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Opera singer Sarah Coburn returns to Oklahoma for show with city philharmonic

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic welcomes soprano Sarah Coburn back to Oklahoma for a program focusing on music from opera.
BY RICK ROGERS Published: January 29, 2012

One of Oklahoma's rising stars is making quite a name for herself in the highly competitive world of opera. Sarah Coburn has only been singing professionally for a decade, but in that time she has appeared at many of the world's most prestigious opera houses.

Coburn, 34, has performed at the Washington National Opera (where she was named 2009's artist of the year), the Vienna Staatsopera, Opera de Montreal, Los Angeles Opera, Welsh National Opera and Glimmerglass Opera.

Born in Virginia but raised in Muskogee, Coburn will be the featured soloist in a program titled “Great Moments of Opera” with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. The soprano will sing arias from “Semiramide,” “Carmen” and “Susannah” as well as the mad scene from “Lucia di Lammermoor.”

Given the nature of the business, opera singers frequently become accustomed to the rigors of international travel. These days, however, Coburn has taken on an added responsibility: She generally takes her 2½-year old daughter with her. That can be trying on long flights to Vienna or Moscow.

“I don't know if anyone can fully master the challenges of traveling with a child, but my daughter has now flown with me 38 times,” Coburn said recently. “She's a traveling angel most of the time, but it can be difficult.

“Dealing with toys, diapers and baby food when you go through customs can also be a real pain. I'm about to try it again after my second child is born in May. I'm hanging on for dear life with the idea of having two kids on the road.”

As with many operatic notables, Coburn focuses on an area of the repertoire that best shows off her voice. She specializes in the bel canto (Italian for beautiful singing) repertoire, a florid style popular among such composers as Gioacchino Rossini (1792–1868), Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835) and Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848).

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“Sarah Coburn: Great Moments of Opera”

When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.

Information: 842-5387 or

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To watch a video of Sarah Coburn rehearsing a scene from “Lucia di Lammermoor,” scan the QR code or go to

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