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Soprano Karen Slack Announces 2022-2023 Season Highlights

August 17, 2022 | By Katy Salomon
VP, Public Relations

Katy Salomon | Primo Artists | VP, Public Relations | 212.837.8466 

Soprano Karen Slack Announces 
2022-2023 Season Highlights

Sharing Her Unique Curatorial Vision by Seamlessly Spanning 
the Chamber Music, Orchestral, and Operatic Worlds 

Including Performances in Austin and Portland with the Miró Quartet, Recitals in
Fort Worth with Michelle Cann and at Cal Poly Arts with Organist Alan Morrison,
and the World Premiere of Shawn Okpebholo’s Songs in Flight at
The Met Museum and Kimmel Center

Two World Premieres by Hannibal Lokumbe with the Nashville Symphony and 
Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Egmont at Carnegie Hall with 
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Fresno Philharmonic

Her debut with The Dallas Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold and
Productions at Portland Opera and Edmonton Opera

“Exceptional interpretive instincts and superb vocal technique”
– Musical America 

New York, NY (August 17, 2022) – "Feisty, rich-voiced soprano” (The New York TimesKaren Slack proudly announces her 2022-2023 season, featuring an expansive range of programming spanning the recital, orchestral, and operatic worlds. Highlights include her debut with The Dallas Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold; the world premiere of Shawn Okpebholo’s Songs in Flight, developed by Sparks & Wiry Cries, alongside singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Kimmel Center; performances in Austin and Portland with the Miró Quartet; a recital in Fort Worth with pianist Michelle Cann and at Cal Poly Arts with organist Alan Morrison; performing as featured soloist with the Nashville Symphony and Oklahoma City Philharmonic in two different world premieres by Hannibal Lokumbe; Beethoven’s Egmont at Carnegie Hall with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Fresno Philharmonic; and titled roles in productions at Portland Opera and Edmonton Opera. She also continues her roles as Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera and Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America.

Slack appeared in musical selections from Terence Blanchard’s "magnetically powerful" (NPR) Fire Shut up In My Bones with Turtle Island Quartet in a presentation by SF Jazz on August 6 and 7, 2022. She closes her summer in New York’s Finger Lakes for two performances with the Catalyst Quartet at the Skaneateles Festival on August 18-19, 2022.

From September 12-15, 2022, she joins the Miró Quartet for a residency at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music as part of their Con Brio: Acclaimed Visitor Series. Residency activities include masterclasses and a public performance of Florence Price, Sylvie Bodorová, Puccini, William Grant Still, and Margaret Bonds on September 15. 

On September 29, 2022, Opera Philadelphia’s Opera on Film Festival presents a screening of Du’Bois and Camry A’Keen’s 2021 adaptation of Susan Kander and Roberta Gumbel’s one-woman dwb (driving while black), featuring Slack as the Mother, at the Philadelphia Film Center.

Slack then heads to Canada to perform the title role in Edmonton Opera’s season-opening production of Tosca on October 22, 25, and 28, 2022, the first staging in Joel Ivany’s new role as Artistic Director.

Karen Slack and fellow 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence-recipient, pianist Michelle Cann, join forces to perform a special new recital, My Sister’s Keeper, on November 13, 2022 presented by Fort Worth Opera. Of this new program, Slack says, “When Michelle and I recorded Florence Price and Margaret Bonds songs during the height of the pandemic for the ONEComposer organization, we had no idea how special that session would be. It truly was magical! Each of us are big fans of the other's art and it was at that moment we decided to commit to making music together as much as possible. We are extremely excited to bring this thoughtfully curated program, which represents what both Michelle and I strive to do on and off the stage: give voice and the spotlight to female composers who have too often been left out of the recital and concert hall.”

On January 12, 2023 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Karen Slack performs in MetLiveArts’ world premiere of Songs in Flight, a program by composer Shawn Okpebholo and Duke University professor and poet Dr. Tsitsi Ella Jaji that was inspired by Cornell Universities “Freedom on the Move,” a database of “runaway ads” collected from early newspapers in the United States. These ads placed by enslavers preserve snapshots of more than 30,000 enslaved people who took their fates into their own hands, liberating themselves from a cruel, ugly cycle whose effects ripple to this day. Songs in Flight, conceived and commissioned by Sparks & Wiry Cries, brings these individual stories to life through song, paired with additional material curated and performed by Grammy and MacArthur Award winning musician Rhiannon Giddens, poet Crystal Simone Smith, and poet and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tyehimba Jess. Slack will also be joined by Giddens, countertenor Reginald Mobley, baritone Will Liverman, and pianist Howard Watkins. 

Songs in Flight will receive its Philadelphia premiere on January 15, 2023 at the Kimmel Center, co-presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Sparks and Wiry Cries. 

Slack makes her house debut at The Dallas Opera as Freia in Wagner’s Das Rheingold from February 10-18, 2023. Music Director Emmanuel Villaume conducts a new production that originated at The Atlanta Opera. Nicholas Brownlee will perform as Wotan alongside Amanda Echalaz as Fricka.

Slack joins the Miró Quartet for a program at Portland Ovations on March 18, 2023. Their performance features Barber, Margaret Bonds, Florence Price, Tamar-kali, George Walker, William Grant Still, and Stephen Taylor. 

On April 13, 14, 15, and 16, 2023, Slack performs among a cast of six vocalists, nine actors, a full chorus, a jazz quartet, and an African drumming ensemble in the Nashville Symphony’s world premiere commission, Hannibal Lokumbe’s The Jonah People: A Legacy of Struggle and Triumph.

Less than one month later, on May 13, 2023, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic presents the world premiere of Lokumbe’s Trials, Tears, Transcendence: The Journey of Clara Luper with Karen Slack as featured soloist. The piece shares the story of Oklahoma-native Clara Luper, a pioneering leader in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Slack reprises her role as the featured vocalist in a new translation of Beethoven’s Egmont with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on May 20, 2023. In 2020, she performed the piece alongside actor/narrator Liev Schreiber in Orpheus’s Speaking Truth to Power program released by livestream platform Idagio. The Carnegie program also features Orpheus and baritone Will Liverman in a selection of spirituals to honor singer-activist Paul Robeson.

On May 26, 2023, Portland Opera presents a special one-night event, ABSENCE: Terence Blanchard, featuring Artistic Advisor Karen Slack with the E Collective and Turtle Island Quartet. Jazz great and celebrated opera composer Terence Blanchard will be in attendance for this musical celebration of his work.

Cal Poly Arts presents Slack and organist Alan Morrison on June 2, 2023 as part of their Forbes Organ Series at Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo. 

Finally, Slack closes her 2022-2023 season with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Damian Geter’s Justice Symphony with the Fresno Philharmonic on June 11, 2023.

Karen Slack 2022-2023 Season Calendar
August 18, 19, 2022
Skaneateles Festival with Catalyst Quartet
Skaneateles, NY
Link (Aug. 18):
Link (Aug. 19): 

September 12-15, 2022
University of Texas Butler School of Music Residency, Masterclass, and Performance with Miró Quartet
Austin, TX 

October 22, 25, 28, 2022
Edmonton Opera Presents Tosca (Slack – Tosca)
Edmonton, AB, Canada

November 13, 2022
Fort Worth Opera Presents My Sister’s Keeper Recital with Pianist Michelle Cann
Fort Worth, TX

January 12, 2023
Songs in Flight (World Premiere)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art | The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

January 15, 2023
Songs in Flight (Philadelphia Premiere)
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
Link (Philadelphia, PA):

February 10, 12, 15, 18, 2023
Dallas Opera Presents Das Rheingold (Slack – Freia, Dallas Opera Debut)
Dallas, TX

March 18, 2023
Portland Ovations with Miró Quartet
Portland, OR

April 13, 14, 15, 16, 2023
Nashville Symphony Presents World Premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s The Jonah People
Nashville, TN

April 26-30, 2023
Capital University Residency, Masterclass, and Performance
Bexley, OH

May 13, 2023 
Oklahoma City Philharmonic Presents World Premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Trials, Tears, Transcendence: The Journey of Clara Luper
Oklahoma City, OK


May 20, 2023
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall 
New York, NY

May 26, 2023
Portland Opera Presents ABSENCE: Terence Blanchard with E Collective and Turtle Island Quartet
Portland, OR 

June 2, 2023 
Cal Poly Presents Forbes Organ Series: An Evening with Karen Slack and Alan Morrison
San Luis Obispo, CA

June 11, 2023
Fresno Philharmonic Presents Beethoven’s Ninth and Damian Geter’s Justice Symphony  
Fresno, CA

About Karen Slack
Hailed as possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, celebrated American soprano Karen Slack has garnered international renown for her artistic versatility, charisma and entrepreneurial endeavors. A recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Slack is known for her dynamic and passionate performances in both lead operatic roles and on the concert stage; as a sought-after collaborator, curator, and artistic advisor; and for her ground-breaking approach to engagement. She is an Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera, Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America, and serves on the board of the American Composer’s Orchestra. In January 2022, Slack was appointed Creative Partner with Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, opening with a solo recital and continuing through multiple programs throughout the season.

Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and San Francisco Opera in featured roles such as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il trovatore, Tosca with Arizona Opera, as Aïda at Austin Opera, Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Sacramento Opera and Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Minnesota, Atlanta, and Vancouver Opera. She made her Scottish Opera debut as Anna in Puccini’s Le villi. Slack made her film debut portraying a featured role as the Opera Diva in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack For Colored Girls. 

Her 2021-2022 season featured debut performances with Houston Grand Opera in the world premiere of Joel Thompson and Andrea Davis Pinkney's A Snowy Day, the title role in Aïda at Opera Carolina, recitals at Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, performances as featured soloist with Symphony of the Americas and in Derek Geter’s Justice Symphony with The Washington Chorus, her solo recital Of Thee I Sing at National Sawdust, and the May 2022 world premiere of a new work by James Lee III, written for her collaboration with the Pacifica Quartet and presented by Carnegie Hall and the Shriver Hall Concert Series. 

During the 2020-2021 season, Slack drew on her experience in film to expand her artistic platform through premiere digital performances with Houston Grand Opera, Madison Opera, and Minnesota Opera, taking on a starring role in Driving While Black with urbanarias and launching her digital talk show, #kikikonversations, which garnered critical acclaim from both Opera News and The New York Times. She was also Co-Director for the 2020-21 Opera Program at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts. Additionally, Slack became a sought-after collaborator to create bespoke content for the digital concert stage, co-creating and performing in #saytheirnames – Women of the Movement, a film recital and production in partnership with Philadelphia’s Lyric Fest, performed in recital for Opera Philadelphia, and was the featured vocalist alongside actor/narrator Liev Schreiber in Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Speaking Truth to Power program, presented in October 2020 and hosted by livestream platform Idagio. 

Slack’s 2019-2020 season included a return to The Metropolitan Opera as Serena in Porgy and Bess, her debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis originating the role of Billie in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a recital with Opera Philadelphia, performing as guest soloist for Madison Opera’s virtual Opera in the Park, and a series of recitals throughout the US including the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts in Vail, Colorado with pianist Joe Illick. In concert, she was a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Union Symphony Orchestra for Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Slack has performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder, and the Verdi Requiem with various orchestras throughout the United States, and was featured in her first performances of Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et la mer with the Omaha Symphony in collaboration with Opera Omaha. Abroad she has appeared with the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras, and most recently, with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in celebration of the 80th birthday of conductor Yuri Temirkanov. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

A graduate of the Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera, the native Philadelphian is also a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. Karen Slack is a winner of numerous competitions and awards: most notably the Montserrat Caballé International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation Award, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, Portland Opera Lieber Award, Liederkranz Foundation Award and the Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice. For more information, please visit 

*Photo Credit: Kia Caldwell

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