Covered Covered & Performed Scenes Premiere of New Work Concert
Here, as elsewhere, Sarah Helsby Hughes was excellent, in appearance as well as vocally. - Tosca, Focus Opera, William Marshall, Huddersfield Examiner (2013)
Sarah Helsby Hughes plays Gilda as if born for the part, conveying anguish and love’s raptures with a beautiful delicacy: her Caro Nome is the early highlight of the show, with immaculate intonation and breathtaking cadenzas. This set-piece for a coloratura is seldom done as well as this. She is equally impressive in her duets, for example with her father Rigoletto in Act Two. Richard Wilcox, Bachtrack (2012)
Violetta is not an easy role to cast. First there is the dramatic transformation from the frivolous courtesan of Act 1 to the dying consumptive at the end, and musically some very difficult notes to get through.Sarah Helsby Hughes proved absolutely ideal, especially with her most agile coloratura and real top E flat to boot. - La Traviata, New Devon Opera, Philip R Buttall, Plymouth Times (2012)
Sarah Helsby Hughes’ Violetta was persuasively passionate yet dignified throughout, a fine portrait of the doomed lover gracefully putting honour before self interest. Her ‘Sempre libera’ was joyful and delivered with marvellous panache but it was her mezza voce singing that will stay with me. Her ability to float high quiet notes perfectly in the final scene was genuinely memorable. Bill Kenny, Music Web International (2011)
..the best singing of the evening came from Sarah Helsby Hughes as Miss Jessel, the best articulated I have ever heard - 'The Turn of the Screw', Roderick Dunnett, Opera Now Magazine (2010)
Adina was sung by Sarah Helsby Hughes, a soprano of beautifully refined, almost effortless coloratura....whose graceful authority seemed free of the usual teenage fripperies. - L'Elisir d'Amore, Heritage Opera, Roderick Dunnet, Opera Now (2009)
The cast was strong in every area...Sarah Helsby Hughes a fearless and imperious Queen of the Night;-The Magic Flute, Armonico Consort, Bridgewater Hall, Robert Beale,Manchester Evening Post (2009)
Sarah hails from Liverpool, England, and studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music.
Since graduation, Sarah's career has taken her all over the world, including performances in Europe, the USA and Japan. She has appeared for many opera companies, including Mid-Wales Opera, Carl Rosa Opera, Lyric Opera Dublin, D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Opera North, Opera Ireland, Pavilion Opera, Focus Opera and City of Birmingham Touring Opera
Operatic roles include: Musetta/Mimi (La bohème) Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), The Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Adina (L’elisir D’Amore), Tosca, Violetta (La Traviata), Josephine/Plaintiff (HMS Pinafore/Trial by Jury) Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Madame Butterfly, Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus), Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte), Carmen, Gilda (Rigoletto), Elsie Maynard (Yeomen Of the Guard), Anna (The Merry Widow), Mary Crawford (Mansfield Park), Senta (Der Fliegende Hollender).
Concert work includes all the major oratorio soprano solos, with appearances in Italy, The Netherlands, Ireland, and all over the UK.
Since 2011, Sarah has been the Artistic Director of Heritage Opera, responsible for producing, translating, and directing most of the company’s output. She also directed Turandot (2012), The Elixir of Love (2013) , The Magic Flute (2014), Amahl and The Night Visitors (2014), the Thieving Magpie (2015), La boheme (2015), and Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci (2016) for Midland Opera, Birmingham, and Maria Stuarda (2014) for Opera Seria in Manchester. In 2015-16, Sarah sang Cio Cio San, Tosca, Violetta, Roselinde, and Mimi, and directed Madame Butterfly, La traviata, The Thieving Magpie, and Die Fledermaus. In 2017, Sarah will sing Fiordiligi, Cio Cio San, and Mimi.
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