Constantly active in the recording studio, Ms. Carlson recently released her debut solo CD, And What of Love. It reflects her diverse repertoire from opera to show tunes, and includes two world premiere recordings of song cycles by Morten Lauridsen and Paul Gibson.
Ms. Carlson has had a distinguished career spanning the United States and Europe. Currently based in Los Angeles, she is in constant demand for her work in opera, oratorio, musical theater, jazz, and the recording studio. She began her professional career in America in the mid-1980s as a mezzo-soprano, featured in such roles as Dorabella in CosÌ fan tutte, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Stephano in Roméo et Juliette. She left for Europe in 1988, where she was immediately engaged by the state theater in Bielefeld, Germany. Over the following five years, her German engagements included Weikersheim and Hamburg, where she was one of the stars of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. Her work in Austria included productions in Innsbruck and Vienna, where she had two leading roles in the world-premiere of the controversial musical Freudiana, produced by the Alan Parsons Project.
It was while living in Vienna that Ms. Carlson retrained as a coloratura soprano, and she returned to Southern California in 1993. There she made her debut in soprano repertoire with appearances as Madame Silverpeal in The Impresario, Musetta in La Bohème, and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel. Soon her perfomances included Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Townsend Opera, Constanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio with Donald Pippin's Pocket Opera in San Francisco, and Amalia in Verdi's I Masnadieri also with Pippin's company. This coming season her engagements have included her first Gilda in Rigoletto, Elvira in Ernani, a revival of I Masnadieri, and a guest appearance at the Festa Italiana opera gala in Portland, Oregon.
Her oratorio repertoire includes Handel's Messiah, Bach's Mass in B-Minor, Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Rossini's Stabat Mater. Her frequent solo appearances with choral organizations include those with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Zephyr, I Cantori, and the Roger Wagner Chorale, with which she toured Japan in 1996. In addition to the aforementioned musical theater productions in Europe, Ms. Carlson has also appeared as Magnolia in Show Boat and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. Her versatility has been further proved by her excellence in the world of jazz. She is regularly featured with the acclaimed L.A. Jazz Choir, and was a soloist on their Grammy-nominated album, From All Sides.
In demand as a studio singer on both film and television scores, Ms. Carlson has regularly collaborated as a soloist with the composer Danny Elfman on such films as Mars Attacks! and Flubber, as well as for the main title of HBO's "Perversions of Science" and a commercial for Lincoln-Mercury. She also recently recorded a song with Sting for an upcoming Disney production called Kingdom of the Sun.
Ms. Carlson graduated summa cum laude at the University of Arizona with a music degree in theory and composition. A published composer, her Concerto for Marimba and Chamber Orchestra and her song cycle for voice and marimba, Gedichte, on the poetry of Hugo von Hoffmannstal, have been performed in New York and Arizona. Her many vocal arrangements are also regularly featured by the various choral ensembles in southern California.
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