Karen Wierzba
soprano | Canada, °1974
Canadian soprano Karen Wierzba is receiving international acclaim for her remarkable vocal skills and her unfailing musicality. Her teachers and coaches include Marilyn Horne, Renata Scotto, Teresa Berganza, Warren Jones, Michelle Wegwart, Mary Morrison, Frank Maus, Janine Reiss, Robert Kettelson, Elizabeth Schwartzkopf, Barbara Bonney, Colline Serreau, Martin Katz, Eugene Sirotkine, Dennis Helmrich, Alan Smith and others.

Karen Wierzba has sung the title roles of Haendel’s Rodelinda (Music Academy of the West) and when she was 23 years old, Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias (Tanglewood) under the baton of Seiji Ozawa. She has also sung Poppea in Handel's Agrippina (Glimmerglass), Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (M.A.W.), Königin der Nacht from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Operas of Montpellier, Perpignan and Düsseldorf) and Gilda from Verdi’s Rigoletto (Orchestre de Paris and Spanga Festival, The Netherlands).

Karen Wierzba has also sung the following concert / oratorio repertoire: a recital of Schoenberg’s disciples at Alice Tully Hall in New York (Lincoln Centre), Bernstein's Mass and Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem (Orchestre National d'Île de France), Debussy's La Demoiselle Elue (Orchestre de Massy); Mahler's 2nd Symphony (Crous Orchestre de Paris) (Orchestre de L'Île de France), Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 (Orpheus Choir), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (Amadeus Choir) and Bach’s Magnificat (Metamorphose Orchestra of New York), as well as many of Bach’s cantatas in St. Michael’s Cathedral at the University of Toronto.

She has had the pleasure of singing under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, Martin Fischer-Dieskau, Marc Minkowski, Harry Bicket, David Levi, James Conlon, Ulf Schirmer, Randall Behr, Leonard Rosenmann, Jesús López Cobos, Placido Domingo…

Recordings include a prize winning DVD performance of Gilda in Rigoletto with Opera Spanga as well as André Laporte’s Momenti d’Estasi, and Schubert’s Nacht und Träume on the CD of the finalists of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Karen Wierzba is a recipient of many prestigious prizes: in 2004 she won 3rd prize at the Mirjam Helin International Vocal Competition in Helsinki, Finland. In 2002 she received the AROP Prize of the Paris National Opera. In addition, she has competed in the finals of the George London in New York, UFAM in Paris, Domingo’s Operalia in L.A., the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the International UNISA competition in Pretoria, South Africa. She has been the recipient of four Canada Council grants and has won an Ontario Chalmers Award.

In 2008, she has created Kyojo in Sumidagawa by Susumu Yoshida, in a coproduction between Quimper and Angers-Nantes Operas, at the Opera de Rennes, in Montpellier, Paris, Valenciennes… The production, which has been received and reviewed triumphantly, has also been shown in Paris and has been repeated in 2009 and 2010 in Japan and further European cities. Karen's performance of La Stilla in Hersant’s Le Chateau des Carpathes on the stages of Rennes and Salle Pleyel, Paris (2009) has received great acclaims. She then was the soprano solo in Mendelssohn's Paulus with the Orchestre de Bretagne (2009) and on stage in the revival of Sumida-Gawa in France (2010) and in Japan.

After the recording of the CD of Laurent Petitgirard's Guru for Naxos in Budapest (2010), Karen will appear in a series of concert in Finland where she will perform Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Osvaldo Golijov's The Night of Flying Horses with the Kymi Sinfonietta under the baton of Olari Elts.

She is now also assisting and teaching with Malcolm Walker at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris and will be giving a masterclass to students from the conservatory in Quimper, France.
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