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Karen Jolicoeur: Bio

A versatile singing actress, Ms. Jolicoeur’s credits range from opera, concert and recital to musical theater and dance, and include three years as a principal artist with the Experience Vocal Dance Company.

 

Heralded for creating “complicated, moving” characters as well as for her “warm, rich” voice, Ms. Jolicoeur is in great demand by some of today’s leading composers in bringing new pieces to life. She has performed numerous times with the Center for Contemporary Opera, as Blanche Ingram in Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre, as Maria in selections from Daniel Asia & Paul Pines’ The Tin Angel, in Daron Hagen and Paul Muldoon’s Vera of Las Vegas, as Winnie in the reading of Michael Dellaira and J.D. McClatchy’s The Secret Agent, and in Peter Westergaard’s Alice in Wonderland, released on DVD by Albany Records.  She appeared in the title role of Tess in Matthew Harris’ opera based on the classic Tess of the d’Urbervilles with Golden Fleece/The Composers Chamber Opera, where she previously created the roles of Miss Peña in the première of Ana Isabel Garcia’s Bomba and the Coqui, Eleanor in Lou Rodgers’ Aquitaine Dialogues and Lizzie in Thomas Carlo Bo’s Shadows of the City. Additional highlights include appearing on the NYC International Fringe Festival as the Empress in Fahad Siadat’s Saharava: A Ritualized Dance Opera and dozens of other premières, readings and demo recordings of new works for New York composers.  Her 20th-century repertoire includes critically acclaimed portrayals of Blanche de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites (“…sang with warmth and grace – a timid, tender Blanche.” Anthony Tomassini, special to The Boston Globe) and Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress (“…a glistening and distinctive quality of tone…” Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe), as well as Polly Peachum in Threepenny Opera, the Girl in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia.

 

Bringing the same flair to traditional repertoire, Ms. Jolicoeur has performed the roles of Violetta in La traviata, Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridce (Gluck), Adele in Die Fledermaus, Frasquita in Carmen, Sophia in Il Signor Bruschino and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. She has appeared with L’Opéra Français de New York at Alice Tully Hall, Eugene Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Metro Lyric Opera and as a young artist with Central City Opera, the Opera Theater of St. Louis and the prestigious Israel Vocal Arts Institute.

 

As a concert soloist, she appeared at Carnegie Hall in the Fauré Requiem and the Haydn Little Organ Mass. Other concert engagements have included the Bach Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, the Haydn Theresienmesse and Nelson Mass, Mozart Vespers, Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Schubert Mass in G, and the Poulenc and Vivaldi Glorias.

 

Ms. Jolicoeur holds a master's degree from the New England Conservatory and earned her bachelor's degree at the Hartt School of Music.  She began her professional career in the regional theater at the age of eighteen as Maria in West Side Story followed by Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She hails from Westborough, Massachusetts and now makes her home in New York City.