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Dame Sarah Connolly to perform in exciting collaborations with Royal Northern Sinfonia as The Glasshouse Artist in Focus

Posted on 9 January 2023

Dame Sarah

One of Britain’s greatest living vocalists Dame Sarah Connolly has been announced as one of two Artists in Focus for Royal Northern Sinfonia’s 2022-23 season, alongside pianist Benjamin Grosvenor. Both musicians feature throughout The Glasshouse International Centre for Music classical season, performing at three concerts each.

A beacon for the best in classical music in the North East, 2023 will see Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of The Glasshouse, continue to host some of its most exciting collaborations to date, performing a huge variety of music spanning from the 12th century to the present day.

Born in Middlesbrough, Dame Sarah Connolly studied piano and singing at the Royal College of Music, of which she is now a Fellow. She has sung worldwide, had numerous opera engagements, including at the Royal Opera House and Bayreuther Festspiele, and in 2009 was a memorable guest soloist at the Last Night of the Proms.

Dame Sarah’s first performance as The Glasshouse Artist in Focus was on 23rd September 2022, in a beautifully spiritual concert to celebrate the native return of the Lindisfarne Gospels. Conducted by James Weeks, RNS were joined by Dame Sarah to explore centuries of spirituality in sounds, words and images.

Lindisfarne: Spiritual Sounds was recorded live, and the performance has since been made into a film by Newcastle agency Novak. The 30-minute-long film follows the journey of the Lindisfarne Gospels, transporting audiences through the stunning North East landscape and into the iconic illustrated pages of the Gospels. The video can be viewed at and is available until February 2023.

With two engagements left in the season, Dame Sarah will join Principal Conductor and talented pianist Dinis Sousa and the musicians of RNS for a sublime recital of French chamber music in RNS Chamber: Small is Beautiful on 14th January 2023. Featuring music from Debussy, Ravel and Boulanger, the concert will culminate in Chausson’s elegant Poeme de l’amour et de la mer.

Celebrated as one of Mahler’s greatest living interpreters, Dame Sarah will also join RNS for their final collaboration of the season on 28th April 2023 in RNS: Dame Sarah Connolly sings Mahler. At the heart of this programme are Mahler’s heart-rending Rückert-Lieder, five unforgettable songs that probe the deepest mysteries of life, art and love.

Dame Sarah Connolly said:

“It’s an immense honour to be a Glasshouse Artist in Focus with RNS. I have very happy memories of my previous concerts with them, and I love The Glasshouse building and its magnificent acoustic. I was born in Middlesbrough and grew up near Darlington. Sadly, I left when I was 16. My summer holidays were nearly always spent at Sandsend & Whitby and happily not a lot has changed. 

Since Covid blighted our lives, chamber music has come to the fore and it’s actually my favourite medium. I don’t have to make a lot of noise fighting big forces and one can be really creative with sounds & harmony. The programmes we have chosen together, Mahler and French music are my favourites too. The Chausson is about the sea and love and in Frank Villard’s piano quintet arrangement, the solo lines are almost virtuosic. Debussy’s Bilitis songs in a lovely orchestral arrangement by Jake Heggie are very seductive and John Tavener’s Supernatural Songs are completely unusual and meditative. I suppose I chase sensual music that involves evocative stories of places and how we feel about ourselves in the moment.”

Tickets for Dame Sarah Connolly’s performances are on sale now and can be booked at


For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Susie Gray, The Corner Shop PR

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or Orla Noble, The Corner Shop PR




14 January, 20:00


Conductor: Dinis Sousa

Mezzo Soprano: Sarah Connolly

Royal Northern Sinfonia


CLAUDE DEBUSSY – Prelude a l’apres midi d’un faune

CLAUDE DEBUSSY – Chanson de Bilitis

MAURICE RAVEL – String Quartet

LILI BOULANGER – Nocturne; D’un matin de printemps

ERNEST CHAUSSON – Poeme de l’amour et de la mer


28 April, 19:30


Conductor: Dinis Sousa

Mezzo Soprano: Sarah Connolly

Royal Northern Sinfonia


SCHUBERT – Symphony No. 7 ‘Unfinished‘

MAHLER – Rückert Lieder

BRAHMS – Symphony No. 3