Biography

Photo: Tom W. Bertolotti

Polish-Canadian-American Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej was born in Wrocław, Poland. Her international, eclectic career spans concert, opera, film, chamber music, oratorio, recital and voice over performance. Her voice has also captivated the attention of living composers and she has performed many world premieres.  Her solo appearances and debuts include L.A. Opera, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, the National Arts Center Ottawa, the National Theater in Taipei, the Nuits Blanches Festival of Toronto, San Diego Opera, Le Salon de Musiques Concert Series in Los Angeles, the Cartagena International Music Festival, Chicago Philharmonic, the Music and Beyond Festival, the Ravinia Festival as a Steans Fellow, the 2012 London Olympics, the Ojai International Music Festival, the Montenegrin National Theater, the Lviv (Ukraine) and Banatul (Romania) Philharmonics, the Music Biennale Zagreb, the Bard Summerscape Music Festival, the Sembrich Opera Museum at Lake George, the Palm Springs Opera Guild, the Berkshire Bach Society, Los Angeles Modjeska Club, and Harvard University, among other venues. 

Katarzyna is the featured singer and performer portraying The Lady in the Painting in the upcoming documentary feature film “Our Lady of the Kitchen.” Other upcoming and recent highlights include the title role in La Tragédie de Carmen with COSI Connection and Concerts at 100 in Toronto, Canada; the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa; the mezzo-soprano solo in Veronika Krausas’ “Le Theatre du Soleil” with Los Angeles’ Jacaranda series;  a recital tour of Atlantic Canada with concert pianist Daniel Vnukowski; a special appearance with the Dream Orchestra Los Angeles, in prima ballerina Petra Conti’s show “I’m Gonna Live Forever”;  her debut in China, with Opera Chengdu, singing Giannetta in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore;  and, recitals with Le Salon de Musiques at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. In 2019, she released a two-volume recording of the Witold Lutosławski Derwid songs with pianist Barbara Bochenek in Los Angeles. The recordings are available on all music streaming platforms.

Katarzyna has sung many world premieres and has had over a dozen new works composed for her. To read more about Katarzyna’s new music career highlights, click here.

Photo: Andre Surma

Katarzyna’s operatic roles include the title role of Bizet’s Carmen and La Tragédie de Carmen; the Page of Herodias in Strauss’ Salome;  River Voice in the world premiere of The Industry’s (L.A.) HOPSCOTCH; the Virgin in the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s Oceanic Verses (premiered at Carnegie Hall); the leading role of Isabelle Eberhart in the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar; the title roles in Handel’s Ariodante and Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel; the Mozart roles of Donna Elvira, Dorabella, Cherubino and Second Lady; Maman and Libellule in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges; Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia; Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto; Giannetta in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore; and, Suzuki and Kate Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. 

Katarzyna’s concert / oratorio credits include the alto solos in Wojciech Kilar’s Missa Pro Pace, Duruflé’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat, J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium, Handel’s Chandos Anthems 9 and 11Purcell’s Rejoice in the Lord Always, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and in the world premiere of A Call For Peace, composed by Sharbel Dalal. She has also performed both the alto and second soprano solos in J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

Le Salon de Musiques

Katarzyna has also garnered credits in modeling, acting, and voice over work. Since 2018, she is in a collaboration as a model for fashion designer Ewelina Barlak, who designs Katarzyna’s concert attire. To find out more about this collaboration and Katarzyna’s various other projects, click here.

Notable awards and distinctions include the 2016 first prize from the Susan and Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition, the 2015 first prize from the Marcella Kochańska Sembrich Vocal Competition, the Vivian Asfar Memorial Award for Vocal Excellence, the William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award from the University of Toronto, New England Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and generous scholarships from the Friends of the National Arts Center, the International Vocal Arts Institute, the Marc and Eva Stern Foundation, the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, Bard College and the Canadian Opera Volunteer Committee.

Katarzyna graduated summa cum laude from the University of Ottawa, earning her Bachelor of Music degree. She holds two Master degrees, the first in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto; and, the second from Dawn Upshaw’s Vocal Arts Program at Bard College. After completing her degree at the University of Toronto, she was awarded the prestigious William & Phyllis Waters Graduating Award.  During her training years, Katarzyna participated in the Opera Lyra Ottawa young artist program; the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival; the National Arts Centre Summer Music Festival workshop with Benita Valente; the International Vocal Arts Institute at Virginia Tech University; the Marc and Eva Stern Fellowship at Songfest; the Academy of Villecroze with Dalton Baldwin and Lorraine Nubar; the Academy of Nice; and, the Foliage Art Song Festival in Vermont.

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