Catherine Martin - Leonora
American mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin has been praised by The Washington Post for her “gorgeous, warm voice that you want to keep listening to,” and she continues to make an impact in repertoire ranging from Verdi and Wagner to Strauss and Bellini. The 2017-2018 season includes her return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Waltraute in Die Walküre, her Minnesota Opera debut as Sister Helen in Dead Man Walking, Meg in Falstaff with Intermountain Opera, joining the National Chorale in their 50th anniversary season for the world premiere of Rice’s Thy Will Be Done, and singing Songs of a Wayfarer with the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.
Last season for Ms. Martin began in Taiwan at the National Taichung Theatre reviving Wellgunde in Das Rheingold with La Fura dels Baus production team. She then debuted with Lyric Opera of Chicago singing Hécube and covering Didon in Les Troyens, appeared in concert with The Dallas Opera and the San Antonio Symphony, covered Sister Hellen in Dead Man Walking at Washington National Opera, joined Houston Grand Opera as Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood to reprise her Wellgunde in Das Rheingold. The 2015- 2016 season included debuts with Opera Colorado in her signature role of Amneris in Aïda, Florida Grand Opera in her role debut as Adalgisa in Norma, a return to Washington National Opera as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and Grimgerde in Die Walküre, and a return to Houston Grand Opera in Götterdämmerung. The 2014-2015 season included her debut with Dayton Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, Waltraute in Die Walküre with Houston Grand Opera, a return to Opera Santa Barbara as Maddalena in Rigoletto, and Genevieve in Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner with the American Symphony Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. Ms. Martin’s landmark 2013-2014 season included two important assignments for Houston Grand Opera: Amneris in its season-opening production of Aïda, and her role debut as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold for the company’s first-ever Ring Cycle. Adding several key Strauss roles to her repertoire, she made her role debut as Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos at The Glimmerglass Festival and sang Annina and covered Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Other performances included Mary in the world premiere Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me with Washington National Opera, Amneris for her debut with Opera Santa Barbara, leading roles in the double bill of Musto’s Bastianello and Bolcom’s Lucrezia at UrbanArias, and Schubert’s Mirjams Siegesgesang with the San Antonio Symphony. Other highlights from 2013 include Sara Miller in the world premiere of Approaching Ali with Washington National Opera, performances in the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, her New Haven Symphony debut performing Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, and her debut with Vancouver’s West Coast Chamber Players singing Alan L. Smith’s Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman.
Martin is an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio where she 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. At HGO, 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. In 2012, she was a member of The Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Program, making her role debut as Amneris. In 2011 and 2010, she was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where her assignments included Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Zaida in Il turco in Italia, and multiple recitals with Steven Blier.
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 for 2015 and 2016 and was 2nd Place winner of the 2016 Maryland 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 in vocal performance from the University of North Texas.