"The young soprano Karen Leiber is a masterful tragic actress as Valentine (Les Huguenots - Meyerbeer). The warmth and radiance of her voice seem to grow and grow, even as the character she portrays becomes larger than life." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Eleonore Büning, Oct. 2016
Karen Leiber specializes in the dramatic heroines of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century operatic repertoire, which she has performed throughout her native Germany. She gave her celebrated debut as Sieglinde in 2016 side by side with Klaus Florian Vogt and Günther Groissböck. She sang Brangäne at the Nuremberg Staatstheater, and critics compared her to the young Waltraud Meier for her masterful performance as Kundry. She embodied Verdi’s Lady Macbeth in Tatjana Gürbaca’s acclaimed production at the State Theater of Mainz, and critics were unanimous in their praise of her performance as Salome at the Mecklenburg State Theater (Schwerin) and as Chrysothemis at the State Theater of Braunschweig.
Karen’s career has taken her to illustrious concert halls and opera houses all over the world. In 2015, she performed with the Athens State Orchestra for the season opener of the Megaron Concert Hall. In Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan Concert Hall, she sang the leading soprano role in Hosokawa’s Vision of Lear in a production of the Munich Biennale. Further international engagements have led her to the Opéra national du Rhin, the Théâtre Athénée in Paris, and the opera houses of Lausanne, Linz, and Poznań.
Karen’s uncommonly broad repertoire includes such diverse roles as Leonore (Fidelio), Marie (Wozzeck), Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly), Tosca, Lady Macbeth, Desdemona (Otello), Sélika (L’Africaine), Salome, and Judith (Bluebird’s Castle). She brings an intensity of conviction to Wagnerian heroines Elsa von Brabant (Lohengrin), Kundry (Parsifal), Venus (Tannhäuser), und Sieglinde (Die Walküre) while sparkling with glamor and charm when she sings the grand divas of operetta — Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow), Saffi (The Gypsy Baron), Lisa (Land of Smiles), and Rosalinde (The Bat).
Karen has collaborated with celebrated staging directors Götz Friedrich, Alexander von Pfeil, Hermann Schneider, and David McVicar, as well as with prominent conductors Enrico Calesso, Marko Letonja, Günther Neuhold, George-Elie Octors, and Rolf Reuter.
In addition to the standard repertoire, Karen has devoted herself to the interpretation of new music in partnership with living composers. She recorded Adriana Hölszky’s complex theatrical composition »Monologue« for soprano solo on the Animato label, a project which she developed in creative collaboration with the composer. Her performances of new music have been broadcast on German television and radio stations such as Arte, 3Sat, and Deutschlandradio, as well as Japan’s NHK, France Musique, and Radio de la Suisse Romande.
In the 2017/18 season, Karen joined the ensemble of the Mecklenburg State Theater (Schwerin), where she has sung Tosca in the Schwerin Festival and Desdemona in Katharina Thoma’s staging of Otello. In the 2018/19 season, she will debut as the Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) and Maddalena (Andrea Chénier). Her ongoing guest appearances include a Viktor Ullmann recital at the State Philharmonic of Rheinland-Pfalz and the Verdi Requiem at the Kunst am Kai Festival (Lübeck).