Praised for her "unusually rich and resonant voice" (Opera News), contralto Sara Couden (“SA-ra COO-den”) is a premiere interpreter of operatic, concert, and song repertoire.
In 2023, Sara sings the roles of Ottavia in West Edge Opera’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Catiscià in Il Ducato (the Lamplighters’ Renaissance Italian setting of The Mikado), and Osmiro in Olimpia vendicata with Ars Minerva. She is the alto soloist in the Mozart Requiem with Eureka Symphony, Alma Mahler’s Five Songs with the California Symphony, and Messiah with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Tucson Symphony, and at Duke University.
In 2022, Sara made company and role debuts at St. Petersburg Opera (Florida), as Juno/Ino in Handel's Semele, as well as the Marquise of Berkenfield in Donizetti’s Fille du régiment, and a role debut as the Nurse in Dukas’ Ariane et Barbe-bleue with West Edge Opera. She covered Erste Magd in Elektra and Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera. For concert work, Ms. Couden returned to the Charleston Symphony for Beethoven 9, sang Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder at the Staunton Music Festival, and made her Seattle Symphony debut in Messiah. In the field of recital/art song, Sara performed a concert of viola/piano/alto works for Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, and recorded art songs composed by Artur Schnabel with Jenny Lin, piano, under the Steinway label.
In previous seasons, Ms. Couden made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Albine in Thais, her Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra debut as Israelitish Man in Judas Maccabaeus, her San Francisco Symphony debut in Beethoven 9, and her Cincinnati May Festival debut as alto soloist in Julia Perry’s Stabat Mater. She toured Japan with Maestro Masaaki Suzuki in Bach's B Minor Mass, and performed Third Lady in Die Zauberflote with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos and Penelope in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria with West Edge Opera, and sang "Urlicht" as the alto soloist in Mahler's Second Symphony with the Santa Cruz Symphony. She has performed numerous Handel roles, including Bradamante, Cornelia, Ino, Juno, Dejainira, Irene, and Narciso. She completed the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera in 2017, and has been a fellow at the Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Music Academy of the West, and the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. Ms. Couden holds a Master of Music with Honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and an AD in Early Music, Chamber Music, and Oratorio from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.