"exquisite poignancy"
Opera News

"a gorgeous, deep, dark mezzo-soprano”
New York Times

"grand, expansive voice ... like a rich Columbian coffee blend"
Huffington Post



Alto Rhapsody
Johannes Brahms 

Rückert Lieder
Gustav Mahler

West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein

Liber scriptus
Requiem, G. Verdi

Lachrymosa dies illa
Requiem, G. Verdi

Lux aeterna
Requiem, G. Verdi

Songs of Lili Boulanger 



Sara Murphy, “a gorgeous, deep, dark mezzo-soprano” (New York Times), is a vocal artist who has been called “absolutely unforgettable for her versatility and ability to conquer any sensitive soul” (El Nacional, Dominican Republic). The fall of 2016 marks her European debut at Opera Theater of Rome as Ulrica in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera under the baton of Jesús López-Cobos. The current season continues with the role of The Wife in the world premiere of Gisle Kverndokk’s sacred opera Upon this handful of earth, and concludes at Carnegie Hall in the role of Mary Magdalene in Elgar’s The Apostles with American Symphony Orchestra. Opera News named the recent release of Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner in which Sara portrays Mother Bayard and Ermengarde one of the “Top Ten Opera Recordings of 2015.” 

Past season highlights include Ligeti’s Requiem, Schnittke’s Nagasaki and Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner with American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein, and Verdi’s Otello, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mahler Symphony No. 8, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Tchaikovsky’s Ode to Joy at Cincinnati May Festival conducted by James Conlon. Her portrayal of Britten’s Phaedra, Barber’s Dover Beach and High Priestess (Aida) at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Conlon won acclaim from the Chicago Tribune: “a rich, voluminous mezzo voice, excellent diction and an acute feeling for words and music.” She enjoys frequent performances of Verdi Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mahler Symphony No. 8, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder and Elgar’s Sea Pictures.

Sara holds degrees from Oberlin College and Catholic University. She is a first-prize winner of the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Vocal Competition, and a grant recipient of Inter-Cities Performing Arts and the Wagner Society of New York.


2013 - First Prize, Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition

2013 - Grant Recipient, Inter-Cities Performing Arts, Inc.

2010 - Grant Recipient, The Wagner Society of New York

2010 - Finalist, Joy in Singing Competition

2010 - Honorable Mention, George London Foundation Competition


MM • Catholic University • Voice Performance

BA •  Oberlin College • Music Performance



The Long Christmas Dinner

"Mezzo Sara Murphy plays both Mother Bayard, who has a nostalgic reverie in the first scene, and cousin Ermengarde, who is left alone at the end to sing a final meditation, which Murphy renders with exquisite poignancy."

Opera News, December 2015

"Sara Murphy’s closing aria as Ermengarde here is marvellously poignant."

Gramophone, November 2015

"Among the highlights of the Bridge recording is Mother Bayard’s quiet, complacent ariosa in the first scene, sung beautifully by Sara Murphy, a dramatic mezzo-soprano who also played the role of Cousin Ermengarde. Making a clear vocal delineation between the two characters, Murphy brought the performance to an affecting end with the spoken final line. In response to “They’re building a new house,” a line from a letter she reads, Ermengarde speaks two words after the orchestral accompaniment has faded away: 'Fancy that!'"

The Thorton Wilder Society, October 2015


"Sara Murphy as Ermengarde, who ends the opera imagining the family continuing without her, [is] a bit special."

The Guardian, September 2015


Newly released recording of The Long Christmas Dinner makes the top of Arts Beat's playlist in the New York Times.

New York Times, July 2015

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This recording marks a major event in American music: the premiere recording of the original English language version of Paul Hindemith's final opera, “The Long Christmas Dinner” (1960/61) on a libretto by Thornton Wilder. Conductor Leon Botstein writes: “One aspect that Thornton Wilder and Paul Hindemith shared was their mastery of the short form in their respective fields: the single-act work. Nowhere is Wilder’s skill in this dramatic form so ambitiously and thrillingly demonstrated than in “The Long Christmas Dinner”, which transforms the concept of duration by compressing 90 years into under an hour, and thereby exposes fundamental issues of life and its rebirths. Hindemith, too, loved the form, and used it to invoke sudden spikes of emotion, whether it be horror, laughter, or astonishment. That these two great artists collaborated on a form that they both dominated and reinvigorated is a rare and happy historical convergence.” This CD release includes complete librettos in English and German, and extensive background notes by Hindemith scholar Joel Haney, conductor Leon Botstein, and Tappan Wilder, nephew and literary executor of Thornton Wilder.




"Sara Murphy impressed in each of her appearances, from her deeply felt 'Woe unto them who forsake Him' to her powerful Jezebel, the biblical queen who drives Elijah into the wilderness. As the angel, her message to Elijah 'O rest in the Lord,' was heartfelt and comforting."

Cincinnati Enquirer, May 29, 2016
Mendelssohn Elijah
Cincinnati May Festival
James Conlon, conductor

"Sara Murphy was an earthy, motherly presence as Mother Bayard and Cousin Ermengarde."

Opera News, March 2015
The Long Christmas Dinner
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor



"Sara Murphy ... another force to be reckoned with ... Her grand, expansive voice, was like a rich Columbian coffee blendsmoothbut bracing, as she used her superb diction to enunciate the sorrows of "He Was Despised."

Huffington Post, December 23, 2014
Oratorio Society of New York
Kent Tritle, conductor


"The rich-voiced mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy was especially endearing as Mother Bayard and, later, Cousin Ermengarde."

New York Times, December 22, 2014
The Long Christmas Dinner, Paul Hindemith
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor


"The mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy sang with poise and emotive force in the ominous third movement."

New York Times, December 17, 2014
Nagasaki, Alfred Schnittke
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor


"Ms. Murphy and the soprano Jennifer Zetlan sang the startling solo excerpts with expressive intensity."

New York Times, December 17, 2014
Requiem, Gyorgy Ligeti
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor


"... a gorgeous, deep, dark mezzo-soprano... ”

New York Times, October 20, 2013
Rachmaninoff Vespers
Sacred Music in a Sacred Space
K. Scott Warren, conductor


"In the 'Esurientes' Ms. Murphy handled the flowing runs with assurance but also deep feeling. "

The New York Times, October 21, 2012
Bach Magnificat
Sacred Music in a Sacred Space
K. Scott Warren, conductor


“… Sara Murphy brought a rich, voluminous mezzo voice, excellent diction and an acute feeling for words and music to the anguished heart of the piece.”

Chicago Tribune, July 26, 2013
Britten Phaedra, Barber Dover Beach
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia
James Conlon, conductor


“… there were fine performances ... especially Sara Murphy as a priestess.”

Chicago Tribune, August 4, 2013
Verdi Aida
James Conlon, conductor


"Sara Murphy contributed a fervent 'Judgment Scene' from Aida, her full, round mezzo-soprano trembling with anguish ... ”

The Star-Ledger, September 24, 2013
MidAtlantic Opera
Jason Tramm, conductor


[The] American Sara Murphy [was] absolutely unforgettable for her versatility and ability to conquer any sensitive soul."

El Nacional, February 21, 2012
Teatro Nacional, Santo Domingo
República Dominicana


Classical Singer profiled Sara Murphy in September 2015 in "Wearing All the Hats: Singers as Administrators."


The Long Christmas Dinner is "highbrow brilliant" in New York Magazine's December 29, 2014 Approval Matrix.

"A high point in the concert came in a finely-crafted 'aria' which Schnittke assigns to a solo mezzo-soprano voice. Tonight Sara Murphy expanded on the excellent impression she had made in the Ligeti: her voice has depth and warmth; it's even and glowing throughout the range, and fills the hall effortlessly. Her singing has a rich emotional resonance which derives from the sound itself, free of theatrical embellishments. This was some of the most soul-pleasing vocalism I have heard in the past decade. She was enthusiastically cheered as she took her bows."

Oberon's Grove, December 2014
Nagasaki, Alfred Schnittke
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor


"The work calls for two vocal soloists, and tonight's artists coped impressively with the demands Ligeti placed on them. Mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy produced ample, steadily-sustained tones at tricky, almost random-sounding intervals."

Oberon's Grove, December 2014
Requiem, Gyorgy Ligeti
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor


Equally brilliant–without any reservations whatsoever—were Mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy and Soprano Jennifer Zetlan. Their challenge was to make the huge octave-and-a-half leaps, to sing in minor-seconds with each other (perhaps even microtones!), to keep not only perfect pitch but to allow each note to have its own change colors and vibratos.

Concertonet, December 2014
Requiem, Gyorgy Ligeti
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor


"Ms. Murphy has a glorious voice that easily encompassed the wide-ranging role from below the passaggio to above the staff. She is a truly fine singer.”, August 4, 2014
The Dream of Gerontius
Berkshire Choral Festival
Kent Tritle, conductor


"...[B]oy howdy, mezzo Sara Murphy is worthy of my most enthusiastic raves. Her Lux aeterna was lyrical and full of drama at the same time. Her Liber scriptus has set a new standard by which I shall judge all other performances of Liber scriptus. Her performance was sensitive musically and completely on the mark vocally, her sound always beautiful and free. Why is this lovely woman not singing everywhere? I would compare her to Amnerises and Adalgisas with world-class careers today, and she'd win.", October 20, 2013
Verdi Requiem
New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble
Marina Alexander, conductor


“Murphy is skirting the perimeter of a big musical career, prepping in churches and chorale music and starting to work in Wagner and Verdi operas. She has a glorious, full voice and fills a hall without effort, but with great beauty. Surely a mezzo to be heard. Around the hall, when she finished, everyone was whispering, “Where has she been?”

Berkshire Fine Arts, July 27, 2013
Britten Phaedra, Barber Dover Beach
James Conlon, conductor




Alto Rhapsody  |  Johannes Brahms

Phaedra  |  Benjamin Britten

Symphony No. 9  | Ludwig Beethoven

Sea Pictures  |  Edward Elgar

Symphony No. 8  |  Gustav Mahler

Rückert-Lieder  |  Gustav Mahler

Ode to Joy  |  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Sheherezade  |  Maurice Ravel

Wesendonck Lieder  |  Richard Wagner



Mass in C Major  |  Ludwig van Beethoven

Dream of Gerontius  |  Edward Elgar

Requiem  |  Maurice Duruflé

Stabat Mater   |  Antonín Dvořák

Messiah   |  G.F. Handel

Requiem  |  György Ligeti

Elijah  |  Mendelssohn

Requiem   |  Wolfgang Mozart

All Night Vigil, Op. 37, Mvt. 2   |  Sergei Rachmaninoff

Nagasaki  |  Alfred Schnittke

Requiem   |  Giuseppe Verdi



Missa Solemnis   |  Ludwig van Beethoven

Requiem   |  Antonín Dvořák

Stabat Mater   |  Giacomo Rossini

Petite Messe Solennelle   |  Giacomo Rossini




Azucena  |  Il Trovatore  |  Giuseppe Verdi

Amneris  |  Aida  |  Giuseppe Verdi

Ulrica  |  Un Ballo in Maschera  |  Giuseppe Verdi

Santuzza  |  Cavalleria Rusticana  |  Pietro Mascagni

Fricka  |  Die Walküre  |  Richard Wagner

Sieglinde  |  Die Walküre  |  Richard Wagner

Mère Marie  |   Les Dialogues des Carmelites  |  Francis Poulenc

Dido  |  Dido and Aeneas  |  Henry Purcell



Eboli  |  Don Carlo  |  Giuseppe Verdi

Brangäne  |  Tristan und Isolde  |  Richard Wagner

Ortrud  |  Lohengrin  |  Richard Wagner

Cassandre  |  Les Troyens  |  Hector Berlioz



Dover Beach  |  Samuel Barber

Zigeunerlieder  |  Johannes Brahms

Liebesieder Walzer  |  Johannes Brahms

Two songs for alto, viola and piano, op. 91  |  Johannes Brahms

La Maja Dolorosa  |  Enrique Granados

Les Chansons de Bilitis  |  Claude Debussy

Five Mystical Songs  |  Ralph Vaughan Williams

Assorted Lieder  |  Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss, Franz Schubert

Assorted Mélodies  |  Henri Duparc, Reynaldo Hahn

Assorted Songs | Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland