Karen Cargill Masterclass and Advanced Classes


Applicants successful for this class will work individually with Karen Cargill for 30 minutes on any suitable repertoire of their choice. Repertoire must be submitted in advance and fully memorised.
A handful of applicants will also be chosen to take part in the Public Masterclass on the evening of Sunday 28th July 2019.

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Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award. She made her Royal Opera debut in 2012 as Waltraute (Die Walküre) and Second Norn (Götterdämmerung) in Der Ring des Nibelungen, and has since sung Dryad (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Waltraute (Götterdämmerung).

Karen is an active concert performer and regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Rotterdam, Seoul and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and with conductors including Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Robin Ticciati, Esa-Pekka-Salonen, Daniele Gatti and Daniel Harding. She is a keen recitalist, sings regularly at the Wigmore Hall and made her US recital debut in 2015 at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Karen’s operatic appearances include Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) for Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Canadian Opera Company, Anna (Les Troyens) for the Metropolitan Opera, Brangäne (Tristan and Isolde) and Suzuki (Madam Butterfly) for English National Opera and Isabella (L’italiana in Algeri) and Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle) for Scottish Opera. Her recordings include an acclaimed CD of songs by Gustav and Alma Mahler with Simon Lepper for Linn Records.

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.

Opera Scenes

This class is worth five class points and successful applicants will be allocated repertoire in advance to learn and memorise one scene with one director and a secondary scene with the other director. For each scene, a music call will be taken at the start of the week, with at least two production calls with the relevant director and a dress rehearsal prior to the final performance. Language coaching will also be provided. Opera scenes will be directed by Janis Kelly & Linda Ormiston with Paul Wynne Griffiths & William Vann conducting. The course culminates in the Saturday evening Opera Scenes workshop performance – a high point of the week for many.



Song Cycle

In this class, participants and audience will experience song cycles prepared and performed in their entirety. It will involve group sessions with the nominated tutors early in the week (as detailed below), with all class participants exploring the poetry and music in preparation for a public performance. Before the concert the tutor will give a short talk about the cycles.

This class is worth two class points and is only available to full-week course applicants. Please note that successful applicants for song cycles with Malcolm Martineau may not select additional classes with him as part of their weekly allocation, but may apply for extra classes subject to availability.

Repertoire allocation will be confirmed in advance and successful applicants should be familiar with their whole cycle prior to arrival on the course. Tutors will then allocate individual songs during the group classes. The exception will be Die schöne Müllerin where five songs (one chapter) will be allocated to each student, which they should prepare and memorise to a performance standard. All the rest of the cycle should be prepared to study in depth, which means knowing all the poetry and be able to sing with music. The chosen cycles this year will be:

  • Die schöne Müllerin (D795), Schubert – with tutors Malcolm Martineau & Jacquie Crago and pianists Conal Bembridge-Sayers & Ewan Gilford
  • Le jardin clos (Op. 106), Fauré – with tutor Robin Bowman and pianist Alice Turner
  • 6 Romances (Op. 8), Rachmaninov – with tutor Sergey Rybin and pianist Chad Vindin
  • 4 Lieder (Op.27), Strauss – with tutor Gary Matthewman and pianist Leanne Singh-Levett
  • Facing Forward/Looking Back (2007), Jake Heggie – with tutor Alisdair Hogarth and pianist Marina R. Staneva

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