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Kate Sawyer

When not on the mainstage, she has earned a reputation for curating performances in intimate spaces such as art galleries and museums. Her duo show Sizzling Sopranos brings opera, jazz and vaudeville styling to classical music audiences, featuring well-known arias and duets to lesser-known baroque heroines.  

As a soloist, Kate has sung many of the concert favorites: Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, the Faure Requiem, Haydn Paukenmesse, and Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music. Early on in her career, she debuted with New Orleans Opera as Sylviane in The Merry Widow. From there, her vibrant lyric coloratura brought her acclaim as The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, the title role in Lakme, Cupidon in Orpheus in the Underworld, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier concert suite, Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Frasquita in Gulf Coast Opera’s Carmen in concert with mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chavez. In 2018, Kate was featured in a fundraising quartet concert for The University of South Alabama’s Opera Theater. The quartet included her husband and USA alum Richard Sawyer, tenor, alongside fellow alum Nicholas Brownlee, bass-baritone and his wife Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano. The quartet of couples fired off favorites from Rigoletto to Oklahoma!, and Saint-Saëns to Mozart.

Collaborative and educational performances are a highlight in her career as she continues to teach voice and conduct her college choirs. Kate is also the producer and director of the annual Young Soloists concert on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where student musicians up to age 21 come together to present a formal recital of their best pieces. Last summer, Kate was selected as a Teaching Fellow for the 2021 International Performing Arts Institute in Fairhope, Alabama.  While there, she worked with Dr. Maryann Kyle (University of Mobile), Dr. Michael Bunchman (University of Southern Mississippi, Collaborative Piano) and many other world-class faculty to hone skills in artistic expression and pedagogy.

On the theater scene, some of her favorite roles include Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Abigail Adams in 1776, Bianca in Scream Queens (Jefferson Performing Arts Society, director J.J. Rodgers) Maria in The Sound of Music, Heidi Schiller in Sondheim’s Follies (Broadway South Repertory) and Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (produced for virtual 2020 season, Biloxi Little Theater).  

Kate Sawyer holds degrees in classical voice performance from Loyola University New Orleans (BM '05 Summa Cum Laude) and Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD (MM '07)

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