One of the opera world's most respected and experienced authors and critics, with vast experience and knowledge of the art form, she writes about every aspect of the field.
Her path to this greatest of art forms, however, took a circuitous route. Growing up in Sands Point, N.Y. (The East Egg in Great Gatsby) she was taken at age eight, to her first opera, Tristan und Isolde, all five hours of it. It made a deep impression on her--- she refused to go to another opera until attending Phillips Academy Andover prep school, when she was required to see Madama Butterfly in Boston, and promptly fell asleep.
As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, she majored in chemistry, but got her first A's in History of the Opera and History of the Symphony courses. That prompted a subscription to the Philadelphia Orchestra but after two years, wanted to see more than men in tails playing instruments, and began traveling back to New York City to go to the opera. After graduating from Penn, she was accepted in a Ph.D. program in Biochemistry at Columbia University?s College of Physicians and Surgeons and transferred back to New York City.
Spending more time at the Met than in the lab, she moved to Washington DC, earning an MA in film and broadcast journalist at American University while working as a producer and correspondent for ZDF-German Television. She covered primarily science and medical topics in the USA for two German magazine-format programs, Gesundheitsmagazin Praxis and Aus Forschung und Technik, and gained recognition for her insightful and sensitive reporting on the Year of the Disabled in 1981. She also made documentary films, winning an award for An Amish Portrait.
Since 1989 she has worked as a full-time opera journalist and author, a rarity in the USA. She has authored six books on the subject, and published hundreds of features, reviews, profiles, commentaries, interviews, and news pieces. She averages around 40 operas in 20 cities and a dozen countries each year. Her outlets are based overseas with wide-distribution in America: Opera Now (London, U.K.), Oper Orpheus International (Berlin, Germany), Opera-Opera (Sydney, Australia), La rivista illustrata del Museo Teatrale alla Scala (Milan, Italy), but her book publishers are USA based. She is fluent in English, German, and Italian, with "survival" French. Her special interests are opera travel, grand openings of new and restored opera houses, regional and small-scale opera, and profiling opera companies.
Karyl also lectures about the European and American opera scene, including a series of lectures at the Italian Embassy-ICI (Washington DC) and Italian Cultural Society (Washington DC). She has offered programs at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC), classes at the Chautauqua Institution (Chautauqua,NY), and gave a talk to the Baltimore Opera Guild (Baltimore, MD)
She is listed in numerous editions of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in American Women, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who in Media and Communications, Who's Who in Entertainment; Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors & Poets, and Contemporary Authors New Revision Series. She is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C.