Sharon Sweet

Biography

Born: August 16, 1951; New York, NY  
One of a handful of dramatic sopranos whose talents prove that large voices of quality still do exist, Sharon Sweet has enjoyed a highly successful career despite persistent issues regarding her physical size. Like Jessye Norman, Alessandra Marc, and Deborah Voigt, Sweet has both an ample figure and a voice to measure up to the grandest roles in the Italian, German, and French repertories. While not the most psychologically penetrating of Read more interpreters, Sweet has consistently sung with power, an appropriate notion of style, and no small measure of musicianship. During her career, she has appeared in leading roles in many of the major world venues, especially in Europe and the United States. While still in prime voice, she assumed a full-time university level teaching position, by no means abandoning her singing career, but being more selective regarding her engagements.

Initially preparing herself for a career as a concert pianist, Sweet suffered an injury that closed the door on that possibility. She turned to singing, studying first in Philadelphia with Margaret Harshaw (noted for providing her students with a strong fundamental technique) and, after a return to New York, with Marinka Gurewich. When she was ready to audition, she met with the first examples of prejudice against full-figured leading ladies: After 150 auditions, she had no offers. Europe, by contrast, proved more enlightened. Following a successful Aida presented in concert form at Munich, Sweet was engaged for Elisabeth in a production of Tannhäuser at Dortmund the following year. In 1987, Sweet made important debuts in Paris and Berlin and in 1988 assumed the title role in Norma for a concert production in Brussels.

Sweet's American stage debut took place in 1989 when she sang Aida in San Francisco. She joined the Metropolitan Opera and had the honor of performing Lina in the company's first-ever production of Verdi's Stiffelio in 1992. Covent Garden heard her for the first time as Aida in 1995; when she returned as Turandot, her Princess was hailed for a lyric sweep and ease sharply contrasted with the shrill, unsteady Turandot of Gwyneth Jones that London had heard earlier. In addition to opera, Sweet has been heard regularly in oratorio. It was in Verdi's Manzoni Requiem that the soprano was first heard at Verona. Aside from that work, for which her voluminous instrument is so well-suited, Sweet's concert repertory spans a century and a half, ranging from Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9 to Britten's War Requiem.

Sweet's 1999 move to academia when she accepted a full-time teaching position at Westminster Choir College surprised many, particularly as it was accompanied by little comment on the singer's part. In Brian Kellow's column in the February 2000 issue of Opera News, however, the singer explained her increasing frustration with a system gone awry, one in which appearance too often takes precedence over vocal substance. She cited the example of her having saved a performance by taking over for an ailing colleague, only to be told by the conductor that he would not work with her again due to her physical size. Sweet explained that she has long endured a thyroid condition known as Hashimoto's Syndrome. Sweet has made notable contributions to several recordings, in particular Lohengrin, Der Freischütz, Don Giovanni, and Il trovatore. Read less
Verdi: Requiem / Schneidt, Sweet, Araiza, Et Al
Release Date: 11/08/2005   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 357990   Number of Discs: 2
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There are 18 Sharon Sweet recordings available.

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Biography

Born: August 16, 1951; New York, NY  
One of a handful of dramatic sopranos whose talents prove that large voices of quality still do exist, Sharon Sweet has enjoyed a highly successful career despite persistent issues regarding her physical size. Like Jessye Norman, Alessandra Marc, and Deborah Voigt, Sweet has both an ample figure and a voice to measure up to the grandest roles in the Italian, German, and French repertories. While not the most psychologically penetrating of Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Overture
"Notte e giorno faticar" - "Lasciala, indegno!"
"Ah, soccorso! son tradito..."
"Leporello, ove sei?"
"Ah! del padre in periglio" - "Ma qual mai s'offre, o Dei"
"Fuggi, crudele, fuggi!"
"Orsù, spicciati presto"
"Ah! chi mi dice mai" - "Udisti? qualche bella"
"Chi è là?"
"Madamina, il catalogo è questo"
"In questa forma dunque"
"Giovinette, che fate all'amore"
"Manco male, è partita"
"Ho capito, signor sì!"
"Alfin siam liberati"
"Là ci darem la mano"
"Fermati, scellerato!"
"Ah, fuggi il traditor"
"Mi par ch'oggi il demonio si diverta"
"Non ti fidar, o misera"
"Povera sventurata!"
"Don Ottavio... son morta!"
"Or sai chi l'onore"
"Come mai creder deggio"
"Dalla sua pace" (K.540a)
"Io deggio ad ogni patto"
"Fin ch'han dal vino"
"Masetto... senti un po'..."
"Batti, batti, o bel Masetto"
"Guarda un po' come seppe questa strega"
"Presto, presto... pria ch'ei venga" - "Tra quest' arbori celata"
"Bisogna aver corragio"
"Protegga il giusto cielo"
"Riposate, vezzose ragazze"
"Venite pur avanti"
"Da bravi, via, ballate"
"Ecco il birbo che t'ha offesa"
"Trema, trema scellerato"
"Eh via, buffone, non mi seccar"
"Leporello!"
"Ah! taci, ingiusto core"
"Amico, che ti par?"
"Deh! vieni alla finestra"
"V'è gente alla finestra"
"Metà di voi qua vadano"
"Zitto... Lascia ch'io senta... Ottimamente"
"Vedrai, carino"
"Di molte faci il lume"
"Sola, sola in buio loco"
"Dunque quello sei tu"
"Ah! pietà, signori miei!"
"Ferma, perfido; ferma"
"Il mio tesoro intanto"
"In quali eccessi" (K.540c, Recitative)
"Mi tradì quell'alma ingrata" (K540c, Aria)
"Ah! ah! ah! questa è buona!"
"O statua gentilissima"
"Calmatevi, idol mio"
"Crudele? Ah no! mio bene!"
"Non mi dir, bell'idol mio"
"Ah, si segua il suo passo"
"Già la mensa è preparata"
"L'ultima prova"
"Don Giovanni, a cenar teco m'invitasti"
"Ah! dov'è il perfido?"
"Or che tutti, o mio tesoro"
"Questo è il fin di chi fa mal!"
Quattro Pezzi Sacri: Ave Maria: Moderato (Scala enigmatica armonizzata a quattro voci miste) (Live)
Stabat Mater: Sostenuto (Live)
Laudi alla Vergine Maria: Moderato (Dante: Paradiso, xxxiii) (Live)
Te Deum: Sostenuto (Live)
Part I Scene 1: The Duel ? Introductory Chorus and Aria: Wake up, there, wake up, there! (Ferrando, Servants, Soldiers)
Part I Scene 1: Cavatina: Narrative: Heav'n had giv'n my old master (Ferrando, Soldiers, Servants, Chorus)
Part I Scene 2: Recitative and Aria: Come, wait no longer (Inez, Leonora)
Part I Scene 2: Cavatina: The stars shone in the heav'ns above (Leonora, Inez)
Part I Scene 2: Cabaletta: No words can tell the measure (Leonora, Inez)
Part I Scene 2: Recitative: How still the night is (Count di Luna)
Part I Scene 2: Romance: The Troubadour! The madman! - Though naught on earth is left me (Count di Luna, Manrico, Leonora)
Part I Scene 2: Trio: Who's speaking? (Leonora, Count di Luna, Manrico)
Part I Scene 2: Jealous fury and slighted passion (Count di Luna, Leonora, Manrico)
Part II Scene 1: Chorus of Gipsies: See how the shadowy clouds are flying (Chorus)
Part II Scene 1: Canzone: Fierce flames are raging (Azucena, Gipsies, Manrico, Chorus)
Part II Scene 1: Narrative: They brought her, fettered and pow'rless (Azucena, Manrico)
Part II Scene 1: Duet: As we struggled he stumbled before me (Manrico, Azucena, Messenger)
Part II Scene 1: You are still too weak to venture (Azucena, Manrico)
Part II Scene 2: Recitative: All is deserted (Count di Luna, Ferrando)
Part II Scene 2: Aria: In the stars that shine above me (Count di Luna, Ferrando)
Part II Scene 2: The hour has come, no more delay (Ferrando, Chorus of Retainers, Retainers, Count di Luna)
Part II Scene 2: Here in this world of sorrow (Nuns, Count di Luna, Ferrando, Retainers, Leonora, Inez)
Part II Scene 2: Oh, can it be, can I believe (Leonora, Count di Luna, Manrico, Inez, Ferrando, Chorus of Nuns, Retainers, Ruiz, Followers)


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