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Karen Van Spall

Karen Van Spall graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts (Music) and Bachelor of Music Performance (Hons) after which she lived and worked in London. She performed for ARYA Opera Company under the direction of Olusola Oyeleye and was a creative workshop participant for London’s Opera Factory.


She has sung regularly as a guest artist of Opera Australia, soloist for Victorian Opera and various orchestras. Roles for Opera Australia’s national touring company include Suzuki, Kate Pinkerton, Mercedes and Carmen (understudy). For other companies, her roles include; Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Second Lady, Third Lady (Magic Flute), Mother, Secretary (The Consul), Slave (Salome, OA) Third Orphan (Der Rosenkavalier, OA) Third Handmaiden and Unborn Child (Die Frau Ohne Schatten, VSO) Lola (Cavallaria Rusticana), Marianne (Le Chatte) and Dryade (Ariadne auf Naxos). 


She created the role of "Therese Rein" (Rain) and played Offred’s Mother in the Australian premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale. She wrote and performed in “Wagner in Paris” for Opera Australia’s “Melbourne Ring Festival.”


Karen is a regular performer at the Melbourne Recital Centre having given recitals with Melbourne Art Song Collective and creating exciting new text driven shows for The Parlour. Sacred and orchestral concert repertoire includes Alto solos in; Mozart’s Requiem and Missa Brevis in C, Mass in D - Dvorak, Mass in G Minor - Vaughan Williams, Missa Brevis – Kodaly, Berlioz’ Les Nuits d’Ete, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Rückert-lieder and 8Th Symphony, Petite Misse Solennelle by Rossini and Beethoven Mass in C. She has completed a MA in Arts Management.

Karen enjoys creating engaging musical experiences for audiences as a singer, writer or producer and occasionally all three. In 2015 she formed “The Parlour” as a vehicle to explore the potential of Art Song as a theatrical, agile and evolving genre.

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