Most recently, mezzo-soprano Sable Strout originated the role of Josephine in the New York premiere of Valenti & Luftig's Story of an Hour with Gramercy Opera, and joined Opera on the James as a Tyler Young Artist. She sang with the Opera on the James Orchestra and a roster of distinguished artists from around the country in a concert of opera arias and beloved Broadway showtunes, proving herself to be a versatile and compelling standout as Ado Annie (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!). She also performed as part of the outreach program for the company, traveling throughout Virginia and making opera accessible to a new generation.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several scheduled performances in Sable’s 2019 season have been postponed or cancelled, including Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Wichita Grand Opera, and a residency as an Apprentice Artist with the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program at Central City Opera. Instead, Sable looks forward to joining Central City Opera in the summer of 2021, singing the roles of Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas), Giovanna (Rigoletto), and covering Maria Zifchak’s Nettie (Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel).
Despite these cancellations, she has relished the opportunity to come to the aid of her fellow artists, give back to her community - both locally and nationally - and the challenge to make the best of a difficult situation. This spring, Sable sang Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) with Social Distance Opera. This project, created by Joshua Collier and BARN Opera, is a fundraising effort to support affected artists during this time and brings opera directly into homes around the world, digitally. Returning to the roots of her own vocal beginnings, she also lent her voice to Opera on Tap Maine’s Senior Serenades and Cadenza Freeport's "Mainely Mozart"concert. More recently, Sable contributed to Landlocked Opera's virtual "QuaranSing" series, and performed in live (socially distanced) opera galas with BARN Opera and Wichita Grand Opera. While in quarantine, Sable served on the adjudication panel of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Maine Chapter, co-taught a portion of Pensacola Opera's "Opera Camp at Home" with her husband Aaren Rivard (tenor), and has also recently become a mentor to participants preparing roles through the Youth Opera Workshop of Vermont, (led by Sarah Cullins) helping young singers of New England start their operatic journeys.
In prior seasons, Sable joined Charlottesville Opera (formerly Ash Lawn Opera) as a Young Artist, singing Lucinda (Sondheim’s Into the Woods), and covering the roles of the Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods) and Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro). She also proudly made her professional debut in her home state as Paggio (Rigoletto) with Opera Maine.
In competition, Sable was most recently a semi-finalist in the 2020 Classical Singer Competition, a finalist in the 2019 Vermont Vocal Competition, and the winner of a Young Artist Encouragement Award from the Lyra New York Mozart Competition. She is also a prize winner of the prestigious Lillian Nordica Memorial Scholarship Award, annually granted to a singer, pursuing higher musical education in Maine, with exceptional ability and extraordinary promise.
Equally at home on the concert stage, she performed Juliana Hall’s song cycle Through the Guarded Gate with the Seattle Art Song Society, and as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at Southwestern College.
Sable holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern Maine, as a student of Ellen Chickering, and a Master of Music from Wichita State University, where she studied and coached with renowned bass-baritones Alan Held and Samuel Ramey. During her years of study, she took the stage in several staples of the mezzo repertoire including Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Annio (La Clemenza di Tito), Béatrice (Béatrice et Bénédict), and L’enfant (L’enfant et les sortilèges).
Offstage, Sable is usually found at folk-rock concerts, spending time with friends and family in Portland, or experimenting in the kitchen with new vegan recipes.