A vivacious, multifaceted performer, soprano Karla Hughes has delighted audiences in opera, operetta, oratorio, musical theater,and theater. Hailed as having a “bright girlish soprano” (Opera News), being “nimble of voice and feet” (The Toledo Blade), and having “a superb acting talent” (The Daily Record) she is equally talented as a vocalist, actress, and dancer. Karla has portrayed Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Ellen in Lakmé, and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theater, Flora in The Turn of the Screw with the Toledo Opera, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof with The Ohio Light Opera, and Sophie in Terrence McNally’s Master Class with Chamber Theater (Milwaukee).
Other roles performed include Oscar in Verdi’s A Masked Ball, Frasquita in Carmen, Norina in Don Paquale, Cunegonde in Candide, Lucy in The Telephone, Olympia in Les Contes d’ Hoffmann, Christel in Der Vogelhändler, Anna I in KurtWeill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, Christine in Maury Yeston’s Phantom, and Lydia Bennet in the world premiere of Jacob's and Baker's Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
With her small stature, youthful appearance, and strong movement skills, Karla is exceptionally gifted with her portrayals of children’s and “ina” roles. In Britten’s The Turn of the Screw she was described as “exceedingly convincing as Flora and sang very well in a bright, girlish soprano” (Opera News Online) and in Don Giovanni “her sweetish voice tinged with just the right touch of tartness, was a sexed-to-the-gills Zerlina whose hormones had clearly outpaced her street smarts” (Opera Canada).“
As a concert soloist, Karla has performed a wide range of repertoire from the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with the Toledo Ballet to scenes from Carmen as Frasquita with the Milwaukee Symphony. Other soloist performances include the soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Mozart’s Requiem, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. In 2011 Karla made her Lincoln Center debut in Avery Fisher Hall as the Soprano Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, KV 317 "Kronungsmesse", presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY).
Karla is equally comfortable on stage as an actress and dancer. As a dancer, Karla has studied Ballet/Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and Belly Dance. As an actress, Karla has studied with Sandra Bernhard, Kristine McIntyre, and Marie Allyn King utilizing several different methods including Wesley Balk and Stanislavski.
An accomplished musician, Karla has played the Flute and Piccolo for over twenty years. She double majored in Flute and Voice at Colorado State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music (major) and History (minor). She earned a Master of Music in Opera Performance at Wichita State University where she studied with Dr. Vernon Yenne and later, Dr. George Gibson.