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 specializes in musical theatre, bringing the classic American songbook to leading music venues across the world. 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, Concertgebouw 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 BCMG Orchestras conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with whom she has recorded Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town in a version 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 Royal Philharmonic, 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 more, including the BBC, RTE, MDR, WDR, Berlin and Munich radio orchestras.
Kim has formed several lasting musical partnerships. 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. With conductor John Wilson, she has explored the world of film music in concert, including the very popular MGM and Rodgers and Hammerstein Proms concerts. Her ongoing recital/concert partnership with conductor/pianist Wayne Marshall has taken her all over Europe, most recently to Koln with the WDR. Other conductors she has appeared with include Kristjan Jarvi, Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Yutaka Sado, Keith Lockhart, Ulf Schirmer, John Axelrod, Carl Davis and Richard Hickox.
Critically acclaimed for the title role in Annie Get Your Gun at London’s Prince of Wales Theatre, which earned her an Olivier nomination, and for her role as “The Old Lady” in Robert Carsen’s Candide at La Scala and the Théâtre du Châtelet, she also won a Helen Hayes Award for Side by Side by Sondheim. Most recently in the US she starred in Call Me Madam at the Goodspeed Opera House, in Candide at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and co-starred with Joseph Fiennes and Charles Edwards in Happy Days in the Art World in New York.
Broadway credits include “Lucy” opposite Sting in John Dexter’s 3 Penny Opera, and the original production of Nine, first as Francesca, then occasionally Carla, then Claudia. Other Broadway original cast credits include The First, Baby and Stardust. She was “Grizabella” in Cats in the original LA production, and also appeared as “Lalume” in Kismet for Opera Pacific and Michigan Opera, which she recently reprised for the Vienna Volksoper. She starred in original West End productions of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, The Slow Drag, and a revival of Dames At Sea. Other roles/productions include “Reno Sweeney” in Anything Goes at Grange Park Opera, “Mother Abbess” in The Sound of Music, Theatre du Chatelet, “The Witch” in Into the Woods, Derby Playhouse, “Diana Devereaux” in Of Thee I Sing, Opera North and Atlanta Opera, “Susie Trevor” in Lady Be Good, La Fenice and Lisbon Opera. She has also appeared in numerous concert stagings of classic musicals including Wonderful Town, On the Town, Candide, Trouble in Tahiti, Pal Joey, Follies, One Touch of Venus, Firebrand of Florence, Girl Crazy, On Your Toes, Singin’ In the Rain, and Hello Dolly!
Most recently, she played opera singer “Mrs. Castellari” in feature film Hysteria (2013), as well as playing “Big Mama” in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, and appearing as Carrie’s mother in the Southwark Playhouse’s award-winning production of Carrie.
She has recorded more than forty albums, including four solo albums.