Karen Baumgartel

After receiving her Diploma in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto, Canadian Karen Baumgartel came to Germany, her father's country of origin. As a student, Karen sang the role of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. In the Stadttheater Hildesheim, she sang Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Valencienne in Die lustige Witwe, Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Laura in Der Bettelstudent. In an independent theatre production in Hamburg, she sang the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Zauberflöte.

As a soloist in various church and festival concerts, Karen has enjoyed success in Bach's St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and various cantatas, as well as in Händel's Messiah and Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate. Karen has sung in such festivals as the Elora Festival and the Grand River Baroque Festival in Ontario, or the Arts Spring and In Harmony Festivals in British Columbia during the summers. She has also been heard on the radio, live throughout Germany (Deutschland- radio Kultur).

Together with Hildesheim jazz pianist Oliver Gross, Karen sings in Duo Bella Donna, an entertaining duo with a superb range. Their programmes include music from the Renaissance through Baroque, classical, opera, operetta, musical and cabaret, right up to modern jazz and pop – in as many as five different languages, often with hilarious results.