Born in Derbyshire, Karen was a member of The National Youth Choir of Great Britain before gaining a degree in Music and English at the University of Leeds, followed by a Post Graduate Vocal Diploma at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
She started her professional career working at the Royal Opera House, singing the Apprentice in Wagner's Die Meistersinger, and working extensively with London Voices under Terry Edwards.
As a soloist Karen has a wide repertoire from Oratorio to Opera, singing lead roles for Opera Ireland, Travelling Opera and London City Opera among others.
In 2004 she made her BBC Proms debut under Sir Simon Rattle with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment singing the role of Welgunde in Wagner's Das Rheingold in concert at the Royal Albert Hall and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
Other roles included
- Carmen in Bizet's 'Camen', Cherubino (Mozart, Marriage of Figaro)
- Dorabella ( Mozart, Cosi Fan Tutti)
- Dido (Purcell, Dido and Aeneas)
- Orlofsky (Strauss, Die Fledermaus)
- 2nd and 3rd Lady (Mozart, Magic Flute)
- Flora (Verdi, La Traviata)
For the last 18 years, Karen continues to work as one of the OperaBabes with friend, Rebecca Knight. In 2001 her Opera career took an unlikely twist she and Rebecca were spotted busking in London's Covent Garden by a talent executive and booked to perform at the FA Cup Final and the Champions League Final in Milan to an audience of 500 million.
Within weeks the girls had signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment and their debut album 'Beyond Imagination' went straight to number one in the Classical Charts. Their second album, 'Renaissance', was released in 2006 to critical acclaim, and in Spring 2012 they released their third studio album 'Silent Noon' under Warner Classics, showcasing the new material at an exclusive sell out concert at London's Cadogan Hall in May, 2012
As half of the acclaimed duo, Karen has performed extensively worldwide and is as comfortable singing on the football pitch as she is performing on stage at the Royal Opera House.
The last eighteen years have seen her and Rebecca perform alongside some of the world's leading orchestras including
- The Philharmonia
- The Halle
- The BBC Concert Orchestra
- The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- The Berlin Symphony Orchestra
- The LSO
Venues have been as diverse as the legendary Stardust Casino in Las Vegas, the Herod Atticus in Athens, to the LA Opera House along Placido Domingo, The Royal Albert Hall, The Symphony Hall Birmingham and Leeds Castle.
No stranger to the media, Karen and Rebecca have been the subject of three major documentaries, performed on countless television programmes from Good Morning America, BBC Songs of Praise, GMTV to the Classical Brit Awards. Radio performances include Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night, In Tune on BBC Radio 3, to Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.
The OperaBabes won 'Best Live Act on a cruise ship' following the success of headlining on the inaugural cruises of Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria. The launch of Holland America's Eurodam and their numerous performances worldwide have seen the girls perform for her Majesty The Queen on several occasions including the Commonwealth Games and the Prom at the Palace.
The experience of working in any given situation, in any country worldwide has given Karen the opportunity to become the versatile performer she is today. She continues to perform as one half of the OperaBabes alongside solo appearances and corporate performances.
Karen is also in demand as a singing teacher and vocal coach, having recently moved to Cambridgeshire with her daughters and started up her one to one coaching from her new music studio in St. Ives. Karen splits her time now working with OperaBabes, solo performances, and teaching.
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