Hailed as possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, celebrated American soprano Karen Slack has garnered international renown for her artistic versatility, charisma, and entrepreneurial endeavors. A recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Slack is known for her dynamic and passionate performances in both lead operatic roles and on the concert stage; as a sought-after collaborator, curator, and artistic advisor; and for her ground-breaking approach to engagement. She is an Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera, Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America, and serves on the board of the American Composer’s Orchestra. In January 2022, Slack was appointed Creative Partner with Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, opening with a solo recital, and continuing through multiple programs throughout the season.
Highlights of last season for Slack included her début with The Dallas Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold; the world premiere of Shawn Okpebholo’s Freedom on the Move: Songs in Flight, developed by Sparks & Wiry Cries, alongside singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens with Philadelphia Chamber Music Society at The Kimmel Center, and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; performances in Austin and Portland with the Miró Quartet, and in Cincinnati and Albany with the Pacifica Quartet; a recital in Fort Worth with pianist Michelle Cann and at Cal Poly Arts with organist Alan Morrison; performing as featured soloist with the Nashville Symphony and Oklahoma City Philharmonic in two different world premieres by Hannibal Lokumbe; Beethoven’s Egmont at Carnegie Hall with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; Beethoven’s 9th Symphonywith the Fresno Philharmonic; and titled roles in productions at Portland Opera and Edmonton Opera. This season, she joins the New York Philharmonic and the Pacifica Quartet in concert and reprises Songs in Flight with Sparks & Wiry Cries. She also continues her roles as Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera and Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America. [read more...]
"... Slack is a wonder in the role..." – Edmonton Journal
Tosca – "There’s real magnetism between Slack and Pomeroy, so much so that when Scarpia finally breaks Tosca and she forlornly sings the aria Vissi d’arte, you can’t help but be drawn in, as the Jubilee audience was on Saturday night, scattered shouts of “brava” erupting after. . . this is Floria’s gambit, and Slack is a wonder in the role."
"...the sustained, powerful singing of soprano Karen Slack..." – Opera News
The Snowy Day – “Mama’s soliloquy of parental watchfulness and worry chilled the excited mood with an ill-fitting poignancy. That poignant scene, however, featured the sustained, powerful singing of soprano Karen Slack, whose distinguished performance as Mama supplied the raw urgency that moment needed.”
"... a high-point of the evening..." – Broadway World
Fire Shut Up in My Bones – “The third spectacular voice we hear is that of Karen Slack as Charles's mother Billie. Her participation in the wonderful shouting gospel scene is a high-point of the evening.”
"...Slack’s soulfully lush soprano..." – Theater Jones
Porgy and Bess – “Karen Slack’s soulfully lush soprano brings Serena to the fore of every moment she is in, with a sweet, lilting high that made “My Man’s Gone Now” one of the most powerful arias of the evening.”
"... warm and inviting..." – OperaWire
Yardbird – “Sung by Karen Slack, Addie’s powerful personality reminded me of strong-willed mothers I have known as a teacher. With warm and inviting [...] tones, she sang fervently of raising a black man-child in a world that didn’t always acknowledge the extent of his talent."
"...exceptional interpretive instincts and superb vocal technique..." – Musical America
Champion – “By far the most persuasive singing came courtesy of soprano Karen Slack, who embraced the arduous assignment of Emile’s mother Emelda – a personality by turns repulsive, pathetic, and finally capable of surprising sympathy – with exceptional interpretive instincts and superb vocal technique."
"...Slack returns to the role of Sister Rose with aplomb..." – Broadway World
Dead Man Walking – “Karen Slack returns to the role of Sister Rose with aplomb, her assurance with the musical stylings of this role evident in her enjoyment of performing."