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Karen Benjamin, BA, MM | Vocal

Karen Benjamin has 30 years of performing experience in musical theatre, opera, and cabaret. Among her many musical theatre credits, Ms. Benjamin was an original cast member of the Los Angeles production of Phantom of the Opera starring Michael Crawford. She also starred in a Stephen Sondheim tribute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. This extremely versatile soprano(who can belt) has sung French cabaret songs at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, performed the songs of Kurt Weill with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Society and appeared as an orchestral soloist with major orchestras. Ms. Benjamin created the role of Rocket J. Squirrel in LA Opera's production of Les Moose: The Operatic Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. She produced and performed in two art song recitals, Music of the People: Songs of 19th Century America and Chick Songs: Art Songs by Women Composers. With her husband, KUSC morning host, Alan Chapman, she has appeared widely in cabaret evenings of Dr. Chapman’s original songs as well as concerts dedicated to preserving the American Songbook. They toured with the incomparable lyricist, Ray Evans, performing the show Que Sera Sera: The Songs of Livingston and Evans. Their latest show, Movie Music Magic, debuted on the Grand Performances series. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York’s Town Hall, Los Angeles Music Center, Geffen Theatre, Pepperdine University, Ford Amphitheatre, Broad Stage, Edye Second Space, Dallas Museum of Art, and many other venues across the United States. Ms. Benjamin received a master’s degree in vocal performance from the USC Thornton School of Music. In addition to an active private voice studio, she is on the performing arts faculty at Santa Monica College and Pasadena City College where she directs Musical Theatre Workshop as well as the school musicals. She has directed Into The Woods, Hairspray, Company, Young Frankenstein, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Spring Awakening. She is looking forward to directing In The Heights this spring at PCC.