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 Midsummernight’s Dream with Hawaii Opera Theater, she 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 makes 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, and her return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the role of Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin.
Future projects include debuts as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, and Dalila in Samson et Dalila.
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 Song of the Earth (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, Lyon and 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.