Kate Conklin is a soprano, and interpreter of the highly demanding vocal music of Bulgaria. For two years, Kate was the vocalist for Cirque du Soleil’s “O,” the resident aquatic show at Bellagio, Las Vegas, where she performed approximately nine hundred shows. Her performing includes singing for film and television, premiering original new works, and collaborating with composers and choreographers. Kate sings in seventeen languages, and is known for her playful gravitas.
She has performed with innovative and influential musicians such as Miroslav Tadić and John Bergamo, and is the vocalist on several albums by electronic musician Deru. In collaboration with Machine Project, Kate has brought live Bulgarian Vocal Installations to the Hammer Museum and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, particularly designed to explore the resonant spaces within the museums. She has presented about her work in idiomatic improvisation, and the re-contextualization of folk melodies in film at The American Film Composers Forum Salon, and about her performing and coaching extraordinary performers in a TedX performance and talk.
Kate is currently in development with a solo performance piece, Recreational Science, written for her by Javier Navarrette (Oscar-nominated composer for Pan’s Labyrinth), and recording a duo album of Bulgarian music with her long-time partner and collaborator, banjoist/composer Bryan Landers.
Kate is an educator and performance coach, specializing in working with high-level performers whose work demands both excellent technique and profound artistry. Her coaching synergizes voice, Alexander Technique and performance readiness practices, and has been called, “Simple and instantly adoptable, yet radical and groundbreaking.” Kate works with artists from arenas of stage, film and television, as well as members of the LA Philharmonic, LA Master Chorale, and Cirque du Soleil. Kate clients are comprised of singers, producers, actors, dancers, conductors, aerialists, mimes, clowns and high-divers.
In 2006, Kate joined the music faculty at California Institute of the Arts, where she founded and directed the highly acclaimed Bulgarian Vocal Ensembles and served on voice faculty for four years. She has taught Voice, Alexander Technique, and founded and directed Bulgarian choirs for CalArts, Community Arts Partnership, California State Summer School for the Arts, The Oakwood School and Bard College. She has been a visiting artist and lecturer at CalArts, Pomona College, Azusa Pacific University, Los Angeles College of Music, USC, UCLA, San Francisco Conservatory, Santa Monica College, and The Marlborough School.
Kate was a Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria in 2002, where she rehearsed and performed as a member of the The Academic Folk Choir of the Plovdiv Academy of Music, developing her work in regional solo repertoire, choral literature, conducting and pedagogy. In 2003, she received the LifeWorks Foundation Research Grant for Early American Folk Music in Nashville, before joining Cirque du Soleil.
Kate is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, and holds BFA and MFA degrees in Vocal Performance with emphasis in opera, contemporary, free improvisation, North Indian Classical and Balkan vocal music. She has additional study in peak performance practice, pedagogy, neurobiology, anatomy and physiology, physics, systems theory, anthropology and philosophy.
Cirque du Soleil
LA Master Chorale
Academy of Creative Education
Azusa Pacific University
California Institute of the Arts
California State University Northridge
LA College of Music
The Oakwood School
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Santa Monica College