A Newly Grammy Award-Winning Conductor Hits the Phoenix Stage

Opera singer

PHOENIX – A recent Grammy Award-winning bandleader takes to the stage in Arizona. She speaks with ABC15 and explains why it’s important for her to share the stage with other women.

For years, Karen Kamenseck’s life revolved around music. On Sunday’s biggest night in music, the conductor took center stage and won a Grammy for ‘Best Opera’.

“It’s a bucket list that you think you’ll never get, especially as a bandleader, because it’s such a narrow field,” Kamenseck said.

She still pinches herself while preparing to conduct “Cosi Fan Tutte” at the Arizona Opera.

“I call it a tragic comedy, sort of. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a Mozart comedy, but with a lot of dark undertones,” Kamensack added.

The opera’s president felt the production, which was directed entirely by women, was the perfect way to close the season.

“They bring us on stage telling stories that will move and uplift people, make them laugh. We need that connection right now,” said Arizona Opera President Joe Specter.

Specter is a former opera singer who knows the score when it comes to who twirls a stick.

Kamenseck performed this Mozart piece seven times.

“It always stays fresh and every night is different. That’s what’s fun about live theater,” Kamenseck said.

The first Grammy Award winner has plenty to be excited about last week’s awards show. But when it comes to this week’s show in Phoenix, she’s just as excited for those standing by her side.

“I find that when the crowds are mixed there are always jockeys for the position. That’s something that struck me, in the rehearsal space it was immediately a circle and it was amazing. A sense of quality and a sense of brotherhood,” Kamenseck said.