Franco-Japanese-American soprano, Sarah Hayashi’s musical studies began at the age of five when she started learning the piano. In primary school, she picked up the viola. But her love for opera came at the age of three watching a video Joan Sutherland sing abridged versions of her iconic roles with the help of little puppet to narrate the story. Sarah’s love grew even stronger after joining the Peabody Children’s Chorus, where she performed in productions of Carmen and Hansel and Gretel with the Baltimore Opera Company.
Sarah started her operatic studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore where she studied with renowned soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson and tenor Stanley Cornett. Sarah continued her studies in the UK, first at the Royal College of Music in London with the brilliant soprano Janis Kelly, and then the Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff with world-famous tenor Dennis O’Neill. During her studies, she sung the roles of the Fire, the Princess, and the Nightingale L’Enfants et les Sortilèges, Miranda in the world premiere of Douglas Buchanan’s Ariel’s Tempest, Miss Ellen Lakmé [Peabody Opera Theatre]; Erste Knabe Die Zauberflöte, Emmie Albert Herring [Royal College of Music]. Other roles include Belinda Dido and Aeneas [Little Patuxent Opera]; Euridice Orphée aux Enfers [Bel Cantanti Opera and Bearwood Opera]; Despina Cosi fan tutte [Seastar Opera]. She has also performed the roles of Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro, Naiade Ariadne auf Naxos, Dew Fairy Hänsel und Gretel, Dalinda Ariodante, Elisa Il re Pastore, Marie La fille du Régiment, and Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia in opera scenes performances. She has also covered the role of Olympia Tales of Hoffmann for English Touring Opera. Some oratorio works include Schubert’s Mass in E-flat, Kodàly’s Missa Brevis [Peabody Conservatory], Haydn’s Missa Brevis in G [St. Lawrence, West Wycombe], and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate [Royal College of Music]. Sarah has performed in public concerts and recitals in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Nice, Graz, Sicily, Weimar, and London. She has participated in public masterclasses with Kiri Te Kanawa, Della Jones, Nelly Miricioiu, Elizabeth Watts, Barbara Bonney, Denyce Graves, Dalton Baldwin, Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, and Roger Vignoles.
While at the Peabody Conservatory, Sarah won the Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts Award and was recipient of the Evergreen House Foundation Scholarship. She was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lamda Music Honor Society. At the RCM, she was awarded the Charles Brachini award and the Josephine Baker Trust. Sarah was a winner of the Royal College of Music’s Concerto Competition, finalist of the London Handel Festival’s Singing Competition, receiving the Selma D. and Leon Fishbach Prize, and a semi-finalist in the International Cesti Competition in Innsbruck. In 2018, Sarah won second place in the Handel Aria Competition, the annual Handel singing competition that take place in Madison, Wisconsin.
At the RCM, Sarah with soprano Lisa Kiriaty, Baroque cellist Angela Lobato, and harpsichordist Marie Otaka created the Baroque chamber group Chaconne Ensemble. They performed concerts of soprano duets and solos for audiences throughout London. They won the Royal College of Music Early Music Competition, receiving the Century Fund and Richard III Prize. In 2017, they were invited to give concerts at the Handel & Hendrix Museum in London, as well as in the Utrecht Early Music Fringe Festival.
She has also performed extensively as a soloist and recitalist in the US, the UK, and France. Recent operatic performances include Blonde Abduction from the Seraglio with Bronx Opera, Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro at the Mediterranean Opera Studio in Sicily, the Queen of the Night Die Zauberflöte at the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, Olympia/Dr. Miracle in a reimagined production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Arbor Opera Company, and Zerlina Don Giovanni with Bare Opera in New York City. She was also praised in the role of Le Feu in the critically acclaimed virtual production of L'Enfant et les Sortileges with Vopera and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Productions affected by the Covid-19 pandemic include Barbarina Le Nozze di Figaro, Adele Die Rache der Fledermaus, and Morgana Alcinas Insel at Theater Erfurt.