Katarina Karnéus - mezzo soprano
Born in Stockholm, Katarina Karnéus studied at Trinity College of Music in London, and at the National Opera Studio. In 1995 she won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Since then she has appeared throughout the world in opera, concert and recital and worked with many leading conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Roger Norrington, Antonio Pappano, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst and Ivor Bolton.
Opera engagements have included The Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, the Netherlands Opera Amsterdam, La Monnaie Brussels, the Geneva Opera and the Frankfurt Opera.
Her repertoire includes the great mezzo roles of Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Bizet, Wagner and Strauss and highlights of recent seasons have included Brangaene in Glyndebourne, the title role in Ariane et Barbe-bleu in Frankfurt, Elisabetta/Maria Stuarda in Berlin, Der Komponist in Geneva, and the title role in Xerxes in her native Stockholm.
In concert, Katarina Karnéus has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic (Szymanowski’s Love Songs of Hafiz with Rattle and the title role in Hänsel und Gretel with Elder), the Cleveland Orchestra (Der Rosenkavalier with Welser-Möst), the NDR Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony and at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh Festival and the Salzburg Festival.
As a recitalist she has been heard in many major venues in Europe and North America including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Lincoln Center New York, La Monnaie Brussels, Frankfurt, Washington, San Francisco and Frankfurt.
In 1999 EMI released her first solo recital disc, of songs by Mahler, Strauss, and Marx, accompanied by Roger Vignoles, described in the Gramophone as “an outright winner….one of the most satisfying CDs of Lieder to appear in recent months.”, followed in 2000 with a recording, also on EMI, of Ravel’s Chansons Madecasses with Stephen Kovacevich, Emanuel Pahud and Truls Mørk, and in 2001 with a recording of orchestral songs by Schreker with the BBC Philharmonic and Vassily Sinaisky. Her recording of Sibelius songs for Hyperion was met with unanimous critical praise, and Hyperion has just released a volume of Grieg songs, described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘a glorious disc’.
Another recent release is Szymanowski’s Love Songs of Hafiz with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle on EMI, and her Glyndebourne Brangäne can now be seen on DVD. Most recently her recording of Mahler’s Symphony No 8 with the San Francisco Symphony conducted my Michael Tilson-Thomas received two Grammy Awards as best album and best choral album of 2009.
Future plans include Donna Elvira for Covent Garden, Fricka for the Liceu in Barcelona, Ruggiero/Alcina in Gothenburg, two concert tours in the USA and Europe with the San Francisco Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.