Joan Sapiro began piano and trumpet studies with her music teacher father, Erwin Sapiro (Eastman School of Music master’s degree graduate in education and trumpet.) Joan performed with the New Haven (CT) Youth Orchestra and attended a summer workshop at the Eastman School of Music. She attended Tanglewood's summer vocal program and was accepted to Eastman as a singer. Through the recommendation of new music diva Jan DeGaetani, Joan premiered many new works by composers such as Samuel Adler, Stephen Albert, Allan Schindler and Richard Wernick. She performed early vocal music as a member of the Collegium Musicuum, under the tutelage of lutenist Paul O’Dette. Joan and fellow student Jeff Beal married after her graduation.
In New York City, Joan’s sight reading abilities garnered work with many professional vocal ensembles- including Musica Sacra and the New York Philharmonic Chorus. She was soloist with Music Viva, and performed with the group in Merkin Hall. Joan appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic in a performance of scenes from Carmen, broadcast live from Central Park on the ABC network. She auditioned for San Francisco Opera, and was one of two singers from New York City offered a contract. Joan worked with the company for six seasons, performing as chorister, cover, and comprimario. She also was a frequent guest artist with the new music ensembles Composers, Inc., Earplay and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.
She first began studio singing as operatic soloist for national commercials for clients such as Mazda and Peter Pan Peanut Butter (singing Carmen’s Habenera!) She also appeared on Jeff Beal’s solo jazz albums, adding wordless vocals.
Moving to L.A., Joan sent out her vocal demo and within two months was singing with top call studio singers on the vocal session for Free Willy. Joan has since sung on over 100 film scores for composers including John Williams, James Newton Howard, and the late James Horner. She has appeared as vocal soloist on many television series, including House of Cards, Medium, Ugly Betty, Rome, and Carnivale.
Her CD recordings include the duo CD with Jeff Beal, The Gathering, featuring Jeff’s compositions and Joan’s wordless vocals, and solos on Jeff’s CDs Contemplations, Perpetual Motion and Liberation. Her national commercials include IBM, GM, Intel, Mazda, Peter Pan.
On camera singing work includes appearances in the film Face/ Off, and the television programs Ally McBeal, Nothing Sacred, and Days of Our Lives. She was also seen in the Oscar-winning documentary In the Shadow of the Stars, about the San Francisco Opera Company. She appeared in two PBS televised operas with San Francisco - La Boheme and Mephistopheles.