Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award.
Current season highlights include La Damnation de Faust for DSO Berlin and Robin Ticciati; Elgar Sea Pictures with Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård, and Bach B minor Mass for Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In opera, Karen appears as Judith Bluebeard’s Castle for Opera North and as Mère Marie Les Dialogues des Carmelites at the 2020 Glyndebourne Festival, returning to the Metropolitan Opera in 2021.
Karen regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rotterdam and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony and Philarmonic 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 Gražinyte-Tyla. Opera highlights have included appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Montpellier Opera; Glyndebourne Festival and Edinburgh Festival with roles including Waltraute Götterdämmerung; Erda Das Rheingold and Siegfried; Brangaene Tristan and Isolde; Mère Marie Les Dialogues des Carmelites and Judith Bluebeard’s Castle. Karen appears regularly at the BBC Prom 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 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.