Praised by The Washington Post for her “consistently beautiful sound,” American mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko is rapidly gaining attention for her “rich mezzo soprano” voice and musicality.
In the 2016-2017 season, Sarah Mesko makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as the Second Lady in The Magic Flute. She will also be heard in recitals with the Dallas Opera at the Dallas Museum of Art; at the University of Arkansas and Henderson State University in Arkansas; and with tenor Paul Appleby for the George London Foundation at the Morgan Library in New York City. She will sing Mozart’s Requiem with the Mercury Orchestra in Houston and appear as Dejanira in Hercules and in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Oregon Bach Festival. In the 2017-2018 season she will return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Ines in Il Trovatore and Second Lady in both the German and English-language productions of The Magic Flute, and to cover Arsace in Semiramide and Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon.
Sarah Mesko began the 2015-2016 season in her role debut as Carmen at Washington National Opera in the Domingo-Cafritz Emerging Artists performance. She joined the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert tour across the United States and also covered Malcolm in La donna del lago on the mainstage. In concert, she appeared with the Columbus Symphony in Alexander Nevsky and with the Mercury Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Recently, Ms. Mesko debuted at the Glimmerglass Festival in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica to great acclaim. She was seen at Washington National Opera as the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte and made her debut at Houston Grand Opera as Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music. In concert, she appeared with Ars Lyrica, the Bach Society of Houston, and Mercury Baroque in Houston.
As a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, Ms. Mesko’s appearances with Washington National Opera include Alisa in David Alden’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor, a striking role debut as Dorabella in the Emerging Artist performances of Così fan tutte, and her role debut as Hansel. In 2011 she made her debut in Madama Butterfly, first as Kate Pinkerton and then in a highly acclaimed role debut as Suzuki, conducted by Plácido Domingo in a Young Artist performance – a role for which The Washington Post remembered her as “the best part of the Young Artist Program performance of Madama Butterfly last year.”
Ms. Mesko has made recital appearances with the Dolce Suono Ensemble, performing “La flûte enchantée” from Ravel’s Shéhérazade; with Vocal Arts DC, presenting Janáček’s Diary of One Who Disappeared with tenor Toby Spence; and with San Francisco Opera Center’s Schwabacher Debut Recital Series, presenting a joint recital with tenor Theo Lebow and pianist Robert Mollicone. She returned to Washington, DC, for her company debut with Opera Lafayette as Junon and Hyale in Charpentier’s Actéon. On the concert stage, Ms. Mesko made debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra under Tito Muñoz and with the Alexandria Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem. She returned to the Washington National Cathedral for a second Mozart Requiem with the Cathedral Choral Society, and she completed a recital tour, which began with the John Harrison Opera Foundation in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and ended in the nation’s capital with Vocal Arts DC. She made her European debut in Paris as La Sagesse and Sidonie in Lully’s Armide with Mercury Baroque and the Théatre de Gennevilliers.
A compelling concert artist, Sarah Mesko has appeared as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop; Mercury Baroque, led by Antoine Plante; Jeffrey Thomas and the American Bach Soloists Academy; the Aspen Music Festival Chamber Orchestra under Lawrence Renes; the Washington National Cathedral Choral Society; the Hot Springs Music Festival Orchestra under Peter Bay; and the Arkansas, Fort Smith, and North Arkansas Symphonies. Her diverse concert repertoire includes Bach’s Johannes-passion and Mass in B Minor, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Handel's Messiah, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Mozart’s Requiem and Missa Brevis in F, and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky.
Ms. Mesko trained with highly regarded apprentice programs, including the Santa Fe Opera, covering Costanza in Peter Sellars’ production of Vivaldi's Griselda and performing Idamante in scenes. She concluded the 2012-2013 season again with Santa Fe Opera, making her company debut as Amélie in La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and covering Malcolm in La donna del lago. At the Merola Opera program, she performed Ramiro in La finta giardiniera, appearing as Charlotte and Bianca in scenes from Werther and The Rape of Lucretia, and covering A Lady with a Hat Box in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco; Central City Opera, covering and performing the title role in Rinaldo and Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor; and the Aspen Music Festival, appearing as Mercedes in Carmen and Dorothée in Cendrillon, and giving the World Premiere of Richard Wernick’s “A Song for Phil,” written in memory of AMF faculty members Philip West and Jan DeGaetani.
In 2009, Ms. Mesko was a national finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, performing with the Met Orchestra under Patrick Summers. She has won First Prizes in various competitions, including those sponsored by the National Society of Arts and Letters, Annapolis Opera, Virginia Opera, Young Texas Artists, Sun Valley Opera, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy. She is also among a rare number of singers who have won the Richard F. Gold Career Grant more than once: in 2011 from Washington National Opera, and in 2009 from Central City Opera.
A native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Ms. Mesko holds a master of music degree in vocal performance from Rice University and a bachelor of music degree in vocal and flute performance from the University of Arkansas. At Rice University, she appeared as Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos and as Charlotte in A Little Night Music. While studying at the University of Arkansas, she performed the title role in Hansel and Gretel, Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon, and Goffredo in Rinaldo.
(Updated August 2016)
Photo by Kristin Hoebermann