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Bio: Bio


Sara Jobin defies stereotypes. She broke the glass podium at San Francisco Opera in 2004, doing the same at Arizona Opera in 2006 and the Baltimore Lyric Opera House in 2016.  Her first opera recording was nominated for a Grammy in 2010, and she earned a judo black belt on the same day she first conducted Beethoven's Fifth. 


Admittedly fed up with opera plots where women so often die to sustain the patriarchy, Jobin has consistently championed contemporary American works from Anchorage to Avignon, Szeged to Shanghai, including serving as principal conductor for the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York for a decade.  Carnegie Hall Live broadcast her conducting during their tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020, featuring Derrick Wang’s bipartisan comedy Scalia/Ginsburg.


Sacred music has emerged as Jobin’s raison d’être, and her talent is in service to interfaith harmony and unity, especially cross-cultural musical projects seeking to unite east and west.  She conducted the Bach B Minor Mass with an international ensemble at Dachau to honor Noor Inayat Khan, the Sufi princess who gave her life as a British spy in WWII.  Much of covid was spent producing online international, interfaith musical events for the Inayatiyya Music Activity.  Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem with Albany Pro Musica in the superlative acoustics of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has also been a highlight.


Her talent is also in service to musical works with the potential to educate and unite.  She premiered Mohican composer Brent Michael Davids' first opera, The Purchase of Manhattan, in Manhattan.  The Little Rock Nine, libretto by Thulani Davis and music by Bernadette Speach, celebrates the bravery of the nine high school students whose perseverance and sacrifice brought America one step forward on the long road toward civil rights.  Niloufar Nourbakhsh’s beautiful paean to democracy in her native Iran, We, the Innumerable, remains relevant as brave school girls there lead the charge for equal rights under an oppressive regime.  It was a joy to workshop Sheila Silver’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, a beautiful, uplifting opera uniting women around the world both behind the veil and without it, soon to be available for chamber orchestra.


Jobin has conducted numerous operas and concerts throughout the US and internationally:  members of the LA Philharmonic in Disney Hall, Los Angeles Opera (Broad Stage), Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Carolina, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Idaho (Made in America series), OperaDelaware, Toledo Opera, Anchorage Opera, Pittsburgh Opera (Young Artists), Tacoma Opera, with CCO at the Armel Opera Festival in Hungary and France, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players at the MANCA Festival in Nice.  Symphonic engagements include three years as Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony with over 35 concerts a year, the Edmonton Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Symphony Silicon Valley, Dubuque Symphony, and children's concerts with Bochumer Symphoniker and the Orchestra of St. Luke's.


She went to Harvard at 16, where as a Leonard Bernstein Scholar she graduated with highest honors on her thesis MAESTRA, and top cash prizes, from both departments of a double major.  The John Knowles Paine Fellowship funded initial conducting studies at the Pierre Monteux School, and from there she undertook the traditional training in the opera house:  four years at Opera San José was followed by five years as fulltime music staff at San Francisco Opera.  Singing in the gospel choir at Glide Memorial Church for eight years concurrently, completed her musical education.


Jobin woke up to the climate crisis in 2006 and produced a “Global Warming Cabaret” in 2007.  Through an Opera America Innovation Grant awarded to the Center for Contemporary Opera, she recently hosted a panel discussion on environmental sustainability in opera, now featured on the Opera America website.  She seeks to continue to participate in and foster this important conversation.


updated May 2024

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