Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera where she made her debut in the title role of Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and San Francisco Opera. In recent seasons, she has appeared as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il trovatore and Tosca with Arizona Opera, as Aïda at Austin Opera, Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Sacramento Opera and Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with both Minnesota Opera and Vancouver Opera and her Scottish Opera debut as Anna in Puccini’s Le villi. Additionally, Ms. Slack portrayed a featured role as the Opera Diva in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack “For Colored Girls.”
Ms. Slack’s 2019-2020 season included a return to The Metropolitan Opera as Serena in Porgy and Bess, a recital with Opera Philadelphia, guest soloist for Madison Opera’s virtual Opera in the Park, and a series of recitals throughout the US including the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts in Vail, Colorado with pianist Joe Illick. This season sees her in digital performances with Opera Philadelphia, Houston Grand Opera, Madison Opera, and Minnesota Opera. Additionally, she stars in Driving While Black with UrbanArias. In response to the rash of cancellations due to COVID-19, Ms. Slack launched a digital talk show, KikiKonversations, which has garnered critical acclaim and a large online following.
Other recent performances include Tosca with Opera Birmingham, Addie Parker in Yardbird with Arizona Opera, Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Atlanta Opera, Serena in Porgy and Bess with Fort Worth Opera, and her debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Billie in Fire Shut Up in My Bones. In concert, she was a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Union Symphony Orchestra for Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Ms. Slack has performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and the Verdi Requiem with various orchestras throughout the US. Abroad she has appeared with the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras, and most recently, with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in celebration of the 80th birthday of Mo. Yuri Temirkanov. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with Orchestra St. Luke’s and will return in Spring 2021 with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for Beethoven’s Egmont. Additional upcoming engagements for the 2020-2021 season include her debut with the Houston Grand Opera for the world premiere of Joel Thompson’s A Snowy Day, Poulenc’s La voix humane with Madison and Austin Opera, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall recital with Alan Morrison in the world premiere of a work by American composer Adolphus Halistork, Verdi’s Requiem with Highlander Concert Series at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas and a concert of arias with Omaha Opera and Symphony.
A graduate of the Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera, the native Philadelphian is also a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. She is a winner of numerous competitions and awards: most notably the Montserrat Caballe International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation Award, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, Portland Opera Lieber Award, Liederkranz Foundation Award and the Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice.