Sarah Leonard is one of Britain's most respected and versatile sopranos. She has a wide repertoire from baroque to contemporary and has appeared throughout the world in major concert halls, opera houses and festivals. She has premiered many works by leading composers including Harrison Birtwistle, Pascal Dusapin, Jonathan Harvey, Helmut Lachenmann, John Harle and Joe Cutler.
Her 30-plus recordings include a recital series of English Song with Malcolm Martineau, works by Varèse with Chailly and the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Ligeti’s Aventures, Nouvelle Aventures with the Schoenberg Ensemble, In Praise of Dreams by Joe Cutler for NME. January 2017 saw the release of vocal works by Nicola LeFanu and David Lumsdaine with Gemini Ensemble for Metier, and The Silver Hound, new recordings of songs by Betty Roe.
For many years Sarah toured as a guest soprano with The Hilliard Ensemble, singing and recording the music of Arvo Pärt. She sang with The Michael Nyman Band for over 20 years and featured on Peter Greenaway films The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Prospero’s Books and many Nyman CD’s. Sarah has also worked extensively with John Harle and is the voice in the title music of the long running TV series Silent Witness.
Sarah regularly gives song recitals with pianist Stephen Gutman. These have included recitals at the BMIC’s Cutting Edge series, Benslow Music’s Summer Festivals, The Clothworkers Centenary Hall and The London Song Festival.
Alongside her performing career Sarah teaches singing and holds popular singing courses at Benslow Music and Jackdaws. She also gives regular workshops and master classes at Trinity Laban.
In January 2013 Hull University awarded Sarah Leonard a Degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa for her services to music.
- 01. Oliver Knussen: Turba6'14"
- 02. Diana Burrell: Songs for Harvey2'26"
- 03. Roger Redgate: ruins true refuge3'42"
- 04. Robert Keeley: Refacings7'48"
- 05. Nicholas Maw: The Old King's Lament7'29"
- 06. Christopher Fox: Generic Compositions 5 & 86'46"
- 07. Michael Finnissy: Sepevi8'046"
- 08. Bernard Rands: Memo 17'13"
- 09. James Dillon: A roaring flame11'55"
A disc showcasing new works for double bass, solo and with voice or cello: from the title work, Dillon's setting of Gaelic poetry for soprano & bass, and Maw's characterful Old King's Lament, to Chris Fox's extraordinary combination of frenetic bass and other-worldly cello.
"[In James Dillon's 'A Roaring Flame'] the Gaelic and Provencal texts and sinuous vocal line give the music a haunting beauty, which is realised with superb concentration by both performers."
BBC Music Magazine 2004
Recording date: 9-11 December 2002
Recording venue: St John's Church, Loughton, Essex
Engineer & Producer: David Lefeber
Editing & mastering: Davis Lefeber
Cover image: Francois Hall
(P) 2004 NMC Recordings Ltd