Armstrong, Karan, American soprano; b. Home, Mont., Dec. 14, 1941. She was educated at Concordia Coll. in Moorhead, Minn. (B.A., 1963) and received private vocal instruction from various teachers, including Lotte Lehmann in Santa Barbara. In 1966 she made her operatic debut as Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri at the San Francisco Opera. After singing minor roles at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. (1966–69), she sang with several other U.S. opera companies, including the N.Y.C. Opera (1975–78). In 1976 she made her European debut as Salome at the Strasbourg Opera. She made her Bayreuth Festival debut as Elsa in 1979 and her Covent Garden debut in London as Lulu in 1981. She also sang in Vienna, Munich, Paris, Hamburg, and other European music centers. Among her finest roles are Violetta, Tosca, Mimi, Alice Ford, Countess Almaviva, Eva, Mélisande, and the Marschallin. She also sang contemporary roles, creating the role of Death in Gottfried von Einem’s Jesu Hochzeit (1980) and the title role in Giuseppe Sinopoli’s Lou Salome (1981). She married Gôtz Friedrich.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire