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 color, and the LGBTQ+ community through uplifting artistic experiences that bring awareness to issues that our communities face today.
Photo by Efthimi Matsamakis
Photo by Efthimi Matsamakis
Karina Camile Parker (soprano) is a Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator, and director. Karina is a co-founder and co-director of the new, grassroots opera company, Killer Queen Opera, and is a founding member of the New York-based vocal ensemble Musica Vera.
Karina received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and Music Education Certification for instrumental and vocal instruction from Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. She now performs, directs, and and teaches in New York City and greater Tri-State area.
Karina’s performance career as a multi-disciplinary performing artist spans many artistic genres, such as musical theater, theater, dance, performance art, and opera – with a special interest in early, Baroque, and Renaissance music. She has performed across to U.S from California to New York City, as well as performing internationally in Arezzo, Italy. Karina has worked with companies such as Pittsburgh Resonance Works, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and Oberlin School of Music. Her operatic performance highlights include the role Calisto in La Calisto (Cavalli), Drusilla in L’incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi), and Oberto in Alcina (Handel). In addition to her operatic repertoire, Karina upholds a passion for vocal ensemble and chamber music by being an active member and soloist in New York City’s Canticum Novum Singers, directed by Maestro Harold Rosenbaum. Her past choral work includes performances under the direction of internationally renowned conductors Manfred Honeck (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra), Gary Wedow (Juilliard), and conductor and violinist Andrés Cárdenes. Before moving to New York, Karina was the section leader and soloist at the Church of the Redeemer in Pittsburgh, PA.
Currently, Karina is a Resident Teaching Artist at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. She also runs her own private teaching studio providing vocal and piano lessons for students of all ages and experience levels. You can read more about Karina 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.