This is Karlene Marie’s first solo appearance with Nova Sinfonia. Opera roles include: Mimi (La Boheme-G. Puccini), Nedda (Il Pagliacci - R. Leoncavallo) and Leonora (Il Trovatore - G. Verdi).
A Halifax native of Trinidadian parents, Karlene began her musical training at The Maritime Conservatory on piano at an early age taking RCM exams until the age of 16, completing Grade 8, with honours. After this, she continued her study with Anna Lea Bartonova for two more years. Her vocal expression was first through singing along with her parent's great collection of records from calypso to gospel, jazz and more, as well as singing with tunes on the radio and as a member of church, school choirs and the Nova Scotia International Tattoo Choir for many years as a youth.
Also, she is an alumna of the Halifax City Schools Music Department, the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and Dalhousie Chamber Orchestra where she began her development as a cellist. At The University of Western Ontario she studied applied cello with Malcolm Tait and her first classical voice training initially under soprano, Ginette Duplessis who saw potential in her. At that time, she had the unique opportunity to be part of the string and vocal departments concurrently. While at university, she performed regularly in orchestra and chamber music ensembles as a cellist, as well as in vocal recitals and opera workshops as a vocalist.
In keeping with her studies and interests for music and theatre, Karlene explored a variety of artistic experiences after graduation; including teaching elementary school children as an Itinerant Music Instructor with the Toronto District School Board, however the call to sing never left her. As a young adult, she juggled family responsibilities while determinedly keeping up aspects of professional development and took further classical vocal training while living in Toronto, primarily with Stephanie Bogle and later with Colin Yip.
Since returning to Halifax in 2009, she has travelled to New York and Italy to sing and train in opera performance. Currently, she is creating and following opportunities to perform from the operatic, oratorio and musical theatre canon, as well as jazz through collaborative projects, locally and abroad. Some female singers that she appreciates for their great artistry are Leontyne Price, Eileen Farrell, Renata Tebaldi, Sarah Vaughn and Whitney Houston.
In 2012, Karlene began a two year program to complete a Certificate in Music Therapy which she obtained from Acadia University in May, 2015 to learn how to use music as a therapeutic tool towards improved health and wellbeing for individuals in all stages of life.
She has enjoyed many years playing as a section cellist in Nova Sinfonia and is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with the orchestra and guest conductor, Mark Shapiro presenting arias that reflect the many states that love can inspire. From hope and tenderness (Care Selve), to darker states of lust and jealousy (Stridono Lassu), vanity (Quando men vo) and tragic misplaced loyalty (Un bel di vedremo).