Sara Mingardo studied with Franco Ghitti at the Benedetto Marcello Music Conservatory in her native Venice and completed her education at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.
Her career was launched in 1987 when she won the Concorso Toti dal Monte and, in the same year, she made her stage debut as Fidalma in a production of Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto in Avezzano. Soon thereafter she began appearing on the major stages of Italy and Europe, performing at the Salzburg Festival as well as at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
With her warm, dark timbre and resonant deeper range, Mingardo belongs to the rare species of the true contralto and is considered an ideal performer of the works of Monteverdi, Handel, Gluck, Mozart, Rossini, and Berlioz. A prominent role in her career is reserved for early music, which she frequently performs with ensembles devoted to historically informed performance practice and with such conductors as Rinaldo Alessandrini, John Eliot Gardiner, Emmanuelle Haïm, Marc Minkowski, Roger Norrington, Christophe Rousset, and Jordi Savall. She also concertizes with traditional symphony orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and the Orchestre National de France.
She enjoys a close partnership with Claudio Abbado, with whom she collaborated on his Pergolesi cycle and also recorded Mozart’s Requiem. Recent appearances by Mingardo include in Robert Wilson’s Monteverdi cycle at La Scala in Milan; she also sang in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony under Antonio Pappano in Rome and appeared in Vivaldi’s Farnace with Diego Fasoli at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
In 2009 the Italian Music Critics’ Association honored Sara Mingardo with the Premio Abbiati. She holds a professorship in baroque singing at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.