Get to know Karen Sosa Limones, the Ecuadorian soprano who triumphs and consolidates her career in Russia | People | Entertainment

Her journey began on September 7, 2018. Her journey lasted two days to reach Russia, the country where the Esmeraldeña resides. Karen Sosa Lemons, 28 years old, for three years and eight months. Her dream of traveling and continuing to prepare for her professional career motivated her to move to the European country.

His most recent participation was in the Road to Yalta International Festival 2022, which was held in Moscow, where he won first place. This is not the first contest she participated in, last year she went to Crimea on behalf of her university, because she won the Student Spring contest in the city where she resides, Kursk.

“The Road to Yalta Festival came into my life because of a friend who now works at the embassy… When this whole problem with Ukraine arises, the ambassador comes to my city to meet with the Ecuadorians… And the authorities of my university were taking advantage of the fact that an authority came from another country, from Ecuador, because there are many Ecuadorians in the university, to create ties with the authority”, he tells this newspaper from Kursk.

For that activity at his university, he says that he was in the audience, when suddenly the representative of the Ecuadorians approached with a message from the rector asking if he could sing, and although he did not expect such a proposal, he did. “I ended up singing… Then the ambassador came over and everything…” he recounts.

A week after this event, her friend from the embassy contacted her to tell her that she recorded her presentation and showed it to the festival organization, who quickly became interested in her talent and invited her to participate. She accepted and was part of the fifteen foreign participants. Representatives from countries such as Spain, Nigeria, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, Brazil, Israel, India, Iran, Italy, China, Argentina, France and South Korea were present.

The contest consisted of assigning each foreign participant a song in Russian and the applicant had to sing it in their native language, in the case of Sosa Limones it was in Spanish. The modality for the first day was to sing alone, while on the second she did it with a local artist, the organizers delegated the Russian musician Dmitry Murin to make a duet with the foreigner.

studying in russia

He studies at the Southwestern Russian State University in Kursk. His teacher is Irina Filippovna Starodubtseva. She initially did not go with a scholarship. He made applications, but was denied at the embassy, ​​he did so the following year and received the same response, although he is aware that they had to “have their parameters to see who they give the scholarship to, even though I had won festivals, I sent copies,” he says.

“With my parents we said: ‘Well, you’re already in Russia, you’re not going to return.’ ‘We assume’, my parents said. And so it was, I studied for two years with the efforts of my parents”.

Karen Sosa Limones (d) together with Dimitry Murin. Photo: Courtesy

He is a great believer and among his prayers was that the feeling of “throwing in the towel” would not come to him, but that they would remain the desire to continue. She set out to make herself known at her university for her work so that at some point she would be considered for a scholarship.

“My university did not grant… But I had hope and he told me: ‘There must be a way that I can get a scholarship’ and that’s how it was… I began to develop myself, to win all the contests, in all the ones I’ve participated in I’ve won. I came back here like my teacher’s pupil… I became an example until at some point the rector realized that, that I had made a good record at the university…”, she assures.

“The rector told me: ‘Look, we don’t have scholarships here, but we’re going to make an exception for you’ and that’s how it was, now I’m studying with a scholarship. Besides, he gave me a job at the university. Now I teach Spanish at the university… They gave me a schedule that doesn’t interfere with my other activities…”, he adds.

Arrival in Russia

Before going to Russia, he worked at the Sucre National Theater, where he had joined at the end of 2017 and stayed until August of the following year. In addition, for this she had already graduated as a soprano at the National Conservatory of Music, in Quito. In that search for a better future and the support of people she surrounded herself with, she decided to embark on her own journey.

“I came to Russia by my own means… Through her, my teacher (Cecilia Tapia, who studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory on a scholarship), through her contacts in the former Soviet Union, I arrived. She told me at some point: ‘Karo (that’s how they treat her affectionately), there is this opportunity, I have a great friend who is director of the Vocal Arts chair’, where I now study, so she invited some of the students from my teacher, among those to me…”, he says.

Karen Sosa Limones during her presentation at the festival in Moscow. Photo: Courtesy

After her arrival in Russia, the artist comments that the adaptation process was complicated at first, one of the factors was the language, but for this she had an advantage, she knows English and thanks her mother, who insisted that she and her sister learn, although her mother’s persistence was not so necessary because with her plan to travel the world, she knew that it was necessary to know how to speak it.

Upon her arrival, she became friends with boys from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, among other African countries, and with them started practicing english. “With that I was able to survive the first two weeks that I arrived in Russia and from then on, after two months maximum I was already speaking (Russian). Since I arrived here I had psyched myself up and said: ‘I have to learn Russian quickly to be able to relate to people and to be able to live better’…”, she comments.

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The emerald woman tells that every foreigner who arrives in Russia has to “do a year of language” before entering the university, but his experience was “particular”. “When I arrived, my teacher heard me sing and told me: ‘No, I’m not going to let you spend a year only in language, come and sing with me…’. To which I said: ‘Seriously, teacher, I’m not in college yet, I have to pass my year of language to enter with you’. ‘No, don’t worry, I’ll solve it, but I’m not going to give you a year off,’ she told me. I already came from Ecuador singing a lot, very active artistically. ‘I don’t want you to rest, because if you rest now, going back later will be complicated,’ she told me… ”.

confess that the first three months were “very difficult”, because he did not know how to handle the language well, however, with time he overcame it.

beginnings in music

From a very young age she knew that music would be her horizon. She remembers that from the age of 4, her parents’ musician friends sponsored her so that she would be with the adults in musical meetings that they held in her house. And precisely those close people who were in her home urged her parents to pay attention to the talent that she was developing, and taking into account that recommendation, her parents decided to take her to Abraham Bishara, who at that time directed from the Luis Vargas Torres University.

As an anecdote, he recalls that when he visited Bishara, he was with some students and was scolding them when she arrived with her parents’ friend. They told the director to listen to her, but he replied that she was very young and they insisted again until he agreed to listen to her. “I remember that she started playing notes on the piano and told me: ‘Imitate the note’. The note that he played, I sang it, I was 4 years old, and he comes back to see me and comes back to see the big girls and tells them: ‘I can’t believe such a small girl has a better ear than you’…” .

Photo: Courtesy

Three years later he met the Lojano maestro Agustín Ramón San Martín, who came to Esmeraldas with the idea of ​​creating a musical educational institution. For this visit to the musician, she was accompanied by her father and they told her again that she was very small. “My dad with great faith told her: ‘Listen to her, listen to her.’ I sang and Agustín seemed to say: ‘Yes, yes, I’m going to give him classes’”.

He studied with the teacher for ten years and in that time he was able to travel inside and outside of Ecuador to different festivals, including the Petronio Álvarez, in Cali, Colombia. He did it with the Marimba and Clarinete group. With this same group, but as a soloist, he went to Chiapas, Mexico, where a festival of marimba players was held. “My affinity until then, as a good Esmeraldeña, was to make a lot of traditional, folk music. Apart from that, I used to sing a lot of music by Mercedes Sosa, a fan of Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, a lot of Latin American music, until now I listen to…”, he points out.

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At the age of 17, he left Esmeraldas and moved to Quito with the initial idea of ​​following Law, he studied three years of that career at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE), however, he gave up and she opted for what she truly wanted to be, a professional singer. Although at first her parents were somewhat reluctant due to the difficulty in the industry in the country, they finally accepted her decision.

While studying Law at PUCE, she entered the choir, first as a chorister, then she was one of the soloists and later became a teacher of vocal technique. After retiring from the race, she continued to go to the choir. In addition to that, “the doors began to open for me… Recording projects, auditions arrived…”, she says.

In 2014 he began studying at the National Conservatory of Music and graduated in 2017. At the conservatory, along with his preparation, he also became a soloist in the Jazz Big Band of this establishment, directed by teacher Larry Salgado. .

Conflict Russia – Ukraine

The soprano says that the city where she lives is four hours from Ukraine, a country with which Russia has a conflict, from which she has been economically affected.

“Now the means to transfer money no longer work for us, Western Union, MoneyGram. They totally blocked the international cards that we had… We are juggling to get money,” he recounts.

“Thank God I work. In addition to what I work at the university and that they pay me, I work in an academy with children, I teach English to the children, I help myself with that, I buy my things, but even though I work, the cost of the products has risen quite a bit…”, he adds.

However, he makes a clarification: “Speaking that here in Russia there is a conflict, it is not really true, there is no need to alarm, here in Russia nothing is happening.”


  • In February 2022 he won a contest in Belgorod.
  • In March 2022 he triumphed in the Gran Pri, in the Student Spring contest.
  • In February 2021, she was as a guest soloist at the award concert for the winning works of the II Gerardo Guevara International Composition Contest in tribute to Luis Guevara. This took place in Moscow.
  • In March 2021, she was the winner in three categories out of the six that were nominated in the Cyberchallenge Latino Online International Singing Contest.
  • In April 2021, he obtained the Gran Pri in the Student Spring contest.
  • In June 2021 he participated in the Tavrida festival.
  • In November 2021, he won second place in the Sounds of Dutar contest.
  • In 2018, he participated and won in a contest for young lyrical singing talents, for which he had the opportunity to perform with the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra.
  • He was a soloist at the world premiere of the Mass from the middle of the world, by Eduardo Florencia, composer of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador.
  • He was part of the choir of the Equinoctial Technological University. (I)