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WELL-GROUNDED SINGER; SOPRANO MIXES REAL ESTATE, TOURS.

Byline: Greg Botonis Daily News Staff Writer

Karen Yarmat Senia leads a double life: real estate agent and lyric soprano.

Eight months a year she sells real estate in the Antelope Valley. The other four months she tours, performing opera, operetta or duet work with keyboardist Bob Rawlston.

``I've been a professional singer, really, since my teens,'' said Senia, who performed this weekend as a guest artist at Pierce College's Little Theater in the San Fernando Valley. ``I tour part of the year. I juggle things around. I like people, and in both careers I work with people.''

Senia, an Antelope Valley resident for 10 years, has performed with the Kansas City Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera, Houston Opera, New York City Opera, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Raised in Hollywood, Senia started her musical career in high school by auditioning for the Los Angeles Youth Theater. That led to small paying jobs, then to the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera.

Senia has lived in the Antelope Valley for 10 years with her husband, Paul, a composer and conductor who recently led the Los Angeles Metropolitan Pops Symphony in a concert at the Lancaster United Methodist Church.

For the past 10 years she has toured regularly with keyboardist Rawlston, a Granada Hills resident who performed with Lawrence Welk for 20 years.

Many of the duo's performances have been in refurbished movie palaces, with Senia singing selections from ``West Side Story'' or ``Phantom of the Opera'' and Rawlston accompanying her on the grand theater organs once used to provide the soundtrack for silent movies.

Three years ago, she started selling real estate for Century 21 Yarrow. She got her real estate license after buying a house with her husband and deciding that for their next home purchase she wanted to be a better educated consumer.

Real estate work has the advantage of being flexible in fitting around her touring. Singing pays well when she has the jobs, but the jobs don't come back-to-back, she said.

``One-third of the year goes toward my music, two-thirds of the year goes toward making money,'' she said.

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Photo

PHOTO (Color) A.V. resident Karen Yarmat Senia performs as guest artist Saturday at Pierce College's Little Theater in the San Fernando Valley.

Eric Grigorian/Special to the Daily News
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 17, 1999
Words:389
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