Great British singer faces cancer surgery

Great British singer faces cancer surgery


norman lebrecht

July 19, 2019

The mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly has received a diagnosis of breast cancer and is taking time out for treatment.

Dame Sarah is one of the most engaged and outspoken artists, a fighter for her art and its institutions. The entire music community joins in wishing her a swift recovery.

She has pulled out of the BBC Proms and out of a forthcoming Coliseum opera.

Here’s a statement from ENO:

English National Opera are sorry to announce that Dame Sarah Connolly has had to withdraw from English National Opera’s upcoming production of Orpheus and Eurydice for personal reasons. 

Dame Sarah Connolly said: “Last month, I had an unwelcome birthday present, breast cancer. Like so many women afflicted with this disease, I will face whatever is coming as best I can. Imminent surgery means I must withdraw from ENO’s ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ and ‘L’enfance du Christ’ at the BBC Proms. I hope, however, to fulfil all my other concert and recording commitments over the coming months. I’d like to thank ENO and the BBC Proms for their kindness and understanding, and I look forward to working with them both in the near future.”

Everyone at ENO sends Dame Sarah our love and we hope to see her back on the London Coliseum stage soon. We all send her our very best wishes and support as she undergoes treatment.

Alice Coote will now perform the role of Orpheus. ENO would like to say a huge thank you to Alice for stepping into the role at such short notice and look forward to welcoming her to rehearsals very soon.


  • Bruce says:

    Best wishes for a full and fast recovery.

  • John Sorel says:

    Wishing her a successful outcome.

  • Marj says:

    I send you my very best wishes for a speedy and full recovery and I look forward to seeing you on the stage again soon.

  • Una says:

    Poor lovely Sarah to have to face all this and such a worry for her family too. Really wish her a full and speedy recovery from all the treatment breast cancer entails.

  • Yes Addison says:

    There are people you see, and you know very quickly that whatever else they are, regular folks in their downtime, hardworking professionals in the way they manage their careers, they’re artists. They make the words and the notes meaningful. Dame Sarah Connolly was one of those people for me, and she’s never been anything less. Best wishes.

    • Nick2 says:

      I know it may seem a rather impertinent comment, but please let’s not use the past tense. Dame Sarah is a great artist and will remain a great artist after she recovers from this medical setback. I look forward to hearing and seeing her many more times in future. I send her all best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

  • Ms.Melody says:

    Best wishes and positive energy from a life- long admirer.

  • christopher storey says:

    Best wishes to her for a full recovery

  • Peter Smith says:

    She sang in the evening’s Music Makers and was excellent as usual. Bravo!

  • love to sarah at this difficult time xxx

  • Paul says:

    I have just been listening to your ‘Sea Pictures’. Wonderful, had tears. I’m a bowel cancer survivor and great music means such a lot. I do hope that you will soon be making more great music. Best wishes