‘ In KAREN HUFFSTODT, one found an immensely survival-oriented Elektra, with a fascinatingly expressive voice, sure in the murderous high notes, reveling in her brief Utopia. experienced opera enthusiasts joined together in a true storm of applause. ‘

‘ You heard an excellent job in both casts, thus KAREN HUFFSTODT was convincing in the title role, singing a strikingly explosive daughter of the Artrides, moved by hatred, with a beautiful and still melodious soprano of impressive striking force until the very end… ‘ -Orpheus

‘ The hour of Elektra became the hour of KAREN HUFFSTODT. Like a blazing flame, she throws herself into the mad role. She has at her disposal completely astounding vocal reserves, that leave her still fresh and unspent for the murderous climactic final scene – a fantastic, rightly celebrated accomplishment. ‘ -Die Rheinpfalz

‘ KAREN HUFFSTODT, until now well known for her Salome on the European and American stages, gave her role debut as Elektra in Karlsruhe. Vocally, the murderous role caused her no problems. Her fortissimo had enough strength to carry even over the full orchestra, the voice is healthy and therefore capable of a round piano, the top is secure, and above all, the voice never became tired or strident. KAREN HUFFSTODT’s Elektra was especially impressive because of her passionate interpretation. From her first entrance on, the singer portrayed the obsession of a favorite daughter, who must witness the murder of her father and never recovers from the experience ‘ – Badisches Tagblatt

‘Elektra’s facial features are paralyzed, she is at the same time, ancient and touchingly young. (.) neither human or animal – and KAREN HUFFSTODT portrays this Elektra in such a way that hot and cold runs up and down the back. She bites through the fortissimos and in desperation roars out her inner pain. She demonstrates the madness of war, of which she is an enslaved memorial, with sharply angular phrasing and heavenward-crying expressivity. KAREN HUFFSTODT devours with manic courageous strength ever deeper into the darkness of Elektra’s ruined soul. One’s stomach cramps when face to face with the physically perceptible sarcasm with which she greets the yearning and fear of her sister Chrysothemis. Trying to reach her dreamt of goal, seeing her beloved brother Orest, she seems to light match after match. This, too, Karen Huffstodt sings and acts out without compromise.  frenetic applause and long minutes of bravos! ‘ -Stuttgarter Zeitung

‘The other roles in the opera are far from easy, and — in this production — they were sung just as memorably. Elektra’s tender-hearted sister, Chrysothemis, is almost as difficult vocally, and Karen Huffstodt solved the challenge of conveying the character’s desperation and barely suppressed hysteria without sacrificing vocal beauty or control. Huffstodt is also a true dramatic soprano who has already shown herself to be a worthy Sieglinde. She takes on Isolde in San Francisco next season and will one day undoubtedly be Marton’s successor as Elektra.’ –

‘The best singing of the night came from Elektra’s two siblings — and especially from Karen Huffstodt, who played the gentle Chrysothemis. Huffstodt has a huge, ripe and lustrous soprano voice and would seem to have the ability to sing freely and lyrically in the very loudest passages, something that has eluded many of the most celebrated exponents of Strauss and Wagner.’ –


‘KAREN HUFFSTODT’s Kundry was of the fiery passionate sort and her acting for the long non- singing third act was among the most convincing I’ve seen. ‘ – Opera Now

‘The most intense dramatic and vocal performance was by KAREN HUFFSTODT as a nuance-rich Kundry.’ -Kurier

‘Two of them towered above the rest: Hans Sotin. Karen Huffstodt as Kundry convinced equally with the calm security of the fearful high notes as with her intelligent acting through to the mute passages of the third act. ‘ -Die Presse

‘KAREN HUFFSTODT’s Kundry was marked especially by great emotion and a thrilling ability to phrase in the second act. ‘ -Oo Nachtrichten

‘Particular notice goes to the superb soprano Karen Huffstodt, whose Kundry is caught between two worlds – that of the damned and that of the redeemed. Her Kundry is smartly done; even when not a focal point, Huffstodt has her Kundry acting or reacting to the lyrics of others, making her a compelling character and singer whose lyricism effectively portrays Kundry’s savage and repentant traits. ‘ –

‘Soprano KAREN HUFFSTODT performs the role of sinner-temptress Kundry, (and) flowers in her huge Act II scenes in which she mood- swings between vampirism – as in her savage kiss of Parsifal – and sincere penitence. A strikingly beautiful singer with tons of strawberry tresses, Miss HUFFSTODT possesses a massive yet elegantly sculpted voice, and she gives a dementedly brilliant, over- the-top performance.’ – The Washington Times

‘Particular notice goes to the superb soprano Karen Huffstodt, whose Kundry is caught between two worlds–that of the damned and that of the redeemed. Her Kundry is smartly done; even when not a focal point, Huffstodt has her Kundry acting or reacting to the lyrics of others, making her a compelling character and singer whose lyricism effectively portrays Kundry’s savage and repentant traits.’ –


‘KAREN HUFFSTODT sang the title role with palpable intensity. Her gripping characterization dominated the stage from her first entrance to her final notes. Her upper register was stunning in its power and focus.’ – Star Bulletin

‘KAREN HUFFSTODT, for example, created a perfect Ice Princess. Her clear, cool-toned dramatic soprano had an edge that made her cold anger and vengeance toward men a reality, and her powerful voice cut easily through full orchestra and chorus, making Turandot unquestionably the strongest character. ‘ – The Honolulu Advertiser

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk Katerina Ismailowa

‘KAREN HUFFSTODT interprets a fragile Katerina Ismailowa under the sudden humiliation of her father-in-law, strong as she follows her destiny, displaying all the range of a dramatic soprano. She was truly the star of the production. ‘ – L’opera N. 136

‘Originally a lyric soprano and Mozart singer, Karen Huffstodt, who, step by step, has developed into a Wagnerian heroine, was an ideal casting for the title role. Her extraordinary singing, which perfectly conveyed the lyrical as well as the highly dramatic, flawlessly portrayed the dilemma of a dissatisfied woman, who inevitably falls for the wrong man. ‘ – Opernwelt

‘KAREN HUFFSTODT fascinated in the role of the frustrated wife Katerina Ismailova, who feels unloved and alone and at night, yearns for a man. Her focused, dramatically ripened soprano conveyed passion and unbridled energy. With an attractive appearance and a metallic luminous voice of remarkable intensity, Karen Huffstodt makes Katerina credible in an ideal way. ‘ – Opernglas

‘KAREN HUFFSTODT, who did a brilliant job in the Dresden performance, shows her Katerina as a powerful and dignified woman, whose longing for love is brutally betrayed by the lack of a real partner, and her broken loneliness in the last scene, the march of the prisoners, is physically felt. She is up to the lyricism and highly dramatic outbursts of the role at every moment, and her physical presence effortlessly covers for the lack in the staging.’ -Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten

Tristan Und Isolde

‘KAREN – Isolde/Sensual Archangel La HUFFSTODT knew how to design a highly-defined figure both dramatically and vocally. Thus the public enthusiastically greeted an Isolde who honored the musical expressivity, emblazoned in every theatrical gesture, even the most minute. Such is the Isolde of KAREN HUFFSTODT; beautiful, magnetic, seductive, and emotionally solicitous as an archangel. No, rather, like an angel, in whom the dramatic and vocal intention (of HUFFSTODT) is intrinsic of some prevailing higher energy. Also when extremely tender, she accents with fearful emotion. The dramatic intention does not concede to pure aesthetics – angelic, sweet and gentle. KAREN HUFFSTODT is an Isolde, who at the moment of her transfiguring ascent to affirmed death (the heavenly vocation of sensuality), blossoms forth earthy humanness – redemption which will flower “somewhere else”. Proud or passionate, feminine or sacral, defiant or defenseless, in summary, the Isolde created by KAREN HUFFSTODT, dramatically and vocally, is a Wagnerian creature for which we have not found a comparison.’ – Secolo XIX (Genova)

‘KAREN HUFFSTODT gives birth to the role of roles. Since the young Hildegard Behrens, one has not seen such spontaneity. A first act to send chills up the spine, a temperament possessed. the American soprano has definitely reached or surpassed her colleagues, (.) her incarnation is personal and incomparable through to her death.’ – Diaposon

‘The cast was vocally at a high level, both technically and interpretively, especially with the great Isolde of American KAREN HUFFSTODT, who delivered an irreproachable vocal challenge, without the slightest problem during the entire three acts and the last breath of the liberating “Mild und leise” finale, and also has an extraordinary knowledge of dramatic recitation.’ – L’Opera


Opera’s `Salome’ Doesn’t Dance / Huffstodt dazzles but production is lifeless, murky
Photo of Joshua Kosman
Joshua Kosman
Jan. 20, 1997
Updated: Jan. 30, 2012 9:01 p.m.
Strauss’ “Salome” is a treacherous paradox, a tale of dreadful things made beautiful. The audience needs to feel like Salome herself on first seeing John the Baptist, when she cries, “He is horrible” and means, “I’ve never seen anything so gorgeous.”
Alas, the San Francisco Opera’s new production, which opened Saturday night at the Civic Auditorium, misses that elusive blend of repugnance and sex appeal, despite a superb company debut by soprano Karen Huffstodt in the title role.
Whatever brilliance illuminated the performance was mostly due to her fiery impersonation of the Judaean princess. This is a signature role for the American singer (she recorded the composer-authorized French version of the opera with Kent Nagano and the Opera de Lyon), and she brought to it a terrific combination of vocal prowess and dramatic insight.
Huffstodt’s –