Opera Scotland

Karan Armstrong Suggest updates

Born Havre, Montana, 14 December 1941.

Died 28 September 2021.

American soprano.

Karan Armstrong spent much of her career in Europe, where she was seen as a specialist in twentieth century opera.  In 1980 she married the German director Götz Friedrich and was largely based at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, where he was Intendant.

She studied singing ar Concordia College, Minnesota, and later with Lotte Lehmann at Santa Barbara, California.  She sang with the Roger Wagner Chorale and made her professional debut in San Francisco (Musetta 1965).  In 1966 she was a winner in the annual Metropolitan Opera auditions, and appeared there in several short roles in operas such as Rigoletto and Die Frau ohne Schatten.

In 1974 she moved to Europe, making her first appearance in Strasbourg (Micaëla).  While her repertoire included Beethoven (Leonore) and Wagner (Elsa at Bayreuth), she was known particularly for her twentieth century parts.  These included Strauss (Salome); Janáček (Jenůfa, Kátya Kabanová,  Emilia Marty); Korngold (Marietta Die tote Stadt); Shostakovich (Katerina Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk).

Her British debut was with the Royal Opera in 1981, singing Lulu in the UK premiere of the full three-act version of Berg's unfinished opera, completed by Friedrich Cerha.  She returned to the Royal Opera House in 1991, singing Sieglinde and Gutrune in her husband's staging of the Ring.

Her only appearance in Scotland was at the 1988 Edinburgh Festival, when she appeared in a concert performance of Erwartung, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Roles in Scotland

Erwartung 1988

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