Sarah Leonard is one of Britain’s most respected and versatile sopranos. She has a wide repertoire with a particular interest in contemporary music and has appeared throughout the world in major concert halls, opera houses and festivals. She has worked closely with many leading composers including Birtwistle, Boulez, Dusapin, Ferneyhough, Harle, Harvey, Huber, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nyman and Sciarrino and premiered numerous works. 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 and the song cycle In Praise of Dreams , by Joe Cutler, with Stephen Gutman, piano, for NMC.
She has worked with many leading conductors including Pierre Boulez in Webern’s Cantatas 1 & 2 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and his Improvisations sur Mallarmé , with the Ensemble Intercontemporain. With Michael Tilson Thomas she has performed Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien , San Francisco Symphony, and Krenek’s Die Nachtigall , London Symphony Orchestra, and (with Peter Eötvös) Ligeti’s Requiem in Holland and London.
Her opera appearances include Dr. Faustus by Giacomo Manzoni at La Scala Milan, Al Gran sole Carico d’Amore Luigi Nono at Hamburg State Opera, Berio’s Laborintus II at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova, What Next? by Elliott Carter, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, To Be Sung by Pascal Dusapin, Thé â tre des Amandiers, Paris, Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelholzern by Helmut Lachenmann in Hamburg, Stuttgart, Paris and Vienna. Contemporary Music Theatre appearances include Dirty Tricks by Paul Barker, London, Down By the Greenwood Side , Harrison Birtwistle, London and Angel Magick by John Harle at the Salisbury Festival and the BBC Proms.
Sarah regularly sings with the ensemble Gemini, and has a duo with cellist Robin Michael. They have performed in the BMIC’s Cutting Edge series and given many workshops and concerts throughout the UK. She gave the UK premiere of Got Lost a major song cycle written for her and the pianist Rolf Hind, by Helmut Lachenmann, at the Aldeburgh Festival, and Elliott Carter’s A mirror on which to dwell with the Royal Northern Sinfonia.