"After one of her students placed extremely highly in the competitions this fall, Sharon wrote to me, eager to be involved in our unique series of contests," said David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize. "I am delighted to welcome her participation, her expertise, and enthusiasm."
Dramatic soprano Sharon Sweet attended the Curtis Institute of Music and completed her vocal studies with renowned vocal pedagogue Madame Marenka Gurewich in New York City. She began her international career with a concert performance of Aida in Munich which brought her an invitation to join the Deutsche Oper Berlin at the beginning of the 1986-87 season, where she was particularly acclaimed for her interpretations of Leonora in Il Trovatore and Elisabeth in Tannhauser. Her debut at the Paris Opera in 1987 as Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlos was the springboard for her subsequent international career. Soon after, she was heard for the first time in Vienna and Zurich in Tannhauser, in Hamburg in Il Trovatore, and at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in Aida. She sang her first Norma at the Theatre Royale de la Monnaie and made her first Italian appearances as Aida at the Arena di Verona, the part which also served to introduce her to North American audiences in the autumn of 1989 in San Francisco.
The artist bowed at the Metropolitan Opera in the spring of 1990 in Il Trovatore. She has returned to that theater each subsequent season in a variety of works such as Don Giovanni (Donna Anna), Un Ballo in Maschera, Tannhauser, Aida, and in the new productions of Stiffelio in what was the work's Metropolitan Opera premiere, and La Forza del Destino , both under Music Director James Levine and both telecast internationally. Her most recent new portrayal at the Metropolitan has been the title role in Puccini's Turandot, a role which she added to her repertoire at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in the fall of 1994. She has since appeared as Turandot all over the world including in new productions at the Bastille, then in Florence, at performances in the Forbidden City in Beijing, and with film maker Zhang Yimou. Her most recent operatic debut was in the title role in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos which Ms. Sweet sang for the first time in the summer of 1999 in concert performances under Zubin Mehta with the Israel Philharmonic. She returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 1999 to perform Aida.
Sharon Sweet has devoted a substantial part of each season to her appearances in concert, including performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 and Gurrelieder in the Cincinnati May Festival with Maestro James Conlon. She has collaborated with some of the most important musicians of our time such as Carlo Maria Giulini, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Daniele Gatti, James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach, Marek Janowski, Zubin Mehta, Sir Colin Davis, Rafael Frubeck de Burgos, Helmut Rilling, Kurt Masur and the late Sir Georg Solti. Her repertoire has ranged from Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Verdi's Requiem through the Four Last Songs of Strauss.
Ms. Sweet's discography includes complete recordings of Don Giovanni for Philips, and Falstaff, Lohengrin, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Der Freischutz for BMG. The artist has recorded the Verdi Requiem and Schoenberg's Gurreleider for DGG. She can also be heard in Schmidt's Psalm 47 on Erato, in Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri and in Mahler's Symphony No. 8 for Sony, as well as in Strauss' Four Last Songs on Collins Classics. The artist has also recorded the Symphony No. 8 of Gustav Mahler for Sony. Recently, Ms. Sweet recorded Il Trovatore as Leonora on the Chandos label in London.
In 1999 Sharon Sweet joined the faculty at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she is associate professor of voice. She is in frequent demand to lead master classes and to judge international competitions. She recently taught and gave Master Classes at the Intermezzo Opera Festival and New Jersey Opera Theater. Ms. Sweet's students have won the Marion Anderson Competition, the Mario Lanza Competition, the Bel Canto Competition and The American Prize, to name a few, and have sung with opera companies in Pittsburgh, Utah, Connecticut, Virginia, Houston and Long Beach, among others.