English mezzo Sarah Connolly. Born in County Durham in 1963, she studied piano and singing at the Royal College of Music and continued her studies with Gerald Martin Moore. Her concerts engagements include appearances at the Salzburg Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie and Amsterdam Concertgebouw, with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Roger Norrington, Edo de Waart and Philippe Herreweghe. She is a regular guest artist at the BBC Promenade Concerts at Royal Albert Hall and was invited to take part in the opening festival of Carnegie’s new Zankel Hall in New York. Committed to promoting new music, her world premiere performances include Mark-Anthony Turnage’s ‘Twice through the heart’ with The Schoenberg Ensemble conducted by Oliver Knussen and Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Songs of Li Po’ at the Aldeburgh Festival. In the 1999/2000 season, her U.S. debut in the title role of ‘Ariodante’ for the New York City Opera was hailed as an enormous success and was described in the New York Times as ‘Phenomenal…[her] voice is dark and true, remarkably flexible and filled with the required heat’.