Vocalist - Soprano
Twisty 'Tosca' a terrific showcase for Pensacola Opera
“Thomson and Vania … move us with their powerful vocals, but equally so with their skills in portraying the poignant drama of lovers being torn apart by dark forces. … Another aria highlight takes place in Act III with Vania’s superb rendering of ‘E lucevan le stelle’ (And the stars shone).”
Andy Metzger, Pensacola News Journal
Weekend MusicWatch: Baroque & Beyond
“Kara Shay Thomson … soars in the title role.”
Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch
'Tosca': a lithe and lively leap into the abyss
“Thomson sings Tosca beautifully, with a honeyed and full-bodied tone, and when the drama gets deep she’s hellzapoppin. Don’t cross Tosca. She’s tough.”
Bob Hicks, Oregon Arts Watch
'Tosca' review: mounting same production as eight years ago works well
“In the title role, Kara Shay Thomson was vocally bright and secure throughout.”
James McQuillen, The Oregonian
An Operatic Weekend in Cincinnati
"Sumptuous is the word for Thomson's glorious voice. It's huge in scale, warm and dark in color, all delivered with dramatic passion and supreme musicality."
Charles H. Parsons, Music in Cincinnati
Littler: Surprising Sarasota Opera a testament to ambition
"What stood out for me this season was a rare revival of an opera that won Samuel Barber the Pulitzer Prize in 1958, the Metropolitan Opera-premiered Vanessa, part of Sarasota Opera's recently inaugurated American Classics series, with Kara Shay Thomson a powerful interpreter of the title role."
William Littler, Toronto Star
Sarasota Opera's 2012 Winter Festival
"Kara Shay Thomson embodied Vanessa with her regal decorum and impressive instrument, tuned to perfection."
Karyl Charna Lynn, Opera Now
Sarasota Opera presents a handsome, mostly effective staging of Barber's "Vanessa"
"Kara Shay Thomson possesses the imposing voice and regal dignity required for the long-suffering Vanessa, whose life is restored with the appearance of Anatol, the younger."
Lawrence A. Johnson, South Florida Classical Review
'Vanessa' brings welcome challenge to Sarasota Opera
"The principal singers in this production are superb, especially Kara Shay Thomson as Vanessa."
Richard Storm, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"But the evening clearly belongs to Kara Shay Thomson, as Tosca. She seems poised on the edge of greatness and the audience realizes that in her arias. Her second act ‘Vissi d'arte' brought one of the longest, sustained ovations, with roars of ‘brava,' I've heard in years."
Stuart Duncan, Centraljersey.com
Two "Rings" Face Off
"Best of all were the singers, sopranos Kara Shay Thomson and Jennifer Cherest and tenor Ric Furman. Cherest possesses a beautiful but lighter voice, while Thomson and Furman seemed eminently capable of walking off the stage into a production of Wagner's 'Ring' at any time."
Mary Ellyn Hutton, Music in Cincinnati
Conlon, CSO and guests serve up Rachmaninoff rarities at Ravinia
"Kara Shay Thomson ... brought a pure-toned soprano and ardent expression to the second movement."
Lawrence A Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
May Festival off to impressive season
"Thomson projected a big, glorious sound and was richly expressive in her solos."
Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati May Festival
"The final section, Dignare, Domine, was lyrical ... [Thomson], laudatory and downright tingling with joy."
Mary Ellyn Hutton, ConcertoNet.com
The Real Sopranos Are at NYC Opera
"Soprano Kara Shay Thompson, in the standout performance of the evening, gave a warm-toned and powerful account of this dynamic and often angular score."
Christian B. Carey, Musical America
Slipping Over the Edge at City Opera
"For 'Erwartung,' a kind of fever dream of a woman stumbling over the body of her dead lover in a forest, the rich-voiced soprano Kara Shay Thomson ably navigates the expressionistic outbursts and crooning irregularities of the vocal line."
Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal
Review: NYCO mixes familiar with far-out
"Kara Shay Thompson was a strikingly haunted figure in 'Erwartung'."
Mike Silverman, San Diego Union-Tribune
New York City Opera Presents Monodramas: Three Sopranos Pushed to Thrilling Extremes
"Kara Shay Thomson in her City Opera debut, sang beautifully ranging from anxiety to full erotic feeling.... Her luscious performance captures Schoenberg's musical comment on women whose character resembles Natalie Portman's in Black Swan."
Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts
Who Killed This Woman's Lover? And Other Elusive Operatic Issues
"From the first phrases sung by Kara Shay Thomson, a compelling American soprano with a plush, vibrant, powerful voice, you do not know whether to pity or fear her.... Ms. Thomson was marvelous."
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Schoenberg's ERWARTUNG - New York City Opera
"Thompson sang the part with great emotional commitment and displayed a luscious warm sound that she was able to produce evenly across the range - a requirement for a part so full of jagged jumps."
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, Classical Review
At New York City Opera, Three Far-From-Monotonous Monodramas
"Formidable soprano Kara Shay Thomson gave a performance of Schoenberg's Erwartung that was flush with imagery and dramatic heft and light on the chewier notoriety that 12-tone music has gained.... If 'a gripping dramatic portrayal is now considered an essential part of a successful opera performance,' as James Levine has said, then Komsi, [Kara Shay] Thomson and Sieden all exemplify this ideal-and they delivered the goods effortlessly and hypnotically."
Olivia Giovetti, WQXR-FM
Kentucky Opera's season opener brings spectacular pleasure
"The principal glory was soprano Kara Shay Thomson's explosive, altogether astonishing Santuzza. As a young woman disgraced in her village, bearing the anguish of excommunication, Thomson acted with honest, unaffected intent. She sang powerfully, wrapping every phrase in sumptuous tone retaining its core focus no matter how far above the staff."
Andrew Adler, Courier-Journal
Aleko, Prologue to Boris Godunov 1812 Overture, Cincinnati May Festival
"The rich darkness of Thomson's lyric-soprano voice was quite attractive, smoldering in its dramatic intensity as she tossed out powerful top notes with abandon."
Charles H. Parsons, Opera News
May Festival ends with blockbuster
"In the role of Zemfira, the gypsy who spurns her old lover, Aleko, soprano Kara Shay Thomson, of Loveland, was the most exciting debut of the season. She projected an alluring presence and a luxuriant lyric voice that remained smooth all the way to her powerhouse top notes. Her love duet with the Young Gypsy ... was one of the opera's high points."
Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
"At the heart of all of Thomson's hard work and family sacrifice is her desire to do great work." Read More...
Brian Baker, Cincinnati City Beat
'Cav and Pag' at Sarasota Opera
"Only soprano Kara Shay Thomson, playing the outcast Santuzza in Cav, really soared as the woman spurned by Turiddu. From her arioso of betrayal, ‘Voi lo sapete,' to the rage of her duet with the cuckold Alfio, Thomson was spellbinding, her body quivering with passion."
John Fleming, Opera News
"Thomson was an unsettling presence, moving with a gentle woman's stately grace but using her rich soprano like a lance, slashing the air as she slowly stalked her prey. In the furious confrontation of all four adults late in the opera, the voices blended in a lustrous glow that perfectly evoked the opera's central theme, the tragic loss of beauty corrupted."
Chicago Sun-Times
"Vissi d'arte began as a plaintive, quiet act of desperation and grew to an ardent, fervent plea that was both luminous and luxurious in sound. In fact, there wasn't a moment in the evening when Thomson came even close to over-singing or pushing. Her enormous voice resonated throughout the house, yet she never abused her abilities and, by passionate restraint, was able to build a character who was, in every sense, a Great Woman."
Longboat Observer
"Kara Shay Thomson['s] rich voice captured the conflicting aspects of her character. When sparring and resisting the evil Baron Scarpia, masterfully created by baritone Grant Youngblood, she was at her best. Praying in anguish, Tosca sings Vissi d'arte seeking guidance to save Cavaradossi by succumbing to Scarpia's lust. It was breathtaking. We could feel the heart breaking as she sank to her knees while perfectly controlling a tender decrescendo. The tension and chemistry between the two as Scarpia manipulated her was remarkably captivating."
Sarasota Herald Tribune
"Kara Shay Thomson, who sang the part of Countess Almaviva, deserves special note for her standout singing."
Deseret Morning News
Total: 61 (Viewing: 31–60)