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Sara Chiesa

Sara Chiesa



Detroit-native SARA CHIESA is passionate about redefining leadership in the classical music industry with her work as a Music Director, Collaborator, Coach, and Educator. She has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and she is equally comfortable collaborating in the genres of musical theatre, opera, art song, and cabaret. In Fall 2022, Sara joined the music faculty of the Wanda Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University as an Instructor of Vocal Coaching. Previously, she served on the music faculties of Utah State University in Logan, Utah and Molloy College in New York City. She has been the Resident Guest Artist Coach with l’Opéra de Montréal, Fort Worth Opera, and Detroit Opera (formerly known as Michigan Opera Theatre).

​In the 2022-2023 season, Sara had a variety of projects that took her throughout the U.S. and internationally. In Summer 2023, she was the Music Director/Pianist for Il trionfo dell'onore in Novafeltria, Italy with La musica lirica. In April 2023, she was the Music Director/Pianist for La Navarraise with West Texas A&M University Opera. In March 2023, she collaborated with her Oklahoma City University colleague, Autumn West, on a recital of arias, art songs, and musical theatre pieces. In February 2023, Sara was the Assistant Director/Head Coach/Pianist for Suor Angelica in her Opera Omaha debut. In October 2022, she performed a Halloween Vintage Cabaret with the Ginger Bess Band at Don’t Tell Mama in New York, and she was the Rehearsal/Orchestral Pianist for I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams with Resonance Works in Pittsburgh. Earlier in 2022, she was the Pianist/Coach with the same company for her fourth production of Rigoletto. Sara was also on faculty of the Vienna Summer Music Festival in the summer of 2022, where she was the Pianist/Coach/Continuo Player for Le nozze di Figaro. In April 2022, Sara was the Assistant Music Director/Head Coach for the Utah State University world premiere of Uncovered, a feminist and LGBTQ+ opera, written by Lori Laitman and Leah Lax that tells Leah’s story of being a queer woman who left Hasidism after nearly 30 years.

During the tumultuous and sparse time for the arts in 2020-21, Sara maintained an active musical presence producing over 40 music videos, four full recitals, and several remote opera projects. She was honored to be the Pianist/Coach/Recording Engineer for the project The Black Composer Speaks, a recording of collected songs by Black composers. This project was created in partnership with Thomas Hampson of the Hampsong Foundation and Dr. Louise Toppin and Dr. Scott Piper of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. The recording includes selections from a new publication by Drs. Toppin and Piper, entitled An Anthology of African and African Diaspora Songs, and is available through Classical Vocal Reprints.

Sara has worked at diverse places throughout the U.S. and abroad, some of which include the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy; the Prague International Piano Masterclasses; Virginia Opera; Arizona Opera; Opera Saratoga; North Carolina Opera; l’Opéra de Montréal; Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre; Syracuse Opera; and New Opera Singapore.

As a vocal coach, Sara works with singers who sing at the Metropolitan Opera, Florida Grand Opera, the Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and on Broadway. Her former students are currently pursuing graduate musical degrees at the Eastman School of Music; the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance; NYU Steinhardt; the Shenandoah Conservatory; and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Sara holds piano performance degrees from Oakland University (B.M.) and Bowling Green State University (M.M.), as well as a Doctor of Music in Collaborative Piano from the Florida State University.

Professional Experience

  • Regional
  • Concerts/Cabaret
  • Education
  • Master’s Degree
  • Doctoral Degree


  • Texas/Southwest

Interested in touring?

  • Yes

Maestra Expertise

  • Music Director/Conductor (Pianist)
  • Music Director/Conductor (Baton)
  • Vocal Director and/or Choral Prep
  • Instrumentalist/Pit Musician
  • Audition Pianist
  • Class/Voice Lesson/Rehearsal Pianist
  • Rehearsal Pianist
  • Voice Teacher (Educational Institution)

Primary Instruments

  • Piano
  • Synthesizer

Additional Instruments

  • Harpsichord
  • Voice


  • GarageBand
  • Logic
  • MainStage

Additional Skills

  • Singer/Performer
  • Home Studio Whiz