Sara Cahier (8 January 1870 – 15 April 1951) was an American-born mezzo-soprano or contralto singer in opera and lieder, who sang mainly in Europe, later acquiring Swedish citizenship. She was associated with Gustav Mahler, and was one the soloists in the posthumous premiere of his Das Lied von der Erde in 1911. She also sang at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and was a teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her students included Marian Anderson.
She was born as Sara Jane Layton Walker in Nashville, Tennessee. She studied in Indianapolis, and in Paris under Jean de Reszke, and made her debut as Orpheus in Orpheus and Eurydice in Nice in 1904. Other teachers included Gustav Walter, Victor Capoul and Amalie Joachim.
She and her fellow American the tenor William Miller were chosen by Bruno Walter to premiere, posthumously, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde in Munich in November 1911. She also sang in the New York premiere of the work in 1922, with tenor Orville Harrold, under conductor Artur Bodanzky.
She sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1912 to 1914, making her debut there as Azucena in Il trovatore. Other appearances there included Fricka in Die Walküre, alongside Olive Fremstad and Margaret Matzenauer.
She enjoyed great success in Stockholm from 1915 to 1917, during which time she acquired Swedish citizenship. After retirement, she became a teacher and vocal coach, at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her students, there and elsewhere, included Marian Anderson, Göta Ljungberg and Rosette Anday. It was on her advice that Lauritz Melchior changed from baritone to heldentenor.
Her recordings were few, but include:
- "Urlicht", from Mahler's Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" and "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen", from his Rückert-Lieder
- Excerpts from Carmen
- Google groups. Retrieved 1 August 2014
- "Mme. Sara Cahier", Toledo Blade, 16 April 1951. Retrieved 1 August 2014
- Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 1 August 2014
- The New York Times, 15 December 1912. Retrieved 1 August 2014
- Mahler: Lieder – Early Recordings 1915–1949, CD Universe (mislabelled as "Ich atmet' einen linden Duft"). Retrieved 17 January 2019
- Vienna: The Mahler Years 1897–1907, CD Universe. Retrieved 1 August 2014