About me

American Soprano, Kara Shay Thomson has proven herself a versatile and essential artist on the operatic and concert stages.

From the first phrases sung by Kara Shay Thomson, a compelling American soprano with a plush, vibrant, powerful voice, you do not know whether to pity or fear her... Ms. Thomson was marvelous.
  - The New York Times

'Vissi d'arte' began as a plaintive, quiet act of desperation and grew to an ardent, fervent plea that was both luminous and luxurious in sound, while maintaining the nuanced vocalism of a true diva. In fact, there wasn't a moment in the evening when Thomson came even close to over-singing or pushing. Her enormous voice resonated throughout the house yet she never abused her abilities and, by passionate restraint, was able to build a character who was, in every sense, a Great Woman."
  - Longboat Observer

In 2015-16 Kara Shay Thomson makes her Utah Opera debut in the title role of Tosca and returns to Sarasota Opera as Leonore in Fidelio and as soloist in an all-Verdi concert. Kara Shay Thomson opened 2014-15 as Leonore in Fidelio with Kentucky Opera, debuted with New Millenium Orchestra as Judith in Bluebeard's Castle, returned to Sarasota Opera as Tosca, and followed up last year's debut with Florida Grand Opera as Magda in The Consul. Recent engagements included debuts with Atlanta Opera and Florida Grand Opera as Tosca, a return to Dayton Opera as Tosca, and her first appearance in concert with the Cincinnati Pops. She also returned to Kentucky Opera in Tosca and debuted with both Portland Opera and Pensacola Opera in the same role. Ms. Thomson debuted the role of Becky Felderman in Ricky Ian Gordon's Morning Star with Cincinnati Opera and Sieglinde in a staged presentation of Act I of Die Walküe with Dayton Opera. She also performed Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Opera Delaware; Judith in Bluebeard's Castle with Opera Omaha; and returned to Peoria Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 4, Mozart's A questo seno deh vieni, and Beethoven's Ah, perfido.

Other successes include her return to Sarasota Opera in the title role of Vanessa, her debut with Opera New Jersey as Tosca, joining the roster of Santa Fe Opera for Tosca, soloist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra in excerpts from Collins’ Daughter of the South, with Quad City Symphony as The Marschallin in excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier, at the Ravinia Festival under James Conlon in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells. Other recent successes include The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung in a return to New York City Opera; Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Kentucky Opera; the title role in Tosca with Opera on the James; and an appearance as soloist in Dvorák’s Te Deum with the Cincinnati May Festival. She also appeared in recital with both the Cincinnati May Festival and Bethune-Cookman University; as Santuzza with Sarasota Opera; sang the title role in Tosca with Opera Delaware; returned to New York City Opera for Hugo Weisgall’s critically acclaimed Esther; sang Zemphira in Aleko with the Cincinnati May Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera North; Tosca with Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, and Opera North; Marietta in Die tote Stadt with Washington, DC’s Summer Opera Theatre Company; the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Toledo Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Pensacola Opera; the title role in Madama Butterfly with Colorado’s Emerald City Opera; and Musetta in La bohème with Glimmerglass Opera. Her successful debut as Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with Chicago Opera Theater was followed by her return as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and as Fortuna in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea.

Previous highlights include Die tote Stadt with New York City Opera; Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Dicapo Opera Theatre; Mimi in La bohème with Emerald City Opera; Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Opera Domani; the title role in Iris with Teatro Grattacielo; Micaëla in a fully-staged production of Carmen with the Amherst Symphony; the title role in Regina with Bronx Opera; Violetta in a fully-staged production of La traviata with the Sioux City Symphony; Arminda in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera at Amherst College; the Daughter in a touring production of Strawberry Fields with Glimmerglass Opera; First Lady in The Magic Flute with Opera Festival of New Jersey; Marietta in the world stage-premiere of Chadwick’s The Padrone; Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Boston’s Commonwealth Opera; and a staged interpretation of Schubert’s Die Winterreise with the Jacques Thibaud Trio.

Concert engagements have included Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the National Chorale at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall; Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Muncie Symphony; Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Green Bay Symphony; Mozart's Requiem with Albany Pro Musica; both Brahms' Requiem and Carmina Burana with the Lynchburg Symphony; Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder with the Amherst Symphony; a Wagner Concert with the Wagner Society of Washington, DC; an Opera Gala with the Green Bay Symphony; Violetta in La traviata (concert) at Wisconsin's Fox Cities Performing Arts Center; and her Carnegie Hall debut in Bach's Magnificat with the Manhattan Philharmonic.

Ms. Thomson resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and received her Graduate Diploma in Performance from The New England Conservatory of Music.


New Millenium Orchestra
Bluebeard's Castle / Judith

December 4, 2014

Sarasota Opera
Tosca / Tosca

February 7, 10, 15m, 2015

February 18, 26, 2015

March 3m, 8, 14, 17, 2015

March 22m, 25, 28m, 2015

Florida Grand Opera
The Consul / Magda

May 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 2015

Utah Opera
Tosca / Tosca

October 10, 12, 14, 16, 18m, 2016

Sarasota Opera
Fidelio / Leonore

February 13, 18, 24, 28m, 2016

March 1, 5m, 11, 2016

Lyric Opera of Chicago
Les Troyens / Cassandre (c)

November 13m, 17m, 21, 26, 2016

December 3, 2016

Virginia Opera
Der Freischütz / Agathe

January 27, 29, 31, 2017

February 4, 5, 17, 19 2017