Grammy-nominated conductor SARA JOBIN, recently named Interim Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Toledo Opera, has a passion for opera, American and new music. She recently led the San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of The Secret Garden, based on the beloved children's book, and has also conducted performances there of Tosca, Der fliegende Holländer, Norma, the world premiere of Philip Glass' Appomattox, and a production of Rachel Portman's The Little Prince.
As Chief Conductor of the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York since 2011, she premiered and recorded Michael Dellaira's The Secret Agent in New York, followed by repeat performances at the Armel Festival in Szeged, Hungary and Avignon, France. She has also conducted William Mayer's masterpiece A Death in the Family in Hungary and France, and Henze's El Cimarrón in New York.
In addition to conducting Eugene Onegin with Opera Idaho, credits include Ein Deutsches Requiem with Albany Pro Musica; subscription concerts with both the Toledo Symphony and Opera; Madama Butterfly with Opera Santa Barbara; Il Matrimonio Segreto with Pittsburgh Opera; Der fliegende Holländer with Arizona Opera, stepping in for three performances with no rehearsal; Susannah, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Our Town with Opera Idaho where Jobin is Music Director of the Made in America Series; Carmen and the Suite from Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath with Anchorage Opera; and the world premiere of
Philip Glass' The Bacchae with the New York Shakespeare Festival. She has also conducted Symphony Silicon Valley, the Dayton Philharmonic, and the Bochumer Symphoniker in Germany, The Orchestra of St. Luke's, and The Little Orchestra Society in New York.
Tired of operas where the women go “help me, help me” and then die, Jobin founded a repertoire project in 2008 in collaboration with Carol Gilligan called the Different Voice Opera Project: www.dvop.info. Its mission is to help foster the creation and performance of operas featuring strong, inspirational female characters; gay characters whose homosexuality is not necessarily tragic; and stories of minorities told from their own perspective. DVOP's first opus, Pearl by Amy Scurria with a libretto by Carol Gilligan and Jonathan Gilligan, has been performed in workshop form in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Shanghai, China.
On disc Ms. Jobin can be heard leading the comic American opera Volpone by John Musto with Wolf Trap Opera, nominated for a Grammy in 2010; and on the Koch label she recorded a premiere by Chris Brubeck on his Convergence CD, sung by the beloved mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade.
At age 16 Jobin attended Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, where she was a Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar and won the John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship. She studied conducting with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Maine. In 2004 she had the honor of making history as the first woman to conduct mainstage subscription performances at San Francisco Opera.
Not one to fit neatly into categories, Jobin has a black belt in judo, and was the 1998 and 2006 national champion in Ju-no-kata, which she studied with legendary teacher Shihan Keiko Fukuda, who was the highest ranking woman in the history of the sport. She sang in the gospel choir in The Pursuit of Happyness featuring Will Smith, uses a bicycle for transportation, loves organic farming and is interested in conducting more sacred music.