Karim Sulayman is consistently praised by audiences and critics for his sensitive musicality, vivid portrayals, and unique vocalism. With a vast repertoire that spans baroque to contemporary music, he enjoys a busy calendar in opera and concert performances throughout the world. The Houston Chronicle lauded his recent performances as Acis in Acis and Galatea for his “clean, clear sound and earnest intensity.”
In the 2009-10 season, he debuted with Opera Lafayette at the Kennedy Center as the haute-contre soloist in Charpentier’s Les arts florissants and Le mariage forcé. He reprises his celebrated interpretation of Candide with the Boise Philharmonic and returns to the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra for Mozart’s Mass in C minor. He performs works of John Dowland in recitals in New York City and New Jersey for the New York City Classical Guitar Society, and later he returns to the Kennedy Center and Opera Lafayette for the North American premiere of Philidor’s Sancho Pança as Lope Tocho and Le Fermier which will be followed by the premiere recording of the work on the Naxos label. He will be in residence at Marlboro Music in the summer of 2010, and in future seasons he debuts with Boston Lyric Opera, and sings Fabio in Grétry’s Le Magnifique at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, and records the work, again for Naxos.
In 2008-09 Karim debuted with New York City Opera at the Vox Festival singing Renaud in Jonathan Dawe’s Armide, a role he premiered at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. He also debuted at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, premiering Carlos Vazquez’s Requiem Domesticus. Mr. Sulayman sang Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Opera Vivente in Baltimore, the title role in Bernstein’s Candide Suite with the Mansfield Symphony, and the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Other recent engagements included his debut with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque under Jane Glover, return performances with Houston’s Mercury Baroque Ensemble including a recording of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, performances of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux (Mercure) under Yves Abel with Opera Français de New York, performances at the International Bach Festival in Toronto under Helmuth Rilling, Greenwich Music Festival’s acclaimed Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Eurimaco/Anfinomo), new productions of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Snout) and Death in Venice (Gondolier), and Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims (Zefirino) with Chicago Opera Theater, a new production of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole (Gonzalve) with Berkshire Opera, and Purcell’s under Harry Bicket at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Equally dedicated to his work as a song recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Sulayman is known for his distinctive and compelling programs and his engaging manner on the recital platform. Recent performances include return engagements with Toronto’s Music and Poetry Series (programs of Verlaine and Auden settings), a recital at the Chicago Cultural Society, a concert tour of the Amalfi Coast with the Fine Arts String Quartet, and Voyage, a themed program of French song at the Gallerie Icosahedron in New York City.
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 Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation and the Kurt Weill Foundation, and fellowship invitations from Aspen Music Festival, Rice University, and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival.