About Ms. Amlaw
American soprano Karen Amlaw, first alternate in Connecticut Concert Opera's 2013 American Opera Idol Competition, returned to singing after a 15 year leave in September 2003. What was at that time a one day a week commitment: singing in choir to get a break from the stresses of life as a restaurant manager has grown into a whole different career focus as a musician, music administrator and educator.
Since then she has sung several partial roles including Verdi heroines Aida (Aida), Elvira (Ernani), Desdemona (Otello), Leonora (La forza del Destino), Elisabetta (Don Carlo) and both Amelias (Un ballo in maschera & Simon Boccanegra). Other partial roles have included Nedda (Pagliacci), Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana), Salomé
(Hérodiade), Maddalena (Andrea Chénier), and the title roles in Tosca, La Gioconda, Madama Butterfly, and Adriana Lecouvreur, among others. Ms. Amlaw sang Mother Gerald in Boston Opera Collaborative’s production of Dialogues of the Carmelites under the direction on Marc Astafan and Michael Strauss and has been featured in programs with Longwood Opera, Opera Worcester, Mass Theatrica, Greater Worcester Opera (formerly Worcester Opera Works), Lowell Opera Company, and Calliope Inc. of Boston.
Ms. Amlaw, also a semi-finalist in the 2007 Peter Elvins Vocal Competition and semi-finalist in the 2011 and 2012 American Prize Competitions, has received merit scholarships to support her operatic studies at both Crittenden Opera Studio and New England Conservatory’s School of Continuing Education Opera Studio.
Equally at home with oratorio and other related genres, Ms. Amlaw has appeared at several area churches including St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudbury, St Anthony of Padua in Revere, Christ Church in Fitchburg, St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden, The Congregational Church of West Medford, First Congregational Church in Boylston, and Wesley United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church in Worcester, MA, as well as with such ensembles as the Master Singers of Worcester, Salisbury Singers of Worcester, Worcester Youth Orchestra, and Jagan-Nath and Friends. These appearances have included soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Bach’s Cantata No. 131, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity and portions of Mozart's Grand Mass in C Minor, along with both the mezzo and soprano roles in Handel’s Messiah. Ms. Amlaw was also one of four sopranos, including Maria Ferrante, featured in a choral version of Karg-Elert’s Symphonic Choral No. 3 with organist Brian Jones in the Organ Dedication Concert Series at the First Unitarian Church of Worcester. Currently a freelance soloist, she was the soprano soloist/section leader for United Congregational Church in Worcester, MA for six years from 2004 to 2010.
Ms. Amlaw’s education includes a BA in psychology with a minor in music from the University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music where her principal instrument was violin. She has studied voice with Karen Lykes (currently professor of voice at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music), Maria Ferrante, and world renowned soprano Maria Spacagna. Her coaches have included Douglas Martin, Brian Moll, Olga Rogach and Bradley Pennington, founder of Boston Bel Canto Opera. She is currently under the tutelage of MET veteran dramatic mezzo Sondra Kelly.
When not singing she can be found using her teaching, marketing and administrative talents in support of artists and music education. Currently, she is the Events Coordinator/Kids on Keys Program Director at Robinson Music Inc. in Westborough, MA, Aria Sing Coordinator for Greater Worcester Opera, as well as a marketing resource for local artists and arts organizations. In addition, for the seventh consecutive year, this spring Ms. Amlaw has been invited to adjudicate Opera Worcester's Annual Vocal Scholarship Competition.
She resides in Westborough, MA with her two adopted cats: Papi and Amigo