Kara Shay Thomson
New England Third Place Winner 1997

Kara Shay Thomson begins the 2015-2016 season in her signature role as Tosca in her Utah Opera debut, and later returns to Sarasota as Leonore in Fidelio and as soloist in an all-Verdi concert. In 2014-2015, the soprano returned to Kentucky Opera as Beethoven’s Leonore, to Sarasota as Tosca, and to Florida Grand Opera as Magda in The Consul. She also made her debut with Chicago’s New Millennium Orchestra as Judith in a concert presentation of Bluebeard’s Castle.


Born in Cincinnati, Kara Shay moved with her preacher father and her family to cities in Missouri. Nebraska and Indiana, joining in their evenings of song and scripture through her childhood and young adulthood. She received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education K-12 at Northwest Missouri State University, and then returned to the church, working in Lynchburg, Virginia as a Minister of Music and Youth, joining a community chorus, and studying voice. That path led Kara Shay to the New England Conservatory, where she experienced her first moments on stage in an opera as Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, and received a Graduate Diploma in Performance. She apprenticed at New Hampshire’s Opera North and Glimmerglass Opera, to which she later returned as Musetta in La bohème.


Tosca was the first full-length role Kara Shay learned, covering the lead at Opera North; since then, she has sung Tosca in over eighty performances of at least 20 productions, including with Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera (OR), Atlanta Opera, Central City Opera, Pensacola Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera New Jersey, Opera Delaware, Dayton Opera, and Opera on the James. Other frequent roles include Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana (Delaware, Sarasota, Kentucky), and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro (Toledo, Utah, Pensacola). The soprano has also appeared as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni  (Opera North), Madama Butterfly (Emerald City Opera, Steamboat Springs, Colorado), First Lady in Die Zauberflöte (Opera Festival of New Jersey), Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (Boston’s Commonwealth Opera); Fortuna in Monteverdi’s Il Coronazione di Poppea(Chicago Opera Theatre), and Adina inL’elisird’amore(DiCapo Opera Theatre). Kara Shay has also sung Violetta at the Fox Cities (WI) Performing Arts Center and in a fully-staged production with the Sioux City Symphony, Zemphira in Aleko with the Cincinnati May Festival, and Sieglinde in a staged presentation of Act I of Die Walküre with Dayton Opera.


The versatile soprano has also appeared in contemporary roles such as Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle with Opera Omaha, Vanessa in Sarasota, Marie/Marietta in Die tote Stadt at New York City Opera and the Summer Opera Theatre Company (DC), Regina with the Bronx Opera, the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia and Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw with Chicago Opera Theater, and Becky Felderman in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with Cincinnati Opera.




For more information about this artist, visit her web site. Ms. Thomson is represented by Hendrickson Artists Management.

Return to List of Singers












Home |Late Breaking News|Previous Years| Currently Singing in Boston|FAQ for Singers| List of Singers|Reviews|Photos|Prizes|Our Singers at the BLO|Singer Application| MFA Concert|Newsletters|FAQ for Patrons| Become a Patron|The National Council| Committee|Links|Contact the Webmaestro