Laura Sarti, mezzo-soprano, was born in Trieste, Northern Italy, where she heard many of the legendary singers such as Gigli, Schipa, Gina Cigna and Toti dal Monte so that the Bel Canto and Italianate style are, as it were, inbred. Moving to Britain after the war she began vocal studies with Emmy Heim and Lucy Manen.
Her operatic career began at Glyndebourne where she was chosen by Maestro Gui for the role of Berta in a production and EMI recording of “The Barber of Seville” the cast including Victoria de Los Angeles and Luigi Alva. She also sang the role of “Messaggera” in the Erato recording of Monteverdi´s “L´Orfeo” which was awarded the International Disc Prize.
A founder cast member of the Scottish Opera and Kent Opera she also appeared at the Wexford, Bregenz and Aix-en-Provence International Festivals encompassing over thirty roles. Her extensive broadcasting appearance included de Falla´s “La Vida Breve” with Margaret Price in the first BBC colour television opera.
A noted recitalist both in her own right and as part of the “Benvenuto Duo” (which she formed together with the soprano Claire Walmesley and accompanist Paul Hamburger) she built a reputation for innovative recital design. A Wigmore Hall recital by the Duo was singled out by a leading music journal as an example of “consummate artistry”.
A Professor and Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama since the 1970´s she has developed an international reputation as a teacher and regularly gives Master Classes in Britain, France, Switzerland,
Sweden, Germany and Ireland. Her students are drawn from all over Europe and many have gained acceptance on advance courses at Guildhall and other leading Conservatories. Her pupils appear with leading national and international opera companies as well as pursuing careers in concerts and recital. Her long vocal teaching and performance in opera has given her an especial insight into the Italianate, French and Spanish styles and repertoire for which she is particularly well known. Her other activities include lecturing, adjudication and publishing translations of “Don Giovanni” and “L´incoronazione di Poppea”.
“Nottingham Playhouse foyer was bursting to the seams for a dazzling weekend master class given by Laura Sarti, the former Covent Garden and Glyndebourne singer. Dazzling? Well, for a start Miss Sarti can certainly still sing, and not only in the celebrated mezzo roles. Making a point to a young tenor, for instance, she did a very decent imitation of Pavarotti. Miss Sarti also has a refreshing way with words. Her session added up to a 3 1/2 hour pep talk, focussing on just every facet of the singers´s art.” (Classical Music)
“Miss Sarti sang Dido impressively, with firm tone, feeling for the music´s long lines, and queenly dignity in the final scene.” (Dido & Aeneas), London, The Times
“Il (Purcell) fut hier admirablement servi par un soprano hors de pair Laura Sarti dont le timbre emouvant a des couleurs sombres qui lui donnent toute la force expressive voulue.” (Dido & Aeneas), La Feuille dÁvis de Lausanne
“Laura Sarti demonstrated the most understanding command of Rossini´s style, her account of Berta´s “Il Vecchiotto Cerca Moglie” is quite delightful.” (Il Barbiere Di Siviglia), London, Record & Recordings
“Miss Sarti has a unique vivacious platform personality which makes one warm to all she does. ... the colour and emotion that went with Miss Sarti´s singing of Granado´s “La Maja dolorosa” was one of the events of the recital.”, Edinburgh, The Scotsman
“A magnificent Meg.” (Falstaff), London, Sunday Times
“The very distinguished Genevieve of Laura Sarti”, London, Radio Times
“Laura Sarti erfreute mit ihrer schönen Stimme im sympathischen Vortrag der Marie-Partie.” (Berlioz - L´enfance du Christ), Zurich, Die Tat
“Die Vokalisten waren Laura Sarti, mit ihrem beseelten, leuchtenden Sopran als Maria...” (Berlioz - L´enfance du Christ), Zurich, Zürichseezeitung
“Miss Sarti´s rich mezzo ideally suited to three Verdi songs, with their echoes of various operas, and to a group of Spanish songs.”, London, The Times
“The evening´s best singing and acting came from Laura Sarti in the role of Pierotto.” (Linda di Chamonix), London, Opera Magazine
Laura Sarti FGSM
Badgers, Houndean Rise, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1EH