Sarah Edgar specializes in 18th-century stage performance. She began her professional career as a dancer with The New York Baroque Dance Company under Catherine Turocy, and since then she has voraciously studied and experimented with the stage conventions of the period. From 2006-2012, Sarah lived in Cologne, Germany. While in Europe, she visited all the museums, castles, and gardens that she could manage while still dancing in operas, creating new works with her group The Punk’s Delight, and receiving an MA in Tanzwissenschaft (dance studies) from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. In addition to her work with Haymarket Opera Company, Sarah is also an associate director of The New York Baroque Dance Company. She is frequently asked to give master classes in baroque dance or direct/choreograph operas at universities.
What is the story of how you first came to love music and opera?
As a dancer, I always felt that music was my partner. However, the first opera I danced in(Handel’s Alcina), opened my eyes to the possibilities of music, movement, and stagecraft working together to tell a story. Handel opened a whole new world for me!
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Finding the time to focus beyond my current projects.
Who inspires you?
I have the good fortune to be mentored by Catherine Turocy, who has been working in early dance and opera for more than 40 years. I see from her how steadfast you must remain in your vision through all kinds of artistic and economic climates.
Do you have a favorite opera?
I used to listen to Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes galantes a lot!
Do you have any favorite books about music?
I loved The End of Early Music by Bruce Haynes.
What else are you reading?
I’ve been trying to catch up on Ha Jin’s novels.
Who are your favorite 17th-and 18th-century composers?
Jean-Philippe Rameau, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and Henry Purcell.
If you were stranded on a desert island, is there one piece of music you would like to have with you?
The first thing that popped into my head was Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring!
What do you love about HOC?
HOC is such a supportive organization. I always feel like I am working with a passionate team that consistently shows great respect of each other’s ideas. There is a light-hearted camaraderie among us, too.
Do you have a favorite memory from a past HOC event?
Nathalie Colas’ last minute flash of brilliance to put “#$@&%*!” into the Pimpinone supertitles.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not making art?
I love to travel.
What is the first thing you think about in the morning?
I calculate how many hours I just slept—always hoping to approach 8.
Do you have any heroes/heroines?
I’m pretty fascinated with Mme. de Pompadour, the mistress to Louis XV.
What music do you listen to most often?
I love 90s rock, to be honest.
If you had not entered into your current career what do you think you would have done instead?
I would have definitely been a librarian