Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award. In July 2018 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is also Patron of the National Girls’ Choir of Scotland.
Karen regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rotterdam and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, Bavarian and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestras, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra working with conductors including Donald Runnicles, Yannick Ne?zet-Se?guin, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Daniel Harding, Robin Ticciati, Edward Gardner and Mirga Graz?inyte?-Tyla. Opera highlights have included appearances at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Montpellier Opera; Scottish Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Edinburgh International Festival, with roles including Waltraute Gotterda?mmerung; Erda Das Rheingold and Siegfried; Brangäne Tristan und Isolde; Me?re Marie Dialogues des Carmélites, Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia, Isabella L’Italiana in Algeri, Suzuki Madam Butterfly Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.
She also appears regularly at the BBC Proms.
Highlights with her regular recital partner Simon Lepper include appearances at Wigmore Hall, London; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Kennedy Center, Washington; and Carnegie Hall, New York; as well as regular recitals for BBC Radio 3. With Simon, her most recent CD is of late romantic French repertoire entitled ‘Fleur de mon âme’, which follows previously acclaimed recording for Linn Records, including the critically acclaimed recital of lieder by Alma and Gustav Mahler, and Berlioz ‘Les nuits d’e?te?’ with Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She has also recorded extensively for the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO Live series.
In September 2021 Karen was appointed Head of Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a title she is proud to hold and will serve alongside her ongoing performance calendar.