|Year of Birth:||1963|
Dame Sarah Patricia Connolly DBE (born 13 June 1963) is an English mezzo-soprano. Although best known for her baroque and classical roles, Connolly has a wide-ranging repertoire which has included works by Wagner as well as various 20th-century composers. She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to music.
Connolly was born in County Durham and educated at Queen Margaret's School, York, Clarendon College in Nottingham and then studied piano and singing at the Royal College of Music, of which she is now a Fellow. She then became a member of the BBC Singers for five years.
Connolly's interest in opera and a full-time career in classical music began after she left the BBC Singers. She began her opera career in the role of Annina (Der Rosenkavalier) in 1994. Her breakthrough role was as Xerxes in the 1998 English National Opera production of Handel's Serse (Xerxes), directed by Nicholas Hytner.
In 2005, she sang the title role in Handel's Giulio Cesare for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The DVD of the production, directed by David McVicar, won a Gramophone Award. Singing the part of Sesto in McVicar's production of La Clemenza di Tito for English National Opera in 2006, Connolly was nominated for an Olivier Award. Her 2005 debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in the same opera, but in the role of Annio.