San Francisco • February 21 2020
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit Named Recipient of American Bach Soloists 2020 Jeffrey Thomas Award
The American Bach Soloists are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Jeffrey Thomas Award. Granted annually at the Artistic Director’s discretion to honor, recognize, and encourage exceptionally gifted emerging professionals in the field of early music who show extraordinary promise and accomplishment, Maestro Thomas has selected mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit to receive this year’s award. 

Ms. Coit was heard with ABS earlier this season in “A Baroque New Year’s Eve at the Opera” at Herbst Theatre. Her performances of arias from Handel’s Riccardo I, ré d’Inghilterra , Giulio Cesare , and Ariodante dazzled audience members and brought standing ovations. She will return to ABS in December 2020 for performances of Handel’s Messiah in Grace Cathedral and Sonoma’s Green Music Center.

Opera News praised Sarah’s performance as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre: 
“Sarah Coit’s burnished mezzo-soprano gave her Cherubino a seductive tinge. Her pure, lovely “ Voi che sapete ” confirmed her bright future, made all the more likely by her undeniable aptitude for physical comedy.” 
In 2018, Sarah was a Vocal Fellow with Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and made several important role and house debuts there. She made her Seattle Opera debut as Mercédès in Bizet’s Carmen , performed at the Ravinia Festival as a soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest , joined West Edge Opera as Jenny Diver in John Gay’s The Threepenny Opera , sang her first Olga in Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin with Livermore Valley Opera, and performed as a soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Master Chorale of South Florida. Sarah will be heard in 2020 again as Mercédès in Carmen with Opera Tampa and Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Utah Opera. 
Sarah has received prizes from the George London Foundation and the Handel Aria Competition. She was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis and an apprentice artist at the Santa Fe Opera. She spent two years as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera, where she sang the Shepherd, White Cat, and Squirrel in L’Enfant et les sortilèges with the Utah Symphony and performed the roles of Mercédès in Carmen and Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni on the mainstage. A native of Spring Hill, Florida, she holds degrees in Music Studies and Theatre Performance from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan.
About the Jeffrey Thomas Award

Inaugurated in 2013, the Jeffrey Thomas Award was created by the American Bach Soloists in celebration of their first 25 years of presenting performances in Northern California, across the United States, and around the world, and ABS Artistic & Music Director Jeffrey Thomas’s tenure of inspired leadership. The Jeffrey Thomas Award takes its place within the organization’s already robust and long history of fostering and rewarding young talent. 

Previous recipients of the award are countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (2019), violinist Jude Ziliak (2018), countertenor Eric Jurenas (2017), violinist Tatiana Chulochnikova (2016), 'cellist Gretchen Claassen (2015), and tenor Guy Cutting (2014).
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Our Next Performances

Bach: Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit , Cantata 106
Bruhns: Mein Herz ist bereit
Rosenmuller: Sinfonia Prima
Schütz: Musikalische Exequien
Weckmann: Weine nicht & Canzons
Nola Richardson & Clara Rottsolk, sopranos
Nicholas Burns, countertenor • James Reese, tenor
Steven Brennfleck, tenor • Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Jared Daniel Jones, baritone
American Bach Soloists • American Bach Choir
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor
The Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser began one of his most cherished verses, “Faire is the heaven where happy soules have place in full enjoyment of felicitie.” Writers, painters, and composers would often evoke glimpses of the Paradise that could be found in the life beyond, an antidote to the troubled times that were experienced by so many in periods past.

Heinrich Schütz’s serenely beautiful  Musikalische Exequien  draws upon texts from the Psalms, the Canticle of Simeon, Revelations, and the Book of Wisdom to illuminate the recognition of new life, including a dramatic effect of three spirits moving throughout the concert space.

The exuberance of the vocal works by Bruhns and Weckmann, and Bach’s peaceful and uplifting  Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit combine to make this a concert program of heavenly beauty.

Friday March 27 2020 8:00 p.m.
St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere

Saturday March 28 2020 7:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Sunday March 29 2020 4:00 p.m.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco

Monday March 30 2020 7:00 p.m.
Davis Community Church, Davis
We Thank our Sponsors

The American Bach Soloists are grateful for the support of these and other Foundations, Corporations, Government Agencies, and Individual Sponsors