Praised by The Washington Post for her “gorgeous, warm voice that you want to keep listening to,” American mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin continues to make an impact in repertoire ranging from Verdi and Wagner to Strauss and Bellini. The 2021-2022 brings Ms. Martin to Kentucky Opera for her role debut as Orfeo in Orfeo ed Eurydice, Opera Carolina as Amneris is Aida, Dallas Opera as the Minkswoman in Flight, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and Maryland Lyric Opera as Eboli in Don Carlos. In the previous season, Ms. Martin appeared as Waltraute in Twilight: Gods with Michigan Opera Theatre and Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as postponed or cancelled productions of Lohengrin with The Dallas Opera and Dead Man Walking with The Metropolitan Opera. Her 2019-2020 season included Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung with the National Taichung Theatre in Taiwan, the cover of Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking and singing the 2nd Norn in Götterdämmerung and Waltraute in Die Walküre at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and covering Marguerite in Berlioz’s Le damnation de Faust with the Metropolitan Opera.
Highlights from recent seasons include Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking with Minnesota Opera and Dayton Opera as well as covering Sister Helen at Washington National Opera; performances in various roles from Wagner’s Ring Cycle with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the Dallas Symphony, and National Taichung Theatre in Taiwan; Amneris in Aïda with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, and Opera Santa Barbara; Adalgisa in Norma with Florida Grand Opera; Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos at The Glimmerglass Festival; Hécube and covering Didon in Les Troyens with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Maddalena in Rigoletto with New Orleans Opera and Opera Santa Barbara; Herodias in Salome with Dayton Opera; Meg in Falstaff with Intermountain Opera; Leonora in La favorita with New Amsterdam Opera; Wowkle in La fanciulla del West with Maryland Lyric Opera; Annina and the cover of Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier with the National Symphony Orchestra; Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra; and Messiah with the Handel Oratorio Society.
Ms. Martin is also an avid interpreter of contemporary opera. She has appeared as Mary in the world premiere of The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me with Washington National Opera; Genevieve in The Long Christmas Dinner with American Symphony Orchestra; Tamara in Enemies, A Love Story with Kentucky Opera; Eva Crowley in An American Dream with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Sara Miller in Approaching Ali with Washington National Opera; and the world premiere of Angela Rice’s Thy Will Be Done with the National Chorale at Lincoln Center.
An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio she has performed Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Anna in Maria Stuarda, Flora in La traviata, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos with HGO. There, she worked extensively with conductor Patrick Summers and covered artists such as Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato, and Michelle DeYoung in roles such as Der Komponist, Sister Helen, and the title roles of Xerxes and The Rape of Lucretia. She was a member of The Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Program, where she made her role debut as Amneris, and was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera. Ms. Martin was a Grand Finalist, the sole mezzo soprano, and only female representing the United States in the 2017 International Viñas Competition held at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu. She received Richard Tucker Award nominations in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and was 2nd Place winner of the 2016 Maryland Lyric Opera Competition, 2nd place winner in the 2013 Jensen Competition, a semi-finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a finalist in 2012 and an Encouragement Award winner in 2013 in the George London Competition, winner of the 2011 National Opera Association Competition, a semi-finalist in the Hans Belvedere Competition, and has won awards from the Eleanor McCollum Competition at Houston Grand Opera, The Dallas Opera Guild, and Annapolis Opera. She has received The Richard F Gold Career Grant at both Houston Grand Opera and Wolf Trap and the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Grant. A native of San Antonio, Texas, she holds a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas.