Women's History Month: Sara Jobin

We continue our celebration of inspiring female conductors this week with Sara Jobin who has and continues to make history at opera houses around the country. This month, Maestro Jobin became the first woman to conduct an opera at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore (an achievement 122 years in the making!). In 2004, she was also the first woman to conduct a main stage subscription performance at our own San Francisco Opera, and has since returned to lead many productions. Read about Maestro Jobin’s career and her thoughts on these accomplishments and her inspirations in this special feature by The Baltimore Sun published earlier this month.  Maestro Jobin currently serves as Associate Conductor of the Toledo Opera, Interim Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony, and Chief Conductor of the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York. In addition to her inspirational musical talent, she has a degree in Women’s Studies (and Music, of course!) and founded the Different Voice Opera Project in 2008 – a space where composers, presenters, performers and funders can come together to envision and create operas with “strong, inspirational female characters.”

We asked her about her favorite piece to conduct, to tell us more about herself, and her advice for young women looking to have a career in conducting. If you’ve been reading along with our series this month, you’ll notice a common core theme in these conductors’ answers to this last question: JUST DO IT!

SFGC: What is your favorite piece of music to conduct and why?

SJ: Usually whatever I’m working on. I love opera because I love the ability of the human voice to carry emotion through sound, and to have that pearl riding on the velvet cushion of an orchestra seems like the best thing. SFGC: Tell us more about yourself!

SJ: I ride my bicycle to get around, instead of driving, whenever I can. It’s good for the planet and good for my health. Last summer I rode from Massachusetts to Ohio – 700 miles – in honor of the Mohicans who traveled that route 200 years ago, and also in solidarity with women and girls in Saudi Arabia for whom it is illegal to ride a bicycle.

SFGC: What advice do you have for young women looking to have a career in conducting?

SJ: Go for it!