Kim Criswell has been singing and acting professionally for more than forty years.
Her career has taken her from Broadway to the West End to the international concert stage, resulting in a most unusual career path unmatched by any other singer. She continues to specialize in musical theatre, bringing the classic American songbook to leading music venues across the world, both in symphony settings and recital. She has sung at La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, the Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Opéra Comique in Paris, Concertgebauw in Amsterdam, Carnegie (Weill) Recital Hall in New York, the Musikverein, Konzerthaus and Volksoper in Vienna, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Aldeburgh, and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, not to mention multiple appearances in London at the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Rooms, Cadogan Hall, and the Linbury Studios at the Royal Opera House, and elsewhere, from Reykjavik, Helsinki, Leipzig and Kaiserslautern, to Athens, Essen, Gothenburg and Bremen, to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hong Kong, Malta, Montpellier, and Moscow, giving her a unique platform among interpreters of the musical theatre repertoire.
She has had the pleasure of singing with many of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, ranging from the Berlin Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with whom she has recorded Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town in a version that then was repeated as a BBC Proms concert, and as the New Year’s Eve Gala in Berlin, to the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and London Sinfonietta, the Liverpool Philharmonic, the Northern Sinfonia, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestre de Picardie, the Orchestra della Toscana, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Toronto and Winnipeg Symphonies, and many, many more, including the BBC, RTE, MDR, WDR, Berlin and Munich radio orchestras. She has also sung in productions at La Fenice, Opera North, Lisbon Opera, Grange Park Opera, Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera, Atlanta Opera, and many others.
Kim has formed several lasting musical partnerships over the years, leading to both concert and recording opportunities. Conductor/music historian John McGlinn brought her to EMI Classics, which led to several recordings and a personal recording contract, as well as many symphony concerts across America and Europe. With conductor John Wilson, she has explored the world of film music across the UK in concert, including the very popular MGM and Rodgers and Hammerstein Proms concerts, and several solo evenings. Her ongoing recital partnership with conductor/pianist Wayne Marshall has taken the pair to many of the great concert venues in Europe, both as recitalists and in full symphony settings. Other conductors she has appeared with include Kristjan Jarvi, , Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Yutaka Sado, Keith Lockhart, Ulf Schirmer, John Axelrod, Kevin Farrell, Carl Davis and Richard Hickox, to name a few.
Her more exotic concert locales include Buckingham Palace, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Ravello’s cliffside concert platform, Stockholm’s Globen Arena, and the Bregenz Festival’s floating stage, all doing programmes of classic musical theatre.
Critically acclaimed for playing “Annie Oakley” in Annie Get Your Gun at London’s Prince of Wales Theatre, for which she earned a Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, and for her role as “The Old Lady” in Robert Carsen’s productions of Candide at La Scala and the Théâtre du Châtelet, she has also won a Helen Hayes Award for her work in Side by Side by Sondheim. She was most recently seen in the US starring as “Sally Adams” in Call Me Madam at the Goodspeed Opera House, singing the role of “The Old Lady” in Candide at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and co-starring with Joseph Fiennes and Charles Edwards in Happy Days in the Art World at NYU’s Skirball Center in New York.
Kim’s Broadway credits include starring as “Lucy”, opposite Sting, in the 3 Penny Opera directed by John Dexter, and appearing in the original Broadway cast of 1982 Best Musical Tony winner Nine, first as Francesca, then taking over the leading role of Claudia. Other Broadway original cast credits include The First, Baby and Stardust. On the West Coast, she was the original “Grizabella” in Cats, singing “Memory” at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles, and also appeared as “Lalume” in Kismet for Opera Pacific. She starred in the original West End productions of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens and The Slow Drag, as well as a revival of Dames At Sea, and as the “Mother Abbess” in the acclaimed production of The Sound of Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Recently, she played the Italian opera singer “Mrs. Castellari” in the feature film Hysteria (2013) opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, and Jonathan Pryce.
She has recorded more than forty albums, including four solo albums.