Katharine Goeldner

Suggested Operatic Repertoire
Review Excerpts
Web site

The New York Times has praised her voice as “excitingly radiant and agile.” Newsday applauded her “liquid plangent tones… crystal-clear diction and contained, but simmering, intensity.” With an elegant combination of warm, rich vocal tone and assured artistry, Katharine Goeldner is recognized as one of today’s finest mezzo-sopranos.

In the 2015/2016 season, Katharine took part in two exciting world premieres: she created the roles of Jacqueline Onassis in the David T. Little/Royce Vavrek opera JFK  for Fort Worth Opera; and Peggy Ophuls in Shalimar the Clown, by Jack Perla and Rajiv Joseph, based on the novel by Salman Rushdie, for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In addition, she made her role debut as Amneris in Aida with Utah Opera; she debuted as Hippolyta in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Hawaii Opera Theater; returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; and she took on the demanding lead role of Thirza in the US stage premiere of Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers for the Bard SummerScape Festival.

Katharine made her Dutch National Opera debut in September 2016, as Marcellina, followed by her return to Minnesota Opera in the role of Fricka in Das Rheingold. She returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the role of Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin. Future projects include role debuts as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; and Dalila in Samson et Dalila with Virginia Opera.

Katharine’s recent stage performances also include Herodias in Salome with Virginia Opera; Mrs. Grose in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for the Opéra National de Lyon; and Carmen, one of her signature roles, for the Savonlinna Festival. She performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony  with the Filarmonica Toscanini in Parma; Bruckner’s Te Deum at the Sheldonian Theater with the Oxford Philomusica; and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Royal Ballet at Lincoln Center and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Other important performances include Jane Seymour in Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera and with Welsh National Opera; Gertrude in Hamlet for Minnesota Opera; her role debut as Gluck’s Orfeo for Arizona Opera, of which the critics wrote that she was “fabulous,” with “a shimmering and radiant voice with impeccable enunciation of the Italian text and acting so commanding that you were convinced she was a deeply heartbroken man.”; and Carmen,  Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

She has performed her signature role of The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos in Oviedo, Madrid, Salzburg, Toulouse, Lyon and at Paris’ Châtelet. Her many roles at the Metropolitan Opera have included the Schoolboy in Lulu – the role of her company debut, Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Ascanio (Benvenuto Cellini), Nicklausse (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette), and the Page in Salome. In addition, Katharine has performed the title role of Der Rosenkavalier in Toulouse, Lyonand Seville; Fricka (Das Rheingold), Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) and Geschwitz (Lulu) in Toulouse; Charlotte (Werther), and Nicklausse in Bilbao (available on DVD); Maffio Orsini (Lucrezia Borgia) for Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) at the Santa Fe Opera; Fenena (Nabucco) in Dallas, Bilbao, Antwerp and Ghent; and Prince Orlofsky on tour with Maestro Seiji Ozawa in Japan. She was a favorite at New York City Opera for many years, where she appeared as Erika in Barber’s Vanessa, Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and in the title role of Carmen, and was honored with  New York City Opera’s Betty Allen and Diva Awards.

Katharine Goeldner’s concert performances include Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Bilbao Symphony; K.A. Hartmann’s Erste Sinfonie and Eisler’s Deutsche Sinfonie with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony  with the Vienna Symphony, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Bruckner Orchestra. She has also performed in concert with the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, the American Symphony, at Carnegie Hall with the New York Choral Society, the Basque National Symphony, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, Orchestre Philharmonie de Radio France, and the Basel Sinfonietta, under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras, Hans Graf, Dennis Russell Davies, Lothar Zagrosek, Ulf Schirmer, Michael Schønwandt, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Adam Fischer, Marek Janowski, George Manahan and Bertrand de Billy. Ms. Goeldner has presented recitals for the National Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart Festival at the Kennedy Center, the Salzburg Mozart Festival, Vienna’s Festival Ravel, the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Drake University, Florida International University and the University of Iowa. As a member of the chamber trio The Prairie Song Project, she has commissioned two new works for mezzo, flute and piano: Peter Ash’s Paradox and Rory Boyle’s A Handful of Leaves.

Katharine performances on DVD include Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann with the Bilbao Opera (Opus Arte) and K.A. Hartmann’s Erste Sinfonie: Versuch eines Requiems (Bayerische Rundfunk); She has recorded Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Symphony, led by Georges Prêtre; and Louis Spohr’s Die letzten Dinge with Ivor Bolton and the Mozarteum Orchestra.

Katharine Goeldner received a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Iowa, where she studied voice with Jocelyn Reiter, and a Magister Diplom in German Lieder from Salzburg’s Hochschule Mozarteum. She shares her enthusiasm for vocal education by maintaining a private studio and presenting master classes for such distinguished institutions as the University of Iowa, Abilene Christian University, The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, Florida International University, Drake University, the University of Northern Iowa, Florida International University, and the University of Miami Summer in Salzburg program.

Katharine lives with her husband and daughter in Salzburg, Austria.



Suggested Operatic Repertoire

BelliniI Capuleti e I MontecchiRomeo
BerliozBenvenuto CelliniAscanio
Les TroyensDidon
La Damnation de FaustMargeurite
BrittenThe Rape of LucretiaLucretia
A Midsummernight's DreamHippolyta/Hermia
DonizettiLucrezia BorgiaMaffio Orsini
Anna BolenaGiovanna Seymour
Maria StuardaElisabetta
La FavoritaLeonora
GluckOrfeo ed EuridiceOrfeo
HumperdinckHansel und GretelHänsel
Don QuichotteDulcinée
MonteverdiIl ritorno d'Ulisse in PatriaPenelope/Minerva
MozartLa clemenza di TitoSesto
Cosi fan tutteDorabella
OffenbachLes contes d'HoffmannNicklausse/Giulietta
PonchielliLa GiocondaLaura
PoulencDialogues des CarmélitesMère Marie
PucciniMadama ButterflySuzuki
Suor AngelicaLa Zia Principessa
PurcellDido and AeneasDido
RavelL'Heure espagnoleConcepcion
Saint-SaensSamson et DalilaDalila
Strauss, J.Die FledermausPrince Orlofsky
Strauss, R.CapriccioClairon
Ariadne auf NaxosComposer
Der RosenkavalierOctavian
VerdiDon CarloEboli
La Forza del DestinoPreziosilla
WagnerDas RheingoldFricka
Tristan und Isolde Brangäne

Review Excerpts
Santa Fe Opera – Cosi fan tutte
“a fine cast make the dramatis personae as vividly alive as people we see every day… Katharine Goeldner’s Dorabella has a mezzo that glows like hot lava.”

The New Mexican – July 2007
Santa Fe Opera – Cosi fan tutte
“Katharine Goeldner was deliciously pert and pixieish as Dorabella, the sister who yielded to temptation quickest. Her burnished, generous mezzo-soprano moved easily through the music, especially her two arias. Goeldner used her eyes especially well onstage; they brooded like dimmed lamps when her boyfriend departed, but brightened like a stream in the sun when a new swain strutted in.”

Opera News – November 2006
Glimmerglass Opera – Il barbiere di Siviglia
“Katharine Goeldner’s dark, subversive mezzo tone, charging up to a bright, assertive top, gave her Rosina the depth of a girl to be reckoned with”

El Pais – May 2006
Bilbao Opera – Les contes d’Hoffmann
“An absolute triumph for the women… a model Nicklausse by Katharine Goeldner”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – January 2004
Metropolitan Opera – Benvenuto Cellini
“Katharine Goeldner was terrific in the trouser role of Ascanio, Cellini’s apprentice, cute and funny, her rich mezzo clearly audible.”

New York Magazine – September 2003
New York City Opera – Alcina
“The real vocal star is Katharine Goeldner as the knight Ruggiero, giving as spectacular a demonstration of mezzo-soprano coloratura virtuosity as you are likely to hear anywhere today.”

Chicago Tribune – September 2003
New York City Opera – Alcina
“They cheered the cast lustily, especially soprano Christine Goerke in the title role and mezzo Katharine Goeldner as Ruggiero, a knight who escapes Alcina’s snares… Goeldner was an impassioned Ruggiero and drew a big ovation with her bravura aria, ‘Sta nell’Ircana.'”

Opera News – July 2003
New York City Opera – Carmen
“New York City Opera revived its 1992 production of Carmen this spring, with a strong cast led by mezzo Katharine Goeldner… Goeldner’s Carmen has been widely praised, and it’s easy to see why. She’s a delectable creation: sexy and intelligent, alive to musical and dramatic detail. She moves beautifully, without surrendering to hip-shaking cliche, and she plays a mean castanet. This Carmen is richly amused by (and a bit incredulous at) her power over me.”

Lyon Figaro – October 2002
Lyon – Der Rosenkavalier
“The flawless Octavian of Katharine Goeldner, easy emission, pliant voice.”

Opera News – October 2002
Chatelet – Ariadne auf Naxos
“Goeldner gave a performance of thrilling commitment coupled with big-scale singing. There have been mezzos who sang the role more endearingly, but few who sang it so potently.”

The Star-Ledger – April 29, 2002
New Jersey Symphony – Carmen
“Two of these singers, mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner and tenor Allan Glassman, are already finished artists with considerable stage presence and star power. Goeldner, with her silvery tone and evenly textured mezzo, was a dynamic Carmen, strutting and flirting about the stage. Her payday notes for a mezzo, the octave between E and E, were simmering and solid.”

The New York Sun – April 16, 2002
Metropolitan Opera – Lulu
“There was a Met debut Friday night, too, and a superb one: that of Katharine Goeldner, who sang the Schoolboy. She is an American mezzo with a juicy, liquid, alive voice, which she moves in even, assured lines, with some thrilling top notes. Ms. Goeldner is scheduled to sing Carmen with the New York City Opera next season, and – although music criticism is not prognostication – I dare say it will be delicious.”

Opera News – July, 2002
Metropolitan Opera – Lulu
“And mezzo Katharine Goeldner made her Met debut in three roles, including a particularly intense, moving Schoolboy and a quite jolly casino Page.”

The New York Times – October 30, 2001
New York City Opera – Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria
“With its three central human characters decisively in place, the production has one golden divinity: Katharine Goeldner, excitingly radiant and agile as Minerva.”

The Washington Post – June 26, 2000
National Symphony – La clemenza di Tito
“First among equals was mezzo Katharine Goeldner in the linchpin role of Sesto. Passionate, she used her dusky voice to telling effect. Her upper range proved as woody, mellow and virtuosic as the (extremely rare) B-flat basset horn, so skillfully played by Paul Cigan during Sesto’s big aria, ‘Parto, Parto.'”

Opera News – July 2000
New York City Opera – Platee
“One wanted to hear more of the imposing mezzo Katharine Goeldner (Junon).”

“Romantische Entwurfe” Wiener Zeitung – October 25, 1999
Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht
Michael Schonwandt conducting the RSO-Vienna in the Vienna Musikverein.
“At the forefront of the excellent solo-quartet shone the Salzburg-trained mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner.”

“La divine mascarade viennoise” La Croix du Midi – December 3, 1999
“One of the outstanding qualities of Nicolas Joel’s work is certainly that he assembles a cast homogeneous in quality, and with Der Rosenkavalier that is a critical point in determining success. As part of an entirely new cast, Nicolas Joel has invited the mezzo Katharine Goeldner for the role of Octavian. It was she who on our stage had the triumph of the evening in the last production of Ariadne auf Naxos, and who returns to us as a Quinquin with a rich and shimmering timbre, with a voice superbly projected, and with a dramatic temperament of true intensity. She was welcomed with a well-earned ovation at the final curtain.”

“Les beautes du Chevalier a la rose” La Depeche du Midi
December 3, 1999
“Katharine Goeldner brought to Octavian a voice of rich timbre with a radiant top, the picture of a young man passionately and sincerely in love. She was just as convincing in her feminine disguise with Baron Ochs.”

“Des fleurs pour le Chevalier” L’Opinion Independante
December 3, 1999
“As Octavian, Katharine Goeldner, a young singer already come to attention in Ariadne, loses nothing in comparison (to Pamela Coburn and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf) in the quality of her interpretation, and the public at the premiere gave her a well-deserved ovation.”

Opera International – January 2000
“At the forefront must be mentioned the wonderful couple of Octavian and Sophie, with their ideally matched timbres. The first (Katharine Goeldner), who was a brilliant Composer here in April of 1998, stands out for her bronze-colored voice and her masculine assurance of character.”

Le Concertographe
“The trio of women seduces with the awaited return of Katharine Goeldner, who came to great attention two years ago as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, and who confirms her talents here as an actress of great energy and a moving singer with a remarkably rich timbre.”

Le Monde de la Musique – February 2000
“Katharine Goeldner made a remarkable debut in the title role (of Der Rosenkavalier). Her liveliness and the suppleness of her mezzo voice gives one to think that we will be hearing her in this role again very soon.”

Ut Mi Sol – January 2000
“Katharine Goeldner is an elegant and sensitive Octavian. With her well-placed voice, she rejuvenates the role with precision.”

La Gazette du Midi – December 10, 1999
“In the title-role of Octavian, the young mezzo, Katharine Goeldner, was remarkable. The voice is luminous, radiant, expressive, combining gentleness and brilliance. Scenically, she is mobile, fervent and enthusiastic.”

La Depeche du Midi – February 25, 2000
“Katharine Goeldner, Idamante, once again makes one marvel at the fullness of her beautiful vocal material in a travesty role on this stage.”

La Croix du Midi – February 25, 2000
“Katharine Goeldner is the passionate and vibrant Idamante that one expected of her.”