The young Belgian mezzo-soprano Sara Jo Benoot started developing a real passion for opera at a very young age. In 2013 she obtained her Master’s degree in Classical Singing with a Specialisation in Opera at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. Additionally, she followed the Concert Musician’s Course with the Belgian baritone, Lionel Lhote, at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels.
Sara Jo made her debut at Opera Flanders in Antwerp and Ghent in 2015, where she appeared as Neferneferuaten in Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten with conductor Titus Engel and director Nigel Lowery. The House reinvited her straight away to participate in its Otello (Verdi) as Emilia, that was conducted by Alexander Joel and directed by Michael Thalheimer in 2016.
During the seasons 2016-2018, Sara Jo Benoot was a member of the Opera Studio of the Cologne Opera House (Oper Köln) in Germany. In 2016-2017, she performed the roles of Un Pâtre, l'Écureuil and La Chatte in L’Enfant et les Sortilègesby Ravel and the role of Bridesmaid in Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, both conducted by François-Xavier Roth, the role of Alisa in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor conducted by Leo Hussain, and the role of Mrs. Páskova in The Cunning Little Vixen by Janáček. In 2017-2018, she appeared there a.o. as Amenofi in Rossini's Mosè in Egitto and as Roccolina in Gassmann's Gli Uccellator conducted by Gianluca Capuano. During her time at the Opera Studio, she also performed in several children's operas: as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold, as Matilda in King Arthur by Purcell, as Die Muse der Dichtung in Hoffmanns Erzählungen by Offenbach and several roles in Die Heinzelmännchen zu Köln by Ingfried Hoffmann.
This season, 2018/2019, she will amongst others participate in a new composition by the Polish composer Katarzyna Głowicka for female voices, string quartet and live electronics, directed by Krystian Lada. In a complete other repertoire : La Grande Duschesse de Gérolstein by Offenbach, she will appear as Amélie at the Opera House of Cologne (as guest singer).
Sara Jo has participated in numerous masterclasses across Europe with Silvana Bazzoni Bartoli, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Larissa Diadkova, Sergei Leiferkus, Bruno de Simone, Wolfgang Brendel, Christoph Prégardien and others. She has also studied or worked with other recognized names such as Fiorenza Cossotto, Pretty Yende, Helen Donath, Koen Kessels, Guy Joosten and Susanne Resmark.
Today, she is coached by Jon Thorsteinsson.
Recent master classes
2015-2016: Concert Musician's Course with baritone Lionel Lhote at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels
2013-2014: Master Specific Teacher's Diploma Music and Voice Teaching at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp
2008-2013: Master in Classical Singing (Specialisation in Opera) at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp
2018 : Dmytro Popov, Cologne Opera, Cologne (Germany)
2017 : Deborah Polaski, Cologne Opera, Cologne (Germany)
2016 : Manfred Jung, pianists: Stephen Hess & Hans Sotin, Junge Musiker Stiftung, Festspielstadt Bayreuth (Germany). And, Silvana Bazzoni Bartoli, supported by the Cecilia Bartoli – Music Foundation, Zurich (Switzerland).
Sara Jo Benoot wishes to thank SPES, the Robus Foundation, Inspiratum, the Siaa-Foundation, the Theodor-Rogler-Stiftung and S.W.U.K. Vlaanderen for their generosity and kind support.
Prize Winner, International Vocal Competition, Žďár nad Sázavou (Czech Republic), 2015.
cv-update : October 2018