YAS Spotlight on Sarah Mattox


Sarah Mattox was part of our Young Artists Scholarship program starting in 1996 -- its very first year!

Described as a “honeyish mezzo,” Sarah Mattox has sung principal roles with Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Amarillo Opera, Eugene Opera, Tacoma Opera and many others. Favorite roles include the title characters in Carmen and Cendrillon, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, Ottavia in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel. She received special acclaim for her debut as Feodor in Seattle Opera’s Boris Godunov. The Seattle Times said “…it was newcomer Sarah Elouise Mattox, in the ‘pants role’ of Boris’ son Feodor, who raised eyebrows all over the Opera House with her believable, lifelike acting and her well-schooled voice.” In Cleveland, the Beacon Journal called her “…a rich-toned mezzo-soprano who came to life as Dorabella.” Also at home on the concert stage, Mattox has made several appearances at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. She has also been a soloist with the Northwest Sinfonietta, Cascade Festival of Music, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Helena Symphony, Bainbridge Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Walla Walla Symphony, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Eugene Concert Choir and many others. Mattox has made four appearances as a concert soloist at Carnegie Hall, twice in John Rutter’s Magnificat under the baton of the composer. Her chamber music group, TangleTown Trio, champions music by living composers, performing frequently across the country, and on radio and television.

Also a composer, Mattox was named a 2014 John Duffy Composers Institute Fellow for her chamber opera Heart Mountain. The piece is based on the journal of Kara Matsushita Kondo, who was born in the Yakima Valley and incarcerated with her family in Wyoming during WWII.  Vespertine Opera Theater presented a full workshop of Heart Mountain in July of 2015 under the baton of Grammy Award winning conductor Stephen Stubbs. Mattox won the 2013 Boston Metro Opera International Composers' Competition OPERA PUPPETS Mainstage Award for her song cycle, "Rumpelstiltskin and the Falcon King." Called "entertaining, exuberant," and "just incredible," her compositions have been praised for their "natural sense of phrasing and flow," and "the just plain beauty of the music."


Today Sarah shares, "Being a member of the inaugural class of Sunriver Music Festival Young Artists came at a pivotal point in my life, and helped encourage me to pursue a full-time career in music. The financial support was helpful, but the mentorship of such an esteemed professional organization was even more meaningful. My own professional career now spans 21 years. I’ve been thrilled to perform the works of the canonical masters in venues across the country, as well as premiere new music by living composers. In recent years, I’ve begun composing more of my own music, including my first chamber opera. But some of my favorite moments on the stage remain those times I’ve returned to Central Oregon to perform with the Festival. I look forward each year to learning about the new class of Young Artists, and seeing how they develop on their own musical journeys. Thank you to all of you for your continued support for the future of classical music!

Here is a link to the world premiere of “Heart Mountain Suite”, a 40-minute choral adaptation of my chamber opera.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-BTNkDVOL8&t=501s

And here are two links to me as the mezzo soloist for the world premiere performances of “Nuclear Dreams,” by Reginald Unterseher. It was composed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Manhattan Project. It was performed INSIDE the actual Hanford B Reactor. It was an incredible experience! I’ve been devoting more of my time in recent years to projects with living composers.

This first piece is “Spoonful of Tank Waste.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl-4vc8sUE8

This second piece from Nuclear Dreams is “I Didn’t Know They Work Here.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF3HBMjCTLs"


Would you like to partner with the Festival in nurturing the next generation of musicians? Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted. You can specify in the shopping cart on the following pages that you'd like your donation to go specifically toward the Young Artists Scholarships. 

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Sunriver Music Festival
P.O. Box 4308
Sunriver, OR 97707

Located in the Sunriver Village Building 13

Office Hours
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Phone: 541-593-1084
Tickets: 541-593-9310