Soprano Sonya Headlam enjoys a vibrant career performing music that ranges from the Baroque to the 21st century. She opened the 2022–23 season with several solo debuts, including with The Philadelphia Orchestra, in Handel’s Messiah; Apollo’s Fire, in works by Mozart and Bologne at Cleveland’s Severance Hall; North Carolina Symphony, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; Grand Rapids Symphony, in J.S. Bach’s B-minor Mass; and the New World Symphony, in Mozart’s Exsultate jubilate. Upcoming highlights include her debut with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Messiah with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada.
As the Rohde Family artist-in-residence at the 2023 Chelsea Music Festival, Headlam recently sang the world premiere of Sung Jin Hong’s Kennst du das Land, conducted by Ken-David Masur. Other performances of contemporary works include Patricio Molina’s Kecha Tregulfe at Carnegie Hall, Yaz Lancaster’s song cycle ouroboros, Ellen Reid’s dreams of the new world, Tyshawn Sorey’s Monochromatic Light (afterlight) with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer, which she performed at Carnegie Hall with the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
As a recitalist, Headlam has an affinity for art songs from the Romantic period but is equally committed to introducing fresh musical idioms and little-known composers to audiences. She regularly performs and lectures on the life and music of the 18th-century writer and composer Ignatius Sancho. On the opera stage, Headlam’s favorite roles include Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème.
Sonya Headlam holds a doctor of musical arts degree from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts.