Faculty

Karen Beardsley

Voice (College & Precollege) Voice (Precollege - On Leave Fall 2019)

Karen Beardsley has sung over 50 leading roles in the foremost opera houses including New York City Opera, Glyndebourne, Paris Chatelet, Los Angeles Music Center, Santa Fe Opera, National Theatre (London), Amsterdam, Vancouver Opera, Taipei, Santiago, Lille and has appeared in concerts with the major symphony orchestras across the United States, Canada and Europe including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Singapore Symphony. The New York Times describes her as “an imaginative actress with a voice that seems to laugh at difficulties, The Daily News as “sassy perfection”, New York Magazine as “vocally radiant” and Opera International (France) as “alive, energetic, mischievous and vocally flawless.”

For over 15 years, her career took her around the world averaging over 280 days a year on the road. She made triumphant appearances in opera, recital, and orchestral engagements throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, distinguishing herself as a versatile singer of consummate artistry.
Among the prominent conductors with whom she has performed are Zubin Mehta, Andre Previn, Pinchas Zuckerman, Lucas Foss, Andrew Litton, Oliver Knussen and Eduardo Muller. She made her New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in An Evening of American Arts Songs in which she premiered works by Lee Hoiby and Richard Pearson Thomas.

Karen Beardsley made her internationally-acclaimed debut with the New York City Opera as the young boy Max in Oliver Knussen’s and Maurice Sendak’s fantasy opera Where the Wild Things Are, a role she originally created for England’s Glyndebourne Festival in the world premiere at the National Theatre in London and sang over 400 times in premieres on both sides of the Atlantic. Her performance as Max was filmed for BBC Television and later released on DVD. She made her debut in this same role with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta.

Portraying each role with singular authenticity, she has won acclaim in leading operatic roles such as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Marie in Daughter of the Regiment, Cunégonde in Candide, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Fiakermilli in Arabella, Blondchen in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann.
For the past 10 years, Karen has been a member of the esteemed voice-related faculty at Manhattan School of Music where she received her Master’s degree. In 2006, she was elected to be a member of the faculty council at Manhattan School of Music. She has been on the voice faculties of the Thurnauer School of Music in NJ, and the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium in Italy as well as being invited to teach master classes in over 40 leading universities and colleges across the United States. She also maintains a private studio of over 25 students in Tenafly, NJ where she lives with her husband, renowned voice teacher, Maitland Peters, and their two amazing children, Preston and Olympia.

Manhattan School of Music College faculty since 1996.

Manhattan School of Music Precollege faculty since 2007.