Karen Cargill


Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award.

Recent highlights include La Damnation de Faust for DSO Berlin and Robin Ticciati; Elgar Sea Pictures with Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Sondergard; Bach B minor Mass for Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle for both Opera North and Sian Edwards, and London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.

Future plans include appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. On the opera stage, Karen will be returning to Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne Festival.

Karen regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rotterdam and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra working with conductors including Donald Runnicles, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniele Gatti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Daniel Harding, Robin Ticciati, Edward Gardner, Mariss Jansons and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. Opera highlights have included appearances at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Montpellier Opera; Glyndebourne Festival and Edinburgh Festival, with roles including Waltraute Gotterdämerung; Erda Das Rheingold and Siegfried; Brangaene Tristan and Isolde; Mère Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.

Karen appears regularly at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Highlights with her regular recital partner Simon Lepper include appearances at Wigmore Hall London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kennedy Centre Washington and Carnegie Hall, as well as regular 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’s Les nuits d’été and La mort de Cléopâtre with Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

In July 2018 Karen was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is also Patron of the National Girls’ Choir of Scotland.