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Karina Gauvin is a Canadian soprano who has made several recordings and is especially recognised for her interpretation of Baroque music. Opera News stated that, "Gauvin knows how to rivet an audience in opera and concert. She has been a queen of Baroque opera for years. Her personality is big enough to dominate her elaborate wigs and costumes, and her soprano voice is like a clear, refreshing and inexhaustible spring that darts and sparkles around any ornamental obstacle in its way."
Born 1966 in Repentigny, Quebec Gauvin was the youngest of three children born to two both professionally trained opera singers who were never able to establish successful performance careers. With the encouragement of her mother, Lucie Gaudreau, she became a member of the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus at the age of 8. She sang in numerous concerts and operas with the chorus over the next eight years, including productions of Tosca and Wozzeck. As a teenager she began to study singing seriously with mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin in Toronto. She moved with her family back to Montreal and shortly thereafter enrolled at McGill University where she majored in Art History. While there she sang in the university's chorus under conductor Nicole Paiement. Paiement convinced Gauvin to pursue a career as a singer, and she subsequently left McGill for the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal where she became a pupil of Marie Daveluy. She later studied in Glasgow with contralto Pamela Bowden at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.