Born in Gdańsk, Karolina Sikora graduated with honours from the Sanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music, having studied voice with Professor Ryszard Minkiewicz. She also holds a degree from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, where she studied voice under Professor Renate Behle, again graduating with honours. She was awarded scholarships by the Polish minister of culture (2004/2006) and the prestigious German DAAD scholarship (2007/2009). She took part in masterclasses led by Rolando Panerai, Paul Esswood, Larissa Gergieva, Ingrid Kremling, Angela Denoke, Gerhard Kahrego, Margreet Honig, and Richard Crossa. She is a prize-winner of the 4th Ludomir Różycki International Vocal Competition in Gliwice, the 6th Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov International Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers in St Petersburg, the 23rd R. Stolzaw International Operetta Competition in Hamburg (2nd prize), and the Elise Meyer Competition in Hamburg. In 2006 she was accepted to the Opera Studio of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.
She made her debut at the Staatstheater Lüneburg as Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Subsequently, she sang Mère Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Theater Forum in Hamburg and took part in Robert Wilson’s production of Bach’s St John Passion staged in coproduction with the Oper Kiel.
In September 2009 she joined the company of the Baltic Opera. In Gdańsk she may be heard in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (Composer), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Third Lady), Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Olga), Verdi’s Otello (Emilia), Bizet’s Carmen (Mercedes), Penderecki’s Ubu Rex (Mother Ubu), Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Dorabella), Verdi’s La Traviata (Flora Bervoix), Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor (Jadwiga), Penderecki’s Die schwarze Maske (Rosa Sacchi), Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza), Verdi’s Nabucco (Fenena).
In 2015 the artist made her debut at the Teatr – Polish National Opera in Warsaw, singing Olga in Mariusz Treliński’s production of Onegin. In 2016 in Warsaw she was Maddalena in Gilbert Deflo’s staging of Rigoletto and sang in Barrie Kosky’s renowned production of The Magic Flute. The mezzo also performs in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (Miss Jessel) at Opera na Zamku in Szczecin.
She has performed at many festivals and concert halls across the world presenting a varied repertoire of oratorios, cantatas and chamber pieces, including La Folle Journée au Japon (Tokyo), Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Nagoya Aichi Culture Center, Osaka Symphony Hall, Kanazawa Ishikawa Concert Hall, Mozarteum Brasileiro (São Paulo), Victoria Concert Hall (Singapore), Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Tel Aviv Opera House, The Henry Crown Hall in Jerusalem, Johannesburg Linder Auditorium, Istanbul Music Festival (Hagia Irene, Istanbul), Granada Festival, Santander International Festival (Sala Argenta, Santander), Sun Moon Lake Festival (Taiwan), Rheingau Musik Festival, Händel-Festspiele, DomHalle, Bodenseefestival Konstanz. She has also taken part in the following music festivals: 48 Stagione Concertistica at Politeama Garibaldi in Palermo, Mikkeli Music Festival (Finland), The Emanacje Festival (Poland), or the Festival of Polish Music in Lviv. She recorded the mezzo part of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast oratorio for Hänssler Classic.
Ms Sikora has performed under composers such as Christoph Eschenbach, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Thomas Hengelbrock, Tadeusz Kozłowski, Łukasz Borowicz, Lothar Koenigs, Friedrich Haider, Wojciech Michniewski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Andriy Yurkevych, Carlo Montanaro, Kevin John Edusei.
In the 2017/2018 season, the mezzo is going to make her debut at the Bolshoi in Moscow and the Opéra Comique in Paris. Together with soloists of the Komische Oper Berlin she will sing in Barri Kosky’s productions on tour in Japan.
In recognition for artistic achievements, in 2013 Ms Sikora received a city of Gdańsk award for young creators, the City of Gdańsk Theatre Award, and the Jan Kiepura Music Theatre Award for her performance as Mother Ubu.
(photo: Kinga Karpati)