Karim Sulayman is consistently praised for his sensitive musicality, vivid portrayals, and beautiful vocalism. With a vast repertoire that spans the Renaissance to contemporary music the young tenor/haute-contre has firmly established himself as a sophisticated and versatile artist of his generation and enjoys a busy calendar in opera and concert performances throughout the world. He was recently described as possessing a “lyrical, expressive and appealing tenor” (Washington Post), and was hailed as “a true revelation” (Forum Opéra, France), and for his “apt comedic gifts.” (New York Times)
Recent highlights include engagements at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Apollo’s Fire, his three-year tenure with the Marlboro Music Festival, and performances with Brooklyn and Philadelphia Chamber Music Societies. He has also been heard at Chicago Opera Theater, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Casals Festival, and the International Bach Festival under Helmuth Rilling. He has collaborated with such renowned conductors as Harry Bicket, Yves Abel, Jane Glover, James Conlon, Raymond Leppard and Jeannette Sorrell. His growing discography includes the title role in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, two releases for NAXOS in works of Philidor and Grétry, and forthcoming releases for Furious Artisans and the AVIE labels. February 2016 saw the release of the acclaimed program Sephardic Journey, on which he is the tenor soloist.
Future seasons bring him back to Cleveland with Apollo’s Fire for local and national tours of Handel’s Messiah and a program on Purcell’s music, as well as an anticipated return and major role debut in the 2017-2018 season. He performs David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize winning the little match girl passion in a new, fully staged production beginning at the Perez Art Museum in Miami and touring multiple museums nationally before the final presentation at the MET Museum in New York City. He is also presented in recital in France, Lebanon and Madagascar.
Mr. Sulayman’s musical education began with violin studies at age 3, followed by several years as a boy alto soloist, including performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti, and the St. Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Rice University, and was a featured young artist at Chicago Opera Theater and the Britten- Pears Programme. Additional honors include awards from the Kurt Weill Foundation and fellowship invitations from the Aspen Music Festival, Rice University and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival. After living in Paris, he returned to the U.S.A. and took courses in improvisation at the Second City Training Center.