French-American soprano, Sandra Hamaoui, has been praised for her “homogenous and flexible voice of fine velvet” in addition to her “musicality and finesse of expression” (El Pais Uruguay). Described as “heartfelt” and “prodigious” (Voce di Meche), her true talent lies not just in her effortless vocal technique and musicality, but also in her ability to fully captivate her audience.
In the 2019/20 season, Ms. Hamaoui returns to Opernhaus Zürich to reprise Gretel in Robert Carson's innovative production of Hänsel und Gretel. Additionally, she debuts the title role in a new production of Coraline by Mark Anthony Turnage.
Previously, Ms. Hamaoui joined the prestigious Ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she sang the roles of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Ninette in L'amour des trois oranges, Annina in La Traviata alongside Leo Nucci, and Das Monster in the world premiere of Frankenstein, among other appearances.
Ms. Hamaoui made her debut as the title character in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette with the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute and as Adina in L'elisir d'amore with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at the Kennedy Center. Ms. Hamaoui is also an avid recitalist: she has given solo recitals everywhere from New York City with the Art Song Preservation Society to Montevideo, Uruguay with La Escena Vocal.
Ms. Hamaoui is the recipient of numerous awards: she was a National Semi-Finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and first place winner in the New England Regional Finals; has been awarded Top Prize, Audience Favorite, and the Irene Patti Memorial Award from Florida Grand Opera's Young Patronesses of The Opera Competition; a Major Award from the Opera Index Vocal Competition; Top Prize and study grant from the Career Bridges Foundation; First Prize in the Mary Trueman Competition (Art Song Preservation Society of New York); First prize in the West Bay Opera League Competition; and Audience Favorite in the James Toland Vocal Competition. Additionally, she is the recipient of scholarships from The Opera Foundation, The Schuyler Foundation, and the Henry & Maria Holt Memorial Fund.
Ms. Hamaoui completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2015. Prior, she attended the Juilliard School of Music. She is fluent in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. Outside the theater, Ms. Hamaoui enjoys spontaneous trips around the world, roaming in art museums, being outdoors, and advocating for the planet.
EL PAIS URUGUAY
"Hamaoui possesses a homogenous and flexible voice of fine velvet. In her singing everything is of musicality and finesse of expression; her versatility makes it so that all of the different styles she presented were approached with solvency... We must emphasize that in addition to her musical talents, Hamaoui possesses sympathy and humility - qualities very difficult to encounter in artists of her hierarchy."
"This oratorio is equally the occasion to discover two young singers, starting with the soprano Sandra Hamaoui, who’s timbre possesses a certain smoothness with a direct and sure projection. Her first appearance expresses with conviction the pains of Mary... (In Mendelssohn’s Sommernachtstraum) the Chorus of the Elf’s is a new occasion to appreciate the women of the chorus and the beautiful, velvety voice of Sandra Hamaoui."
"Sandra Hamaoui sings and plays at a high level. (She) always offers exactly what the respective style demands. Above all, (her first aria) is so vulnerable that one almost does not recognize her voice in the next aria."
VOCE DI MECHE
"Her well-focused voice was under fine dynamic control and the heartfelt communication of longing entranced us. We were so drawn in that we forgot where we were!"
"Sandra's clear-voiced instrument was employed with great artistry and adept vocal coloration. Her prodigious acting skills gave us a totally believable teenager, motivated by youthful hormones, abetted by adolescent recklessness. Her flawless French made every word understood."
"She and Gounod are perfect together. Her generous soprano flows freely and evenly from upper to lower register and was full of adolescent enthusiasm. Ms. Hamaoui’s beguiling coloratura was symbolic of Juliette’s awakening. The exuberance of her presentation and some powerful outbursts at the finale, made for a joyful Juliette with a newly minted inner core of love and strength."
"Her soprano voice is fruitful and flies away with assurance in the vocalizes that (the composer) has destined her."
Sophie's Aria (Presentation of the Rose)
from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss
Del Cabello Más Sutil
by Fernando Obradors
Eccomi in lieta vesta... O quante volte
from I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Vincenzo Bellini
from Les nuits d'été by Hector Berlioz