Stella - A Streetcar Named Desire - Tulsa Opera
Sarah Jane McMahon makes Stella, Blanche’s sister and Stanley’s wife, a remarkably self-possessed character. She may talk of being a little afraid of her husband, but as the Poker Night sequence shows, Stella is the one who truly wields the power in this relationship. And McMahon makes the vocalise Stella sings the morning after at once joyous and naughtily erotic.
Soprano Soloist - Opera Gala - Toledo Opera
Set aside crimson for McMahon, for that is the shade her smooth, serviceable soprano voice suggested. Like a great utility sports star, this busy diva can belt out a quirky contemporary love song (“Taylor, the Latte Boy”), enchant all of Paris as Musetta, the flirtatious courtesan from Puccini’s La Boheme, and warble delicately as Mabel from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. All that and, at the end of “Poor Wandering One” from Penzance, she did the splits, parasol held high.
Yum-Yum - The Mikado - Lyric Opera of Kansas City
McMahon’s voice is bright and clear, and she shone throughout with her bouncy acting and delightfully varied singing. Her lithe and lively vocal flexibility is perfect for fast-paced songs but she did a quite admirable job with Yum-Yum’s ode to her own beauty, “The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze.” The beauty of this aria’s music belies the undercurrent of vanity in its text, and McMahon let the music speak for itself, allowing the lovely melody to be free from comedic touches, which she left largely to her own facial and body expressions.
Tenor Joshua Kohl (Nanki-Poo) and soprano Sarah Jane McMahon (a spunky Yum-Yum) were sweetly matched, vocally and personality-wise, and delightful in their duet.
—The Kansas City Star
Soprano Soloist - Handel's Messiah - Winston-Salem Symphony
Soprano Sarah Jane McMahon made a dramatic entrance, delivering her recitative, “There were shepherds abiding in the field” as she approached the podium via the central aisle of the nave, wearing a striking dark venous-red strapless dress. Her diction was excellent and her voice was gorgeously even across its range and could easily soar to a high of instrumental purity.
—CVNC, An online arts journal in North Carolina
Adele - Die Fledermaus - Virginia Opera
The cast numbers nearly a dozen soloists adept at bouncing off one another. If one were to be singled out, it would be Sarah Jane McMahon, whose soprano takes coloratura flight at the slightest excuse and with the greatest of ease as chambermaid Adele.
The best singing was turned in by Sarah Jane McMahon as Adele. She took a bright, sunny, devil-may-care attitude toward her character, accentuating it in her singing, and it added real life to the evening.
—The Washington Times
Pert, perky soprano Sarah Jane McMahon sang Rosalinde’s maid Adele cheerfully, with a bright, sure voice.
Soprano Sarah Jane McMahon's Adele had a bright personality with a voice to match. She was the production's sparkling champagne.
Sarah Jane McMahon … revels in her role and displays some impressive vocal technique – McMahon’s coloratura is as serious as its application is funny.
—Letter V Blog
Soloist - Placido Domingo Gala - New Orleans Opera Association
New Orleans’ own Sarah Jane McMahon simply gets better and more beautiful each time she walks onto a stage. Her remarkable soprano voice is only matched by her consummate performance as a singing actress. Even in this concert setting, she brought her characters fully to life. Her commanding rendition of “Sempre libera” from Verdi’s “La Traviata” rang out with joy. With “La ci darem la mano,” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” McMahon shared a coy duet with Domingo, wrapping his heart (along with that of the audience) around her little finger.
—The Times-Picayune | NOLA.com
Lisette - La Rondine - Des Moines Metro Opera
Sarah Jane McMahon reveled in Lisette’s high-soprano sunshine.
Fanny - Il Cambiale Matrimonio - Opera Omaha
McMahon demonstrated fully the confidence for which she has been lauded on other stages, her soprano vivaciously robust whether tying her would-be suitor to a chair or pouring celebratory Champagne. She also embraced the wryness of her part, singing with great aplomb.
—World Herald Correspondent
Pamina - Die Zauberflöte - Opera Grand Rapids
Sarah Jane McMahon as Pamina, returned for her fourth production with Opera Grand Rapids, but she's nowhere close to wearing out her welcome. Her presence lights up the stage with acting that glitters and a voice that gleams. Her heart-wrenching aria, bemoaning Tamino's silence during his tribulations, was one of the touching moments of the production.
Violetta - La Traviata - Toledo Opera
In soprano Sarah Jane McMahon the company has found an actress with a brilliant, even, and infinitely flexible voice and a singer who knows how to fully inhabit a part. Her Violetta was equal parts vamp and saint, all party-hearty in one scene, self-sacrificing lover in the next. Even her extended death scene was graceful and believable, musically convincing.
Xanthe - Die Liebe der Danae - Bard SummerScape Festival
One wished the excellent Sarah Jane McMahon (Xanthe) had more to sing.
The role of Xanthe, Danae's attendant, was sung with sparkle by soprano Sarah Jane McMahon. Her voice blended together bewitchingly with Meagan Miller's in their Act 1 duet, which echoes the great duet for sopranos in the composer's much-earlier 'Arabella'.
Miller gave a satiny counterpart to Sarah Jane McMahon's silky Xanthe.
—WQXR, The Classical Music Station of NYC
Sarah Jane McMahon made Xanthe into a memorable character. McMahon balanced on the very edge between making Xanthe a mirror image of Danae and leading an independent but shared realization of their potential futures. McMahon's high D-flat, echoed moments later by Danae, culminated the second scene of act one.
The Act I scene of two soaring duets for sopranos up to D-flats for Danae and Xanthe (Meagan Miller and Sarah Jane McMahon) was a fine moment.
Pamina - Die Zauberflöte - New Orleans Opera
In the lead role, Sarah Jane McMahon was in command of the stage virtually every moment she was on. Her finest moment, as Mozart would like it, was the aria "Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden." As she displayed vocal artistry at every place in the register, she turned her character's feeling of indifference from a lover into a fully believable life-or-death situation.
—The NOLA Defender
Mabel - The Pirates of Penzance - Arizona Opera
McMahon proved to be the vocal standout. Her soprano was bright and robust in the patter songs, alluring and mesmerizing in the hilarious coloratura where she did cartwheels. In one scene she did the splits — right down to the floor. A few scenes later, she busted out three cartwheels, singing all the while. (For the record, McMahon was not lip syncing when she flipped through the air; it was live.)
—The Arizona Star
Mabel - The Pirates of Penzance - Arizona Opera
But there are at least three saving graces for the production. The first and by far the most important is Sarah Jane McMahon as Mabel. Few people can sing and hold pitch while doing cartwheels across the stage. McMahon not only has a physicality that sells her role, but actually makes more of the character of Mabel than exists in the script. At several moments, I was reminded of Madeline Kahn, both playing the part and commenting on her playing of the part at the same time.
—The Arizona Republic
Violetta - La Traviata - Opera Theater of Connecticut
Traviata is built around a soprano, and Sarah Jane McMahon impressed in her role debut as Violetta. McMahon began to take over as the first act progressed. She scorched "Sempre libre (always free)," singing the coloratura passages with uncanny accuracy, and bringing them in and out of laughter with charisma. In the second act it was her dramatic power; the third a juxtaposition of tender lyricism and vocal fierceness. She had the ability to command our attention at any moment, even if the stage was filled with people. She brought a rainbow of emotional complexities to her character. McMahon made us all love Violetta.
Violetta - La Traviata - Opera Theater of Connecticut
Sarah Jane McMahon did not just play Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata produced by Opera Theater of Connecticut, she became her. Right before your eyes, this tall, slim brunette transformed herself into a 19th century courtesan who, though dying of consumption, agrees to give up the love of her life, Alfredo, at the request of his father. And while the flawless 30 piece orchestra under the direction of Kyle Swann, the entire supporting cast, the costumes, lighting and super titles all blended together in proper harmony by Artistic Director Alan Mann and General Director Kate Ford for the company's 25th anniversary production, it was McMahon who riveted and soared and turned the evening into rapture. The 29-year-old soprano, who studied with opera legend Placido Domingo and started her theatrical career as a dancer and musical actress, made the Andrews Memorial Theater stage her own. Her voice – pure and vibrant and full of nuances and the kind of seamless intensity not usually seen north of the Met – was remarkable not only because every aria became an ode to an emerging star, but because it underlined something she does even better than she sings: her ability to literally become the woman she is portraying. When McMahon came to stage front, the audience leaped to its collective feet, shouting and screaming and clapping, the tears hot in their eyes. For the night belonged to her.
—The Shoreline Times
Violetta - La Traviata - Opera Theater of Connecticut
This Violetta, soprano Sarah Jane McMahon, is very good indeed. Slim and attractive, fairly crackling with energy and singing with an ease that feels more like art than athleticism, McMahon time and again reveals nuances usually glossed over by rote performances. The opera is centered on its Violetta, and McMahon takes us new places. In the first act, McMahon's Violetta seems predatory, a dangerous man-eater who cackles wickedly as she dispatches her thoughts of love "Follie!" Her coloratura in the act-ending showpieces is musical, and her "Gioire" bursts like fireworks over the stage. The second act garden scene is an entire drama unto itself. Here McMahon wrings every drop from its long heart-wrenching arc of emotion ... she spins from defiance to dark corners of sorrow and despair to a chilling, steely sense of doom as she slaps the table to sing "Morro! (I shall die!)." When Alfredo returns, unaware that she has vowed to leave him, McMahon's desperation as she grasps him to sing "Amami, Alfredo! (Love me, Alfredo!)" is almost terrifying in its intensity - the score's high point too often overlooked by Violettas exhausted by the act's earlier challenges.
Susanna - Le Nozze di Figaro -
Des Moines Metro Opera
The standout among the fine cast of singer/actors was soprano Sarah Jane McMahon as the Countess's maid Susanna, whose agile voice and delightfully pert acting culminated in the evening's most radiant singing, in the last-act garden scene.
—Des Moines Register
Gilda - Rigoletto
One of the most outstanding singers in this cast, the beautiful soprano Sarah Jane McMahon as Gilda, the trusting young woman completely in love with the Duke of Mantua without any understanding of what he plans for her, revealed a voice of brilliance, power, range, bell-like high notes and great fluidity which enabled her to bring all of Verdi’s music to stunning life. Her vocal skills, especially in “Caro nome,” allowed her to convey the girl's total belief in the Duke's supposed love for her so that, while all of us who listened to her admired her imposing singing skills, we also recognized the amazing naivete that would no doubt bring her to destruction by a man interested only in physical conquest.
—Classical Voice of North Carolina
Micaela - Carmen - New Orleans Opera
The exquisitely sung Micaela of Sarah Jane McMahon was a perfect foil for Shaham’s earthy Gypsy. Her Act III aria floated etherally into the auditorium in the manner of the young Eleanor Steber. Dramatically, McMahon made more of this character than is usually managed, and she was clearly an audience favorite.
Soprano II - Purcell's King Arthur - New York City Opera
Standouts include two singers rapidly becoming local favorites. Soprano Sarah Jane McMahon, last season's sly Mabel in City Opera's "The Pirates of Penzance," wields her bright voice and clear diction with great style, radiating real star presence.
In a duet for sopranos, accompanied only by a continuo group and beautifully sung by Sarah Jane McMahon and Heidi Stober, the sheer intricacy of the entwining vocal lines is transfixing.
—The New York Times
Sarah Jane McMahon's bright soprano and vivid interpretation of the text made her first song, "Hither this way," a delight, and she was also heard to fine effect in a duet for two lovers near the end.
—The New York Sun
If Morris' ensemble of dancers are often the focus on the opera's staging, his singers not only hold their own, they happily play along with his sense of fun. For example, the silvery-voiced soprano Sarah Jane McMahon does a little juggling (clad in a gorgeous Mizrahi take on the little black dress).
Donna Clara, The Infanta - Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg - Bard SummerScape Festival
Sarah Jane McMahon laughed and danced as the glamorous Infanta, making a golden sound with an alluring light vibrato that evoked the young Pilar Lorengar.
Sarah Jane McMahon sang with a bright soprano and was convincing as the manipulative, cruel princess.
—The New York Times
Sarah Jane McMahon not only manages her lovely soprano voice to perfection in her portrayal of the Infanta, her virtuosic command of movement is extraordinary.
—Berkshire Fine Arts.com
Sarah Jane McMahon, singing the Infanta in an attractive soprano, lent credibility to the Dwarf's misapprehension of her love with her kindly attitude towards him.
The spoiled Donna Clara is Sarah Jane McMahon, appropriately flirty, who sang pleasingly, with a bright, clean, effortless sound.
The soprano Sarah Jane McMahon, in fine voice, played the Infanta as one genuinely intrigued by the dwarf, even if she regards him as only a plaything.
—The Financial Times
Clara - The Light in the Piazza - Piedmont Opera
As for McMahon, she accomplishes the near impossible task of playing a character (Clara) who is both a woman and a girl. She is swept away with infatuation and sexual feelings, and, like a young child, she becomes unhinged and overwhelmed by unfamiliar environments. In the end, McMahon finds the right middle ground.
Musetta - Puccini's La Bohème - New Orleans Opera
Sarah Jane McMahon was everything a Musetta should be: gorgeous, pert and beautifully voiced. While some Musettas tend toward screechiness, McMahon maintained a smooth, quicksilver tone through her most challenging lines. Her rendition of Musetta's waltz was splendid; her quieter moments in the final act were true and moving.
Mabel - The Pirates of Penzance - New York City Opera
Sarah Jane McMahon, as Mabel, gave a superb account of that showpiece ("Poor Wand'ring One") and proved the most polished and flexible singer in the cast. Also a deft comic actress, she had no trouble leaving the stage in one scene with a series of perfectly turned cartwheels.
—New York Times
Sarah Jane McMahon, the operatic ringer of the bunch, not only sings beautifully as Mabel but athletically performs a series of cartwheels to boot.
—The Hollywood Reporter
Soprano Sarah Jane McMahon makes a lovely Mabel with an impressive coloratura and a mean cartwheel which she uses to exit the stage after her second act aria.
Broadway regulars Marc Kudisch and Mark Jacoby bring musical comedy sass to the opera house, while opera-trained Sarah Jane McMahon proves their match.
The performer who stands out comes not from the world of Broadway but from opera. Soprano Sarah Jane McMahon gives a delightfully witty, spunky performance as the lovestruck Mabel, even making a cartwheeling exit at one point. She also sings like a dream, making such songs as "Poor Wand'ring One" a special pleasure.
Sarah Jane McMahon not only brings a rich soprano, pretty face, and good figure to the role of Mabel but at one point exits the stage with a double somersault.
Sarah Jane McMahon is also delightful as Mabel. She has great comic pitch and timing, and during a parry with a flute, she really shows off her vocal ability. But she has other amazing talents which she demonstrates in one hand-over-foot exit. It has to be seen to be appreciated.
McMahon provides the energy that causes the stage lights to pulse a little every time she comes onstage. She manages the seemingly impossible: to sing coloratura well and evoke a whole panoply of those who have sung it badly.
Sarah Jane McMahon is a particularly spirited, fetching, and athletic Mabel.
Sarah Jane McMahon proves as adept at cartwheels as high-flying cadenzas in Mabel's 'Poor Wandering One,' later exhibiting depth of feeling in 'Ah, Leave Me Not to Pine.
Sarah Jane McMahon's clear, agile soprano made for a fine Mabel, and I was grateful Ms. Groag gave her the opportunity to make something expressive of her duet with Frederic, an opportunity she did not squander.
—The New York Sun
Dorinda - Handel's Orlando - Washington Concert Opera
The young soprano Sarah Jane McMahon sang Dorinda with fetching charm and a lovely, agile voice. Miss McMahon was coy and winsome as the passionate but puzzled Dorinda.
—The Washington Post
Sarah Jane McMahon had a sugary sweet soprano sound with probably the best acting at this production.
Galatea - Handel's Acis and Galatea - New York City Opera
Sarah Jane McMahon's Galatea was bright, active, and fastidiously musical. She cut a nice figure on stage.
—New York Times
Moving like a dancer and singing with expressive tone, Sarah Jane McMahon was a nimble Galatea.
—Opera News Online
As Galatea, Sarah Jane McMahon sang the lead fluently.
—The New Yorker
At the heart of this sexy production is the pleasant and sensual Sarah Jane McMahon as Galatea.
—The New York Feuilleton
Sarah Jane McMahon (as Galatea) was fluent and pleasing vocally—and she's obviously a trained dancer, very expressive onstage. The whole well-staged progression of chorus, recit and the sublime "Heart, the seat of soft delight"—perhaps the most moving aria in English after Dido's Lament—got my tears going in a way they're rarely engaged in the opera house these days.
—Gay City News
A Night at the Operetta - Town Hall, NYC
Sarah Jane McMahon, who looks like a beautiful pageant girl from the '70s, offered a superb, stylish rendition of 'One Kiss.'
McMahon in particular has a splendid voice to go with her beauty and stage bearing, and her mike-less “One Kiss” from "The New Moon" was a spine-tingling highlight of the evening.
—Wolf Entertainment Guide
The standout performance in an outstanding company was provided by Sarah Jane McMahon, the soprano recently seen as Mabel in New York City Opera's The Pirates Of Penzance. With a career that has covered opera, operetta and musical comedy, McMahon combined a gorgeous vocal sophistication, a sparkling presence and an intelligent sense of lyric phrasing for a divine solo of "One Kiss," and the pairing of her and Jacoby for "Wanting You" set off beautiful romantic sparks.
Broadway by the Year 1959 - Town Hall, NYC
One of the smartest things Kudisch did was to bring along his colleagues from the recent City Opera production of The Pirates of Penzance, that production's model Major-General and Mabel, Mark Jacoby and Sarah Jane McMahon. McMahon is a pretty, trim opera soprano whose trilling is thrilling. She can also act up a storm and is not averse to doing a somersault and showing off her amazing yoga proficiency. She has all the makings of a brunette Kristin Chenoweth.
There are not enough superlatives to describe the extraordinary talent that was showcased during the most recent edition of Broadway By the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1959. But if one performer managed to stand out among the nine who defined the word terrific, it was Sarah Jane McMahon, a beautiful coloratura who elicited cheers with her radiant singing of the familiar spirits- raising "Climb Every Mountain" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music. McMahon, who most recently appeared as Mabel in a new production of The Pirates of Penzance at the New York City Opera, gave us reason to believe that this was a Mother Superior who was just waiting to show Mama Rose a thing or two. She also commandeered an audience-participating "Do Re Mi" during which she not only displayed a cascade of high notes a la Cunegonde but capped the number with a fearless split that would give many a nimble performer pause. McMahon's versatility was even more notable, however, in the sensitivity that defined her singing "I Wish it So," from Mark Blitzstein's gorgeous score for Juno. She joined baritone Marc Kudisch (her co-star in Pirates, and who also admirably directed this concert) for an "unplugged" and playful singing of "Yesterday I Love You," from Once Upon a Mattress. We got a hint at the top of the concert of what was ahead as she blended in with Emily Skinner, Mark Jacoby and Manoel Felciano to sing the title song from The Sound of Music a cappella.
At most of the shows in the Broadway by the Year series there is at least one surprise, and for me the main one in "The Broadway Musicals of 1959" was Sarah Jane McMahon, with whose work I had not been familiar. Not only does she have a dazzling soprano operatic voice, but she is attractive, exhibits a sense of comedy in the fashion of Broadway musicals, and, as if that were not enough, she can sit with both legs behind her head, a habit she says she acquired as a little girl when watching television. McMahon played Mabel in a recent production of "The Pirates of Penzance" at the New York City Opera. Wish I had seen it. The quality of McMahon's voice became immediately apparent as she led off the show singing "The Sound Of Music," the title number from one of the hit productions of 1959, along with Mark Jacoby, also in "Pirates," Emily Skinner and Manoel Felciano. Her subsequent "I Wish It So" from "Juno," "Doe a Deer" and "Climb Every Mountain" solos, and her participation in such numbers as "Take Me Along" from the same titled show, "Yesterday I Loved You" from "Once Upon a Mattress" and "Let Me Entertain You" from "Gypsy" further emphasized what a find she is. Evidently Placido Domingo had a similar reaction. He invited her to join his Los Angeles Opera company.
—Wolf Entertainment Guide
Imagine, for instance, Sarah Jane McMahon, fresh from her stint as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance at New York City Opera, ending "Do Re Mi" (from "Music") in full splits. McMahon's soprano sounded glorious in this and other numbers, including "Let Me Entertain You" (form "Gypsy"), where she not only proved that she could do cartwheels, but also demonstrated her prowess as a contortionist. McMahon also delivered a ravishing "I Wish It So" from Juno.
—American Theater Web
And Sarah Jane McMahon bringing a serene, yet soaring reverence to "Climb Every Mountain."
Magnolia - Kern's Show Boat - Tulane Summer Lyric
Sarah Jane McMahon's Magnolia is ravishing, both in her exquisite, supple soprano (which hits a high C in "After the Ball") and in her porcelain beauty. Her character carries a local symbolism since she is called "Nola" for short. Akin and McMahon singing "Make Believe" and especially the operetta duet "You are Love," make musical magic.
Cleopatra - Handel's Giulio Cesare - Opera Theater of Connecticut
Dazzling is not too strong a word to describe Sarah Jane McMahon... The young raven-haired Yale graduate was electric onstage... She excelled in a difficult singing role that also requires strong acting to convey everything from bright humor to sexual allure and pathos. McMahon was funny as she entered admiring herself in a mirror, then was impressive in Handel's strenuous, ornate up-and-down runs, and then was mesmerizing in her subdued love arias, particularly "V'adoro pupille". She soared easily to full high notes, then floated some beautiful pianos whose effect was all the greater because of the small auditorium's intimacy. She moved with a dancer's grace. Lying on the floor in a lover's dejected agony did not hamper her vocal projection. And, in an intimate moment with Caesar, she gave an intriguingly drawn-out delivery of the word "darling," imbuing it with a quality that, by itself, probably justified a PG-13 rating.
—The Hartford Courant
As Cleopatra, McMahon's timbre is rich and warm, with a thrilling finish at the top, an unusual combination in a genre that stresses vocal flexibility. She is nothing short of vocally ravishing in the second act paean to love, "V'adoro pupile." One senses a star in the making.
Naiad - R. Strauss' Ariadne Auf Naxos - Los Angeles Opera
Naiad and Echo were interpreted by soprano resident artists, Sarah Jane McMahon and Johee Choi, who together with mezzo-soprano, Deanne Meek, formed a harmonious trio of nymphs. These fine young artists looked and sounded heavenly.
Sari - Kalman's Sari - Ohio Light Opera
The singers bring fine, if not stellar voices to their roles, with the striking addition of Sarah Jane McMahon, whose soprano has a bright, pleasing sheen that recalls the young Barbara Hendricks.
Sarah Jane McMahon was a sparkling Sari, dancing spectacularly and singing with brilliance.
—The American Record Guide
The cast standout was Sarah Jane McMahon as Sari, Racz's daughter. McMahon is quite a package; she's extremely pretty, with plenty of stage prescence and a high dance kick that scrapes the chandeliers. Her voice is fresh and unforced, with potential to grow.
Mabel - Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance - The Colorado Symphony
Sarah Jane McMahon handles Mabel's often-comic vocal ornamentations with ease.
—The Denver Post
Abigail Williams - Ward's The Crucible - Des Moines Metro Opera
The young and demure Sarah Jane McMahon sings the role of the manipulating, yet tormented Abigail Williams with great finesse. Her luscious soprano is matched with superb acting skills.
—The Des Moines Register
Susanna - Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro - Yale Opera
Sarah Jane McMahon as Susanna is lovely and winning in both acting and musicality; her confidence and poise grow perceptibly throughout the performance, and by her featured aria, "Deh vieni, non tardar," she achieves a creamy nuance of tone.
—The New Haven Register