Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill has established an international career in concert, opera and recital, and regularly sings with Boston, Rotterdam, Seoul and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and London Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras. She has performed under esteemed conductors including James Levine, Yannick Nézet-Séquin, Myung Whun Chung, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Robin Ticciati and the late Sir Colin Davis. Her Linn recording of Berlioz's Les nuits d'été and La mort de Cléopâtre with Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was named Gramophone's ‘Recording of the Month'.
Past and future highlights with her regular recital partner Simon Lepper include appearances at the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kennedy Centre Washington, as well as her New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall and regular recitals live on BBC Radio 3.
In opera, she has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Deutsche Opera, Berlin; as well as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera and Scottish Opera. Cargill studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, the University of Toronto and the National Opera Studio in London. She was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award and in 2013 Cargill was invited to be an Associate Artist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
'...the orchestra brings fresh style and insight...a real ear-opener...The sound engineers at Linn capture every shimmering hue.'more >>The Times
'This is Berlioz up close and personal, and wonderful to behold.'more >>Infodad
'...very impressive indeed.'more >>Opera News
'... she moves between soft-edged delicacy and a glamorous steeliness with ease...'Musica
‘…l’ottima Scottish Chamber, ma certamente colpisce, in questo CD, il ricorso continuo a tinte astello, il rifiuto totale dell’enfasi, del canto spiegato e la ricerca della sobrieta`, dell’eleganza.’more >>Limelight
‘Cargill’s Cleopâtre gives even Dame Janet a run for her money...a real revelation.’more >>Limelight
'I can’t imagine even the best chamber orchestra playing with such luxuriance and control.'more >>AllMusic.com
'Cargill's marquee performance of Les nuits d'été is breathtaking.'more >>American Record Guide
'...penetrating and intimate...'more >>MusicWeb International
‘This is an outstanding disc…there’s a delightful transparency to the orchestra textures at all times.’more >>BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
‘It’s an excellent display of the richness of her voice and the vocal and dynamic range. And the playing while the chamber scale sucks us into the heart of the poetry with the really clean, clear sound the Scottish Chamber Orchestra can produce.’more >>MusicWeb International
'I wouldn't want to be without [this] classic recording...'more >>International Record Review
‘Karen Cargill is up against some illustrious mezzo competition on disc, yet her ravishing account of Les nuits d’ete ranks up there with the best of them.’more >>MusicWeb International
‘I was completely entranced…sounds excellent.’more >>The Arts Desk
‘Robin Ticciati achieves exactly the right lightness, the delicacy, in a song cycle which should ideally delight as much as it moves. He’s well matched by mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill…Best of all is L’île inconnue; Cargill’s “Où voulez-vous aller?” is impossible to resist.’more >>The Independent
'...a performance of extraordinary musical delicacy...'more >>Gramophone Magazine
Record of the Month: ‘One of the striking facets of Ticciati's conducting and the SCO's playing is the clarity and detail that spring from the score'more >>Gramophone
CD of the month: ‘One of the striking facets of Ticciati’s conducting and the SCO’s playing is the clarity and detail that spring from the score.’more >>Sinfini Music
'...the technical command and hyper-accurate tuning are bombproof.'more >>Financial Times
'Not since Régine Crespin 50 years ago has this music been so attractively interpreted...'more >>Financial Times
Robin Ticciati’s grasp of the music’s romantic bloom is one of this disc’s attractionsmore >>The Guardian
'...wonderfully controlled and exquisitely shaded...'more >>SA-CD.net
'One does not need to have heard this work before (or to understand French) to appreciate the stopping of the beating heart rhythm to know what this symbolises.'more >>The Times
'...piercing clarity of colour and texture; heightened drama; increased tenderness and intimacy.'more >>The Guardian
'wonderfully controlled and exquisitely shaded'more >>BBC Music Magazine
'...contributes an air of freshness and immediacy which I greatly enjoyed.'more >>The Sunday Times
[Cargil's] Nuits d'ete and Cleopatra suggest a Trojans Dido of stature in the making.more >>New York Times
‘The Scottish mezzo Karen Cargill brought such exquisite expression and a warm, vibrant and ample voice to the part that she thoroughly outclassed her colleagues onstage.'more >>AllMusic.com
'...this is one of the best recordings of Les nuits d'été available.'more >>