Mezzo soprano Kara Dugan has been praised by The New York Times for her “vocal warmth and rich character.” Her diverse career ranges from baroque oratorio to world premieres. Recent seasons include recitals at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, New York Festival of Song, New York City’s Century Club, Festival Napa Valley, and the White Mountains Music Festival with members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She performed the title role in American Lyric Theater’s premiere of Working for the Macbeths composed by Johanny Navarro with libretto by Marcus Yi.
Ms. Dugan has made debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic. She performed with the New World Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas in the world premiere of his Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind and in the New York premiere of the piece at Carnegie Hall. She has performed with the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Institute, Aspen Music Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, and at venues ranging from National Sawdust to Alice Tully Hall.
Her work as a baroque concert soloist began during her studies at The Juilliard School and has taken her on three international tours with Juilliard415 and conductors Ton Koopman, Masaaki Suzuki, and Nicholas McGegan, culminating in a performance as the Soprano II soloist in Bach’s Mass in B minor at the Boston Early Music Festival. Operatic highlights include Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Zaida in Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia, and Nireno in Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
Her love of new music has sparked collaborations with the Albany Symphony performing Michael Daugherty’s This Land Sings, a multi-genre tribute to Woody Guthrie, as well as a performance in a workshop of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel with Lincoln Center Theater. As an inaugural member of WQXR’s Artist Propulsion Lab, she commissioned and performed the world premiere of In a New York Minute: Miniatures for Voice and Piano, a song cycle highlighting the voices and perspectives of women and everyday New Yorkers.
As a passionate recitalist she performs often with her husband Peter Dugan, pianist and host of NPR’s From the Top. The husband and wife duo were recently featured on PBS Great Performances’ “Now Hear This” and have performed across the United States, including at the Joye in Aiken Festival, Moab Music Festival, Portland Chamber Music Festival, and WQXR’s Greene Space.The duo’s eclectic repertoire has brought them to a wide range of venues from Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater to Sun Valley’s Argyros Theater, where they joined genre-defying string group Time for Three.
Ms. Dugan received her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from The Juilliard School. She is a proud recipient of the Novick Career Advancement Grant.