about us

Our Mission:

Relevance, Representation, & Accessibility

Killer Queen Opera is a female-led arts organization based out of New York City committed to providing an inclusive platform for artists and audiences alike. KQO is dedicated to featuring female artists, artists of diverse backgrounds, and the LGBTQ+ community through artistic experiences that bring awareness to issues that our communities face today.

Killer Queen Opera is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas. All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Our Co-Founders:

Karina Camile Parker (she/her)

Photo by Efthimi Matsamakis

Christina Swanson (she/her)

Photo by Efthimi Matsamakis

Karina (soprano) is a Brooklyn-based director, soprano, and teaching artist.  Karina received her bachelor of fine arts in vocal performance and her music education certification from Carnegie Mellon School of Music. She now directs, performs, and teaches in New York City’s five boroughs. ​

Karina is a multi-disciplinary performing artist, with a special interest in early music, folk music, and musical theater. Karina has performed with organizations such as The United Nations, NBL, The Italian Academy, Con Vivo Music, Pittsburgh Resonance Works, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Canticum Novum Singers, Oberlin School of Music, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and The Laguna Beach Playhouse.​ Some of her operatic highlights include: Chilltown Boogie, A Historic Opera (Director) by Alon Nechushtan, Being Ariodante (Associate Director) by Jonathon Dawe, L’incoronazione di Poppea (Director) by Monteverdi, La Calisto (Calisto) by Cavalli, and Alcina (Oberto) by Handel. In addition to operatic repertoire, Karina specializes in choral and chamber music. Her past choral work includes performances under the direction of internationally renowned conductors Manfred Honeck, Gustavo Dudamel, Gary Wedow, Andrés Cárdenes, Harold Rosenbaum, Eph Ehly, and many more.

​​Karina is an active teaching artist. She currently works as an Associate Conductor for National Children’s Chorus and is the Vocal Arts teacher at New York City Charter School for the Arts. She has worked with numerous non for profit organizations in New York and Pittsburgh including Young Audiences New York, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and Pittsburgh Festival Opera. She also runs a private voice studio, offering individualized lessons and coachings. Read more on her website here.

Soprano Christina Swanson is a singer, actor, and performance artist based in New York City. Swanson received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan in 2016, where she studied under tenor Scott Piper. 

A diverse performer, Swanson embraces her artistry in the arenas of opera, theater, and performance art. Recent performance credits include L’Enfant et les sortilèges (Princess, Owl), Anna Gomez, in The Consul (Opera MODO), Venus in Orphée aux Enfers (Opera MODO), and Satirino in La Calisto and Rose (cover) in The Little Prince with Red River Lyric Opera Festival. Chorus work includes  Turandot and Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

An avid creator of new and cross-genre pieces, Swanson’s original performance art has been seen in the Detroit Fringe Forward Festival, Pittsburgh Fringe and Montreal Fringe Festivals, in addition to a work-in-progress festival, WIPFest, that she co-founded. The piece, “Absence,” was highly acclaimed in both Pittsburgh and Montreal. Swanson is a member of the band “The Strange” whose cabaret piece, “Voices of the Carousel” has been featured on WDET’s Essential Music and has been performed at Planet Ant Theater.

Upcoming operatic performances include the role of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn in the Patterson Premiere of, “The Silk City,” written by Franceso Santelli, with Garden State Opera.  In the spring, she will co-direct a new production of “L’incoronazione di Poppea,” with a company she co-founded, Killer Queen Opera, in collaboration with the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in Jamaica, Queens.

In her own music and performance art, Swanson explores themes of physical identity through original movement and sound. She is trained in classical ballet, modern, and improvisational dance. Swanson also works as a private teacher and is a staff singer at St. Luke’s Episcopal in Mt. Kisco, NY. Read more on her website here.