Australian soprano Karina Bailey made her professional debut as Papagena in Mozart's The Magic Flute in 2016 with the State Opera of South Australia (SOSA). In the same year she created the role of Elaine Lamb in the world premiere of George Palmer’s Cloudstreet. She was a member of the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation Young Artist Program at SOSA from 2016 - 2018.
In September 2018 Karina relocated to the UK where she studied her Master of Music (Opera) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow under the tutelage of acclaimed mezzo-soprano Kathleen McKellar Ferguson. At the Royal Conservatoire she has played the roles of Gherardino in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Soprano Trio in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, Barbarina in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Lucia in Britten's The Rape of Lucrecia and Sœur Constance in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (performances of the Poulenc cancelled due to COVID-19).
Karina's masters studies were generously supported by the Carclew Fellowships, Elder Conservatoirum EMR Travel Scholarship, The Friends of State Opera of South Australia and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland donors.
Karina made her professional UK debut in the roles of Sylviane and Lolo in Lehàr's much loved operetta The Merry Widow with touring Scottish opera company Opera Bohemia (August/September 2019).
In 2017 Karina played the role of Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in Sulmona, Italy (Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy), a study trip funded by the Arnold Matters and George Boland Scholarships. Her other role highlights include Aci (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo), Ida (Die Fledermaus), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Pamina and Second Sprite (The Magic Flute), Peep-Bo (The Mikado), Pepik (The Cunning Little Vixen) and Anne Egerman (A Little Night Music). She has also covered the roles of Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Norina (Don Pasquale) for the State Opera of South Australia. Karina worked in the chorus for a number of years at SOSA - highlight appearances with the chorus include the acclaimed Glyndebourne productions of Brett Dean's Hamlet (2018, Directed by Neil Armfield) and Handel's Saul (2017, Barry Kosky production, revival director Donna Stirrup) as part of the Adelaide Festival.
Karina’s recent appearances as a soloist in oratorio in the UK and Australia include Vivaldi's Gloria, Schubert Mass in A Flat, Mendelssohn's Psalm 42, Hayden’s Theresienmesse, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Fauré’s Requiem.
Karina won the MTO Developing Artist Grant (runner up) in the 2020/21 German-Australian Opera Grant competition. She was a finalist in the Ye Cronies Aria Award in Scotland in both 2019 and 2020. In August 2018 Karina competed as a finalist in the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Competition in Melbourne, where she received the Conductor’s Encouragement Award for her performance of Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate. She was the winner of the 2017 Dawn Wallace Memorial Prize, the 2016 Arnold Matters Scholarship Competition and the 2016 5MBS Young Virtuoso Award (vocal section). She won the Rae Cocking Memorial Prize in 2012 and 2016, the 2014 Macquarie Award, and was a finalist for the Beta Sigma Phi Classical Music Awards, Elder Hall, 2014. She has undertaken several short study programs in Europe including AIMS (American Institute of Musical Studies) in Graz, Austria (funded by the George Boland Scholarship), and she participated in British Youth Opera's workshop program in London in the summer of 2019.
From January 2021 she has been based in Sydney where she has been working in the chorus of Opera Australia (La Traviata on Sydney Harbour, Otello and Attila in the winter season.)