Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato and great dramatic depth, young American soprano Karen Slack was most recently heard in the title role of Tosca and as Leonora in Il trovatore with Arizona Opera, Mahler Symphony No. 2 with The Latvian National Symphony, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Alabama Symphony, and as Aida with West Bay Opera. Other recent engagements include the role of Violetta in La traviata with both Sacramento Opera and West Bay Opera, Serena in Porgy and Bess with both Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera, Verdi Requiem with Madison Symphony and Sacramento Choral Society, Mimi in La bohème with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, the role of Cilla in Richard Danielpour’s American opera Margaret Garner with Michigan Opera Theater, and her featured role in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack “For Colored Girls” as the Opera Diva.
Ms. Slack made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, a role she also performed with the San Francisco Opera, and has sung the title role in Aida with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She made her Metropolitan Opera and international radio broadcast debuts in the title role of Verdi’s Luisa Miller. She recently sang Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion and Handel’s Messiah with the Messiah Festival of the Arts in Kansas and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Sacramento Choral Society. Additionally, she appeared as Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Madison Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera. Engagements for the 2014-2015 season included company debuts as Serena in Porgy and Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Quad City Symphony, and Tosca with the New Philharmonic. The 2015-2016 season sees her in the title role of Verdi’s Aïda with Austin Lyric Opera, singing Emelda Griffith in Champion with Opera Parallèle, and her role debut as Alice Ford in Falstaff with Arizona Opera as well as joining the Lexington Philharmonic for Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and the Back Bay Chorale for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The 2016-2017 season and beyond includes Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, Serena in Porgy and Bess with the National Chorale and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with both Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Vancouver Opera, and her debut with the Scottish Opera.
Equally at home in the recital and concert repertoire, Ms. Slack has been seen in recital in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Gibraltar (Spain), Urbania, Italy, Munich, Germany, in concert as Desdemona in Otello with the Melbourne Symphony (Australia) and in New York’s Weill Recital Hall in Ravel’s Chanson madécasses with Mid-America Productions. She is a frequent soloist and has debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Spokane and Albany Symphonies and most recently returned to the Cincinnati Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony in a July 4th Celebration.
A graduate of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, the Steans Institute of the Ravinia Festival and the Adler Fellowship at the San Francisco Opera, Ms. Slack was seen as Madame Arkadina in Pasatieri’s The Seagull, Die Gräfin in the final scene of Strauss’ Capriccio and awarded a Schwabacher Debut Recital. As a member of the Merola Program she was seen as Mimi in Western Opera Theater’s National Tour of La bohème. She is a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea. The soprano has won numerous competitions and awards: most recently, the Montserrat Caballe International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation Award, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, Florida Grand Opera Competition, Portland Opera Lieber Award, Liederkranz Foundation Award and the Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice.