Judson Arts at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village and as a member of Con Vivo chamber ensemble. Her passion for 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.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Craft earned her Bachelor’s Degree (cum laude) in Italian and music from Dartmouth College and earned her 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 Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, a semifinalist in the Opera Columbus Irma M. Cooper International Vocal Competition, and a 2015 finalist for The American Prize in art song and oratorio.