Sarah Walker

Voice/Instrument: Mezzo soprano


Sarah Walker CBE (born 11 March 1943 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) is a British mezzo-soprano.

Walker's grandparents were members of the Hallé Choir, and her aunt (Madame Annie Walker) was a notable soprano in the early 20th Century.

She studied at the Royal College of Music from 1961 to 1965, initially as a violinist and cellist, and went on to study singing with Vera Rozsa. She has appeared in numerous opera performances and is also known as a concert soloist and recitalist.

Walker's operatic debut was in 1969, as Ottavia in Kent Opera's production of L'incoronazione di Poppea. She has also appeared in Britain with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, The Royal Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, and abroad at The Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, La Monnaie (Brussels) and the Vienna State Opera.

Notable roles have included the title-roles in Gloriana and Maria Stuarda, Dido in Les Troyens and Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress. She recorded the challenging Voices under the direction of its composer, Hans Werner Henze, in 1978.

In 1989, Sarah Walker, along with June Anderson (Coloratura Soprano), Klaus König (tenor), and Jan-Hendrik Rootering (bass-baratone) was led under the baton of Leonard Bernstein in a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The performance was celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall on Christmas. Anderson, Walker, König, and Rootering were accompanied by a massive choir and orchestra made up of many nationalities: from Germany, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Chorus of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden; from the Soviet Union, members of the Orchestra of the Kirov Theatre, from the United Kingdom, members of the London Symphony Orchestra; from the USA, members of the New York Philharmonic, and from France, members of the de Paris. Anderson, Walker, König, and Rootering were the four soloists.  

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