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 Karen was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is currently their interim Head of Vocal Studies.
Concerts this season and beyond include Mahler Das Lied von der Erde with WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and Cristian Măcelaru; Mahler Symphony No 2 with Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España and David Afkham, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Rafael Payare, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla; Bartók Bluebeard’s Castle with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati; Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and Wagner Fricka Das Rheingold with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin. With the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Alpesh Chauhan she will perform Schoenberg Lied der Waldtaube and record Wagner Wesendonck Lieder.
Recent performances include Brangäne Tristan und Isolde with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2021 Glyndebourne Festival and Berlioz La damnation de Faust with DSO Berlin, both conducted by Robin Ticciati; Mahler Rückert-Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla; Elgar Sea Pictures with Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård and Judith in Bartók Bluebeard’s Castle with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.
Past opera highlights have included the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Montpellier Opéra; the BBC Proms and Glyndebourne and Edinburgh International festivals, with roles including Waltraute Gotterdämmerung; Erda Das Rheingold and Siegfried; Brangäne Tristan und Isolde; Mère Marie Dialogues des Carmélites and Judith Bluebeard’s Castle while on the concert platform Karen has worked with conductors including Donald Runnicles, Bernard Haitink, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Daniel Harding, Edward Gardner and Mariss Jansons.
Karen has appeared with her recital partner Simon Lepper at Wigmore Hall London; Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Kennedy Centre Washington and Carnegie Hall New York, and regularly gives recitals for BBC Radio 3. With Simon, she recently recorded a critically acclaimed recital of Lieder by Alma and Gustav Mahler for Linn Records, for whom she has also recorded Berlioz Les nuits d’été and La mort de Cléopâtre with Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Karen is Patron of the National Girls’ Choir of Scotland.