KAREN FRANKENSTEIN – soprano
“compelling”, “first rate” and “the chief delight”. A soloist at the Staatsoper Hannover from 2006 to 2011, she has enjoyed success in theaters all over Germany, performing leading roles such as Lucia di Lammermoor, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Gilda in Rigoletto, Corinna in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims, Musetta in La Bohème and Micaela in Carmen. Other roles at the Hannover Staatsoper have included Autonoe in the rarely performed Die Bassarieden by Hans Werner Henze, Le Feu/Le Rossignol in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, the complete role of Woglinde in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle (in both Das Rheingold and in Götterdämerung) and Gerhilde in Die Walküre. In 2010 she created the role of the Companion in Luigi Nono's Intolleranza, winner of the 2011 DER FAUST Prize for Best New Opera Production (the German equivalent of the Tony Awards) under the direction of acclaimed director Benedikt von Peter. She reprised the role in the 2011-2012 season, when she participated in the acclaimed concert series “Dialogue der Künste” in Hannover, singing Marietta and Grete in concert versions of Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt and Schrecker’s Der Ferne Klang with heldentenor Robert Künzli.
Ms. Frankenstein received a rave review for her performance as Musetta at the Hamburg Staatsoper, jumping in at the last monent, and received a rave audience response when she repeated her peformance this season. She has also sung with Staatstheater Kassel and Theater Ulm and made her German debut at the Mannheim Nationaltheater, just a month before her official debut in Hannover, when she stepped in at the last minute to sing Gilda to critical acclaim.
Prior to her move to Europe, Ms Frankenstein was on the roster at New York City Opera, covering roles such as La Contessa di Folleville (Il Viaggio a Reims), Lisette (La Rondine) and roles in The Little Prince and Lysistrata. She also sang leading roles with companies ranging from New York Chamber Opera, El Paso Opera, Central City Opera and Tulsa Opera to Lyrique en Mer in France. Her roles with these companies include Violetta (La Traviata), Mimi (La Boheme), Marguerite (Faust), Adèle (Die Fledermaus) Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) and Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann). Other roles performed in New York include a televised performance of Norina in Don Pasquale, and Alexandra in Marc Blitzstein’s Regina.
Ms. Frankenstein has also sung at Carnegie Hall, where she was the soprano soloist in both the Mozart Requiem and John Rutter’s Gloria. Selected for the prestigious Trinity Church Concerts at One recital series in Manhattan, she created the program Hope, a collection of songs and cycles by composers who emigrated to the United States, a program she successfully reprised in Hannover. Her other concert work include the Tremplin Jeunes Chanteurs in France at the Opera d’Avignon and the Concerts in the Parks series in New York City. Her solo CD was released by the French magazine Classica, which featured her as Artist of the Month.
The winner of the Premier Grand Prix Opéra in the Concours International de Chant de Paris, presided over by Mme. Mady Mesplé, Ms. Frankenstein was also a prize winner in the Concours International d’Opéra de Marseilles, and a National Finalist at the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists competition.
Ms. Frankenstein, the granddaughter of the distinguished music and art critic Alfred Frankenstein and the acclaimed violinist Sylvia Lent, is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and an alumna of the young artist programs at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Tanglewood Music Center, Virginia Opera, and Central City Opera.