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Photo: AP Wilding

Alexandra (Sasha) Cowell

Voice Type:

Soprano

Nationality:

British, American

Country:

United Kingdom

Languages (fluent):

English, Italian, French, Spanish

Opera

Gretel​ (future)
Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck)
co-production with Barefoot Opera
2019
Donna Anna (Future)
Don Giovanni (Mozart)
Rogue Opera
2019
Micaëla
Carmen (Bizet)
Rogue Opera
2018
Frasquita
Carmen (Bizet)
Rogue Opera
2018
First Lady
The Magic Flute (Mozart)
St John's Opera
2017
Ariadne
Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss, R)
Barefoot Opera with InterOpera
2017
Mimì
La bohème (Puccini)
Clyde Opera Group
2016
Fiordiligi
Così fan tutte (Mozart)
Tessitoura
2015
First Lady
The Magic Flute (Mozart)
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
2014
Fiordiligi
Così fan tutte (Mozart)
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
2014
Fiordiligi
Così fan tutte (Mozart)
Opera'r Ddraig
2013
Female Chorus
The Rape of Lucretia (Britten)
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
2013
Mother / Sandman / Dew Fairy
Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck)
Opera San Jose (Outreach productions)
2011
Bianca
La Rondine (Puccini)
Opera San Jose
2010
Georgette
La Rondine (Puccini)
Opera San Jose
2010
Pousette
Manon (Massenet)
Opera San Jose
2009

Operetta/G&S

Isabel
The Pirates of Penzance (Sullivan)
Lyric Theatre of San Jose
2008

Chorus

Chorus
Faust (Gounod)
Opera San Jose
2012
Chorus
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo)
Opera San Jose
2011
Chorus
La Boheme (Puccini)
Opera San Jose
2011
Chorus
Tosca (Puccini)
Opera San Jose
2010
Chorus
Carmen (Bizet)
Opera San Jose
2009
Chorus
Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
Opera San Jose
2008

Oratorio/Concerts

Soprano Soloist
Rule Britannia (Thomas Arne)
Birmingham Gay Symphony Orchestra
2017
Soprano Soloist
Vesperae solennes de Confessore (Mozart)
Chepstow Choral Society
2013
Soprano Soloist
Requiem in D minor (Bruckner)
Chepstow Choral Society
2013

Other

Steph
Dress Rehearsal (Various)
Sarastro Productions
2016
Female Chorus / Calypso / Ellen Orford
Britten's Women (Britten)
RWCMD at the Bath International Music Festival
2013

Covered Covered & Performed Scenes Premiere of New Work Concert

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Leverhulme Scholarship (2014)

Competitions

Emmy Destinn Young Singer Competition Finalist (2015)

Genni Trickett for London Theatre 1, “5-star…All of the performers are extremely gifted, and it seems unfair to single anyone out for especial praise; nevertheless it must be said that the older Steph and her great love Mickey are particularly touching. Played by Alexandra Cowell and James Richards respectively, they bring a charm and a pathos to their scenes which is genuinely moving.” (2016)

Rob Ellis for A Younger Theatre, “‘Porgi Amor’ by Mozart sung brilliantly by Cowell – how she can make a song sound so warm yet so sad is beyond me.” (2016)

The Barnes Bugle, “mature and attentive Cowell singing ‘Porgi Amor’” (2016)

The Blog of Theatre Things, “When it comes to silent acting, though, it’s Alexandra Cowell who stands out as Steph; in one scene, she watches her younger self performing with an expression of such longing that it’s genuinely quite heartbreaking.” (2016)

Mike Smith for WalesOnline: "British-American soprano Alexandra Cowell also relished the acting as well singing challenges of this demanding opera and the pairing of Cowell and the dramatically more restrained Kerry-Lynne Dietz produced some glorious sound." (2014)

Mike Smith for WalesOnline: "Sasha Cowell...beautifully sung and hilariously acted" (2014)

Glyn Pursglove for Seen and Heard International: “The Female Chorus of Alexandra Cowell had an impressive and engaging stage presence and exemplary clarity of diction” (2013)

Master of Arts in Opera Performance
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
2012–2014
Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (BSOF) in Flute Performance and French
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
2003–2007
Preparatory Division Graduate
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
1998–2002

Critically acclaimed for her “impressive and engaging stage presence”, “genuinely quite heartbreaking” acting and a voice which has been described as “brilliant” and “glorious sound”, British-American soprano Alexandra Cowell never intended to be an opera singer. Surrounded by classical music, a range of musical instruments and very supportive and forbearing parents, Alexandra began her musical training at the age of seven as a flautist, studying in the US, UK and Canada.

​Growing up, Alexandra studied at the junior division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as taking part in several highly regarded summer programmes including ones at The Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University and Le Domaine Forget in Quebec. She is also a proud alumna of the Northern California Flute Camp, a prominent US summer programme to which she returned several years in a row. Throughout school she was taught by Opera San Jose principal flute, and second mum, Isabelle Chapuis.

​Alexandra has performed in masterclasses for several prominent flautists including Jeanne Baxtresser, Carol Wincenc and Michel Debost, and she trained privately with the late, wonderful Francis Blaisdell. In 2007 Alexandra received her Bachelor’s in Flute Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying under Kathryn Lukas, who she fondly remembers as “Professor Kate”.

​Intending to pursue a career as a professional flautist, Alexandra was mid-way through auditions for a Masters in Flute Performance when she had an accident that would change the course of her life. Whilst taking out the rubbish, she slipped and shattered every bone in her wrist, leaving her unable to play the second round of her auditions…or take out any more rubbish! Supported and inspired by friends and family, and unable to face the idea of a week without a music lesson, Alexandra returned to the musicians of Opera San Jose for further musical training, and began studying with then principal soprano, Rochelle Bard.

​Alexandra began singing professionally in 2008 with Opera San Jose, where she worked with Irene Dalis, Jose Maria Condemi, Peter Kozma, and George Cleve, amongst others. Equal parts challenging and inspiring centre for musical excellence, and a supportive family of professionals who encouraged Alexandra to pursue new and previously unimagined goals, OSJ provided her the opportunity to sing in the chorus, whilst also covering roles and performing in the OSJ Outreach programme, taking Hansel and Gretel to schools all around the San Francisco Bay area. Alexandra’s roles with OSJ included Mother, Sandman and Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel), Bianca (La Rondine), and Poussette (Manon).

​Inspired by her experiences at OSJ and in pursuit of further challenges, Alexandra decided to pursue a Masters degree in Opera. After forcing every single person she knew to weigh in on her options, she finally decided to return to the UK and study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she was supported by a Leverhulme Scholarship and studied with Janet Price, Michael Pollock and Angela Livingstone. There she sang the roles of Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), First Lady (The Magic Flute) and Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte). She was also fortunate to work closely with John Fisher, Susan Bullock, Donald Maxwell, and David Jones. During her time at RWCMD, Alexandra made her UK concert debut, took part in Britten’s Women, directed by Martin Constantine at the Bath International Music Festival, and sang Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) with Opera’r Ddraig at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

​Following her graduation from RWCMD, Alexandra chose to remain in her beloved Cardiff, where she continues to pursue solo and concert work, and has cleverly taken up residence equidistant from both the Wales Millennium Centre and the riding stables. Recent roles include Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos) in a workshop with Alistair Dawes and Barefoot Opera, Mimì (La Boheme) with Clyde Opera and First Lady (The Magic Flute) with St John’s Opera. She was a finalist in the Emmy Destinn Foundation Young Singer Competition. Current projects include workshopping an exciting new production of Hänsel und Gretel with Barefoot Opera and her current teacher, Jenny Miller.

Contact Alexandra (Sasha) Cowell

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