Kara Shay Thomson, Soprano
Recognized for the natural beauty of her voice and her sense of dramatic insight, American soprano Kara Shay Thomson is proving herself a versatile and essential artist on the operatic and concert stages. As the Longboat Observer acclaimed of her Tosca, "'Vissi d'arte' began as a plaintive, quiet act of desperation and grew to an ardent, fervent plea that was both luminous and luxurious in sound, while maintaining the nuanced vocalism of a true diva. In fact, there wasn't a moment in the evening when Thomson came even close to over-singing or pushing. Her enormous voice resonated throughout the house yet she never abused her abilities and, by passionate restraint, was able to build a character who was, in every sense, a Great Woman."
Engagements for Ms. Thomson during the 2010-11 season include the role of The Woman in Schoenberg's Erwartung in a return to New York City Opera, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Kentucky Opera, the title role in Tosca with Opera on the James, and an appearance as soloist in Dvořák's Te Deum with the Cincinnati May Festival. She also appears in recital with both the Cincinnati May Festival and Bethune-Cookman University. In summer of 2011 she sings as soloist in Rachmaninoff's "The Bells" at Ravinia Festival under James Conlon, and in 2011-12 returns to Sarasota Opera in the title role of Vanessa.
Recent engagements include Santuzza with Sarasota Opera; the title role in Tosca with Opera Delaware; a return to New York City Opera for Hugo Weisgall's critically acclaimed Esther; the role of Zemphira in Aleko with the Cincinnati May Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera North; Tosca with Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, and Opera North; Marietta in Die tote Stadt with Washington, DC's Summer Opera Theatre Company; the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Toledo Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Pensacola Opera; the title role in Madama Butterfly with Colorado's Emerald City Opera; and Musetta in La bohème with Glimmerglass Opera. Her successful debut as Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with Chicago Opera Theater was followed by her return as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and as Fortuna in Monteverdi's Il coronazione di Poppea.
Concert engagements have included Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the National Chorale at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall; Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Muncie Symphony; Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Green Bay Symphony; Mozart's Requiem with Albany Pro Musica; both Brahms' Requiem and Carmina Burana with the Lynchburg Symphony; Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder with the Amherst Symphony; a Wagner Concert with the Wagner Society of Washington, DC; an Opera Gala with the Green Bay Symphony; Violetta in La traviata (concert) at Wisconsin's Fox Cities Performing Arts Center; and her Carnegie Hall debut in Bach's Magnificat with the Manhattan Philharmonic.