Karen Nickell, “with a supple, pliant mezzo-soprano, wonderfully sensitive to the interplay of words and music” (Chicago Tribune) came to public attention with her professional debut in the title role in Peter Brook’s acclaimed Lincoln Center production of La Tragédie de Carmen.
Ms. Nickell has performed major roles with opera companies throughout the United States and abroad, including Vancouver Opera, Spoleto Festival in Spoleto (Italy), New Orleans Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Michigan Opera Theater, Fort Worth Opera, Columbus Opera, Mobile Opera, Anchorage Opera and Knoxville Opera.
She has appeared on the concert stage with the Charleston South Carolina, Richmond, Honolulu, West Virginia, Kingsport and Knoxville symphonies. Ms. Nickell has also performed with the Yale Camerata, the University of Tennessee Symphony and City Musik in Chicago.
A native of Salina, Kansas, Ms. Nickell currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband bass-baritone Andrew Wentzel and their son, Forrest, who is a junior at Oberlin College.