A Halifax native of Trinidadian parents, Canadian soprano Karlene Marie, (Family Name: Francis) began her musical training at The Maritime Conservatory on piano at an early age taking RCM exams until the age of 16, completing Grade 8, with honours. After this, she continued her study with Anna Lea Bartonova for two more years. Her vocal expression was first through singing along with her parent's great collection of records from calypso to gospel, jazz and more, as well as singing with tunes on the radio and as a member of church, school choirs and the Nova Scotia International Tattoo Choir for many years as a youth.
Also, she is an alumna of the Halifax City Schools Music Department, the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and Dalhousie Chamber Orchestra where she began her development as a cellist. At The University of Western Ontario, she studied applied cello under Malcolm Tait and her first classical voice training initially with soprano, Ginette Duplessis, who saw potential in her. At that time, she had the unique opportunity to be part of the string and vocal departments concurrently. While at university, she performed regularly in orchestra and chamber music ensembles as a cellist, as well as in recitals and opera workshops as a vocalist.
In keeping with her studies and interests for music and theatre, Karlene Marie explored a variety of artistic experiences after graduation, however the call to sing never left her. As a young adult, she juggled family responsibilities while determinedly keeping up aspects of professional development and took further classical vocal training when possible. Her formative vocal instructors have been Stephanie Bogle, Colin Yip and Mark Oswald.
In 2012, she began a two year program to complete a Certificate in Music Therapy which she obtained from Acadia University in May, 2015 to learn how to use music as a therapeutic tool towards improved health and well-being for individuals in all stages of life.
Since 2009, Karlene Marie has travelled to New York, as well as, Viterbo and Orvieto in Italy to sing and train in opera performance. Currently, she is creating and following opportunities to perform from the operatic, oratorio and musical theatre canon, as well as jazz through auditions and collaborative projects, locally and abroad.