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Sarah Castle (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: Wellington, New Zealand

The New Zealander Mezzo-soprano, Sarah Castle, studied at Victoria University, before moving to Manchester to study singing at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Sarah Castle has been gaining attention for her committed and idiomatic performances of a wide-ranging repertoire spanning over three-and-a-half centuries of different styles and composers. Based in the UK, she has developed an ongoing relationship with London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden, where she debuted in 2001 as Tisbe in Cenerentola and has subsequently appeared there as Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos, Page in Salome, Mademoiselle Dangeville in Adriana Lecouvreur, and as Siegrune in Die Walküre, Flosshilde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Keith Warner.

A seasoned interpreter of Wagnerian repertoire, Sarah Castle has appeared at the Bayreuth Festival in 2004 (Wellgunde and Grimgerde in Der Ring des Nibelungen), Bavarian State Opera (Flosshilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen), Florence’s Maggio Musicale (Siegrune in Die Walküre, conducted by Zubin Mehta), Opera North (Flosshilde in Das Rheingold), and State Opera of South Australia in Adelaide (Flowermaiden in the Australian premiere of Parsifal, conducted by Jeffrey Tate). Concert performances she has performed Siegrune Die Walküre with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles for her BBC Proms debut, Waltraute in Die Walküre with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. With the Hallé Orchestra she sang Magdalene in Die Meistersinger and Waltraute in Die Walküre. She continues her foray into Wagner with Flosshilde in Das Rheingold & Götterdämmerung and Siegrune Die Walküre for Opera North’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (2016) and Waltraute in Die Walküre in concert with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden. Sarah Castle made her debut as Oberto in Alcina and as,. Other Wagner performances are as; Flosshilde in Munich; Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung at the Staatsoper Stuttgart; and and Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam.

Sarah Castle’s repertoire embraces the work of living and contemporary composers, both in the opera house and the concert hall. On the operatic stage she has performed the title role of Tan Dun’s Marco Polo (Netherlands Opera), Elektra in Manfred Trojahn’s Orest (Netherlands Opera); Nancy Tang (First Secretary) in John Adams’ Nixon in China (San Diego Opera); Portia in André Tchaikowsky's Merchant Of Venice for the Grand Theatre, Warsaw. In the concert hall, she has performed Michel van der Aa’s Spaces of Blank (Amsterdam) and Mark Anthony Turnage’s Twice Through The Heart (with Manchester’s Psappha Ensemble).

In the classical operatic repertoire, Sarah Castle continues to enjoy success for her committed portrayals of male and female characters from all walks of life. Her repertoire of trouser roles include the heroes of the Baroque and Classical literature (Nerone in L’incoronazione ii Poppea, title role in George Frideric Handel's Teseo, Teseo in Arianna In Creta, Ruggiero Alcina, Sesto in Giulio Cesare, Andronico in Tamerlano, Idamante in W.A. Mozart's Idomeneo, Annio in W.A. Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito) and the passionate young men of the Romantic repertoire (Smeton in Anna Bolena, Siebel in Faust, Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Stephano in Roméo Et Juliette, Komponist in Ariadne Auf Naxos, Beppe in L’Amico Fritz). Her female portrayals include such varied women as Purcell’s Dido, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Emilia in Otello, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Madame Dangeville in Adriana Lecouvreur, Marchesa Melibea in Il Viaggio A Reims, title role of La Cenerentola and the title role of Georges Bizet'S Carmen.

Sarah Castle has appeared with many of the major opera companies and orchestras of Europe (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayreuth Festival, Opera di Firenze’s Maggio Musicale, Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, Grand Theatre Warsaw, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Opéra de Lausanne, Teatro Real Madrid; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Edinburgh International Festival, La La Chapelle Royale), the USA (San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, San Diego Opera, the Spoleto Festival USA), Asia (Hong Kong Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony Orchestra), Oceania (Opera New Zealand, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, State Opera South Australia) and Israel (Israeli Opera).

Recent highlights include Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen for Welsh National Opera and Israeli Opera. For Israeli Opera she also sang Nerone in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Sesto in George Frideric Handel's Giulio Cesare and Melibea in Il Viaggio A Reims. Her USA debut was for San Francisco Opera as Oberto in G.F. Handel's Alcina, and she has also appeared as Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus for the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Cherubino in W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro for Seattle Opera, New Zealand Opera and San Diego; and returned to San Diego for Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Stephano in Roméo Et Juliette and Siebel Faust.

Sarah Castle made her debut at the Staatsoper Stuttgart as Oberto in Alcina and as Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung. Other highlights are singing Ruggiero in Alcina and Hänsel in Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel for Opera Australia; Nicklausse in Les Contes D'hoffmann for the Teatro Real, Madrid and the Gran Teatro de Cordoba; Annio in W.A. Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito for the National Theatre, Prague; Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos and Andronico in Tamerlano for the Spoleto Festival USA; Olga in Eugene Onegin at La Monnaie in Bruxelles; Helen in King Priam and Teseo Arianna in Creta, both for Nationale Reisopera; and the title roles of Teseo (G.F. Handel) for Klagenfurt Opera, Dido in Dido and Aeneas in Lausanne, and Carmen at the Hallenstadion Zurich. For Opera Holland Park she sang Beppe in L'amico Fritz.

Notable concerts include Felix Mendelssohn's Paulus with La Chapelle Royale under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, Elijah with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and for the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kurt Masur, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Gustavo Dudamel in Caracas, Spaces of Blank by Michel van der AA in Amsterdam, and Mark Anthony Turnage's Twice Through the Heart with Psappha. Her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall was as Siegrune in Die Walküre with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles, returning to sing (with the same conductor) a concert performance of Elektra. Also at the Proms she has performed F. Mendelssohn's Lobgesang and Parsifal with the Hallé Orchestra. She has also made debuts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with Dutch Radio Philharmonic conducted by Lothar Zagrosek singing Debussy's La Damoiselle Elue and at the Edinburgh International Festival singing Kurt Weill songs with the San Francisco Ballet. Other concert appearances are as Idamante in W.A. Mozart's Idomeneo in Moscow; Page in Salome, and W.A. Mozart's Requiem with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra; and Feuersnot and Anna Bolena (Smeaton) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Most recent and upcoming engagements for Sarah Castle include a return to Opera New Zealand to sing the title role in La Cenerentola, a production seen in Auckland and Wellington, Emilia in Otello with the Auckland Philharmonic, Waltraute in Die Walküre with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden, Flosshilde Das Rheingold & Götterdämmerung and Siegrune Die Walküre for Opera North’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, and a return to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Flora in La Traviata. She performed the role of Portia in the posthumous Polish premiere of A. Tchaikowsky's Merchant Of Venice with the Polish National Opera and reprised this role in the work’s British premiere with Welsh National Opera (autumn 2016) and its ensuing premiere at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in the summer of 2017.


Source: Robert Gilder Website; Sarah Castle Website; Photo 11: Trevor Goldstein
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Roy Goodman


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [2002, Oberto]

Richard Hickox


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [2nd recording, 2007, Ruggiero]

Links to other Sites

Sarah Castle (Robert Gilder)
Sarah Castle - Mezzo Soprano (Official Website)
Sarah Castle on Facebook

Sarah Castle - mezzo-soprano (Royal Opera House)
Sarah Castle - Bio (Naxos)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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