Recognized for the natural beauty of her voice and her sense of dramatic insight, American soprano Kara Shay Thomson is proving herself a versatile and essential artist on the operatic and concert stages. Opera News writes, "Kara Shay Thomson gave an elegant performance as Leonore in Fidelio, a welcome foray into Beethoven’s only opera. Thomson, known for her Tosca with Sarasota and other regional companies, was a galvanizing vocal presence right from 'Komm, Hoffnung,' spontaneous and powerful in her Act I aria to faithful married love."
Kara Shay Thomson returned to the Berkshire Choral in the summer of 2017 as concert soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. In the 2017-18 season, Ms. Thomson was the title role in Tosca with Arizona Opera, Marta in Tiefland by Eugene d’Albert with Sarasota Opera, and returned to Dayton Opera as the title role in Turandot and Magda Sorel in The Consul. Upcoming engagements in the 2018-19 season include the title role in Turandot in a return to Sarasota Opera, the title role in Salome with Dayton Opera, and the title role in Gounod's La Reine de Saba (The Queen of Sheba) with Odyssey Opera.
Her engagements in the 2016-17 season included her first performance of Agathe in Der Freischütz with Virginia Opera, Tosca with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, joining Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Berlioz’ Les Troyens, and performing in a New Year’s Eve concert with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 2015-16 season, she made her Utah Opera debut as Tosca, and returned to Sarasota Opera as Leonore and as guest soloist in an all-Verdi concert.
Ms. Thomson’s recent engagements included returns to Sarasota Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Dayton Opera as Tosca; Kentucky Opera as Leonore; Florida Grand Opera as Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul; and to Cincinnati’s Matinée Musicale in recital. She debuted as Tosca with Atlanta Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Portland Opera; sang Judith in a concert version of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle with New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago; Sieglinde in a staged presentation of Act I of Die Walküre with Dayton Opera; Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with Opera Delaware; and Judith with Opera Omaha.
Other recent successes included performing The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung in a return to New York City Opera; Santuzza, Tosca, and the title role in Barber’s Vanessa with Sarasota Opera; Santuzza with Kentucky Opera; Tosca with Central City Opera and Santa Fe Opera; Zemfira in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Cincinnati May Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera North; The Marschallin in excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier with Quad City Symphony; Marietta in Die tote Stadt with Washington, DC’s Summer Opera Theatre Company; and Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with Chicago Opera Theater.
Concert engagements have included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with National Chorale at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall; soloist in Dvořák’s Te Deum and a recital with Cincinnati May Festival; Rachmaninoff’s The Bells at Ravinia Festival under James Conlon; Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with Amherst Symphony; and a Wagner Concert with the Wagner Society of Washington, DC.