Kara Shay Thomson headshot


Dramatic soprano, Kara Shay Thomson continues to build her expansive stage career by creating characters that push the limits both musically and dramatically. This season, Ms. Thomson returns to the role of Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She will also be a soloist at the Newport Music Festival, join Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Cavalleria Rusticana and reprise the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Dayton Opera.

During the 2018-19 season, Ms. Thomson made her debut in the role of Balkis in Goundod’s La Reine de Salba with Opera Odyssey. She followed with Turandot with Sarasota Opera and her debut of Salome with Dayton Opera. Ms. Thomson also performed in several concerts at the Newport Music Festival including Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder.

In the 2017-18 season, Ms. Thomson debuted 2 new roles beginning with Marta in the rarely performed work, Tiefland, by Eugene d’Albert for Sarasota Opera, and Turandot for Dayton Opera. She also made her company debut as Tosca for Arizona Opera and returned to Dayton Opera again as Magda Sorel in The Consul.

Ms. Thomson’s 2016-17 engagements included joining Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Berlioz’ Les Troyens, Agäthe in Virginia Opera’s production of Der Freishütz and Tosca with Intermountain Opera.

Recent engagements include Tosca with Sarasota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Dayton Opera, Atlanta Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, and Utah Opera. She has performed Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio and the role of Santuzza with Kentucky Opera and Sarasota Opera, Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle with New Millenium Orchestra of Chicago and Opera Omaha. Ms. Thomson gained critical acclaim for her portrayal of Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul for Florida Grand Opera.

Other recent successes include performing The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung with New York City Opera; the title role in Barber’s Vanessa with Sarasota Opera; Tosca with Central City Opera and Santa Fe Opera; Zemfira in Rachmaninoff’s Alekowith the Cincinnati May Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni; Marietta in Die tote Stadt with Washington, DC’s Summer Opera Theatre Company and both the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia and Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw with Chicago Opera Theater.

Concert highlights include soprano soloist in Mahler’s 8th Symphony with Berkshire Choral International, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with National Chorale at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, Dvořák’s Te Deum with Cincinnati May Festival, Vier letzte Lieder with Amherst Symphony, and Rachmaninoff’s The Bells at Ravinia Festival.