Katarina Karnéus, mezzosoprano, performs on the world’s leading opera and concert stages. She is engaged by the Göteborg Opera for a five-year period that began with the 2012–13 season. Born in Stockholm, she studied in London at the Trinity College of Music and the National Opera Studio. In 1995 she won perhaps the world’s most famous vocal competition, Cardiff Singer of the World. In 1999 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the role of Varvara in Katja Kabanova, followed by Olga in Eugene Onegin, Siébel in Faust, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other roles have included Annio in La clemenza di Tito at Covent Garden and the Bayerische Staatsopera, the title role in Carmen at the Opéra Comique, the title role in Alceste at La Monnaie in Brussels, Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda at the Staatsoper unter den Linden, and Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. She made her Swedish debut at the Göteborg Opera in 2002 as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and returned in 2011 as Ruggiero in Händel’s Alcina. Karnéus has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the BBC’s Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
As a singer of lieder she has performed at Wigmore Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. She has performed at many royal events, at Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street in London, and at HM Queen Silvia’s Childhood concerts and the 2010 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.
She has recorded songs by Sibelius, Grieg, Richard Strauss, and Mahler, Szymanowski’s orchestral songs with Simon Rattle, and Mahler’s orchestral songs with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki. On DVD, she has recorded the role of Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde with Nina Stemme as Isolde. In 2012 Karnéus won two Grammy Awards for her recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the San Franciso Symphony Orchestra. Her most recent roles for the Göteborg Opera include Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, and the Woman in Schönberg’s Erwartung.
In 2015 Karnéus was awarded the Litteris et Artibus medal for outstanding contributions in the arts by HM The King of Sweden.