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 has established an international reputation as one of today’s finest mezzo-sopranos.
This year, Katharine took part in two exciting world premieres: she created the roles of Jacqueline Onassis in JFK for Fort Worth Opera, and Peggy Ophuls in Shalimar the Clown, based on the novel by Salman Rushdie, for Opera Theatre of Saint 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 Theatre; and she made her Dutch National Opera debut as Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro. Other performances in the 2016–2017 season include Shostakovich’s Songs from Jewish Folk Poetry with The Orchestra Now at Carnegie Hall; her role debut as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre in her home state of Iowa; a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin; Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath for Opera Theatre of St. Louis; and her role debut as Dalila in Samson et Dalila for with Virginia Opera.
Katharine has performed her signature role of the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos in Oviedo, Madrid, Salzburg, Toulouse, Lyon and Paris’ Châtelet. Her many roles at the Metropolitan Opera have included Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena, Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro ), Ascanio (Benvenuto Cellini), Nicklausse (Les contes d’Hoffmann), and Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). She was a favorite at New York City Opera for many years, where in addition to the title role in Carmen, she appeared as Erika in Barber’s Vanessa, Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. Additional credits include the title role of Der Rosenkavalier in Toulouse, Lyon, and Seville; Carmen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dorset Opera UK, and the Savonlinna Festival; Fricka (Das Rheingold), Waltraute (Götterdämmerung), and Geschwitz (Lulu) in Toulouse; Charlotte (Werther) and Nicklausse in Bilbao; Maffio Orsini (Lucrezia Borgia) for Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Dorabella (Così fan tutte) at the Santa Fe Opera; Fenena (Nabucco) in Dallas, Bilbao, Antwerp and Ghent; Prince Orlofsky on tour with Seiji Ozawa in Japan; Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Florida Grand Opera; Thirza in the U.S. stage premiere of Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers with Bard Summerscape; and her Minnesota Opera debut as Queen Gertrude in Hamlet.
Katharine recently made her Covent Garden debut in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Royal Ballet. She has recorded with the Bilbao Opera, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Vienna Symphony, and has also appeared in concert with Orchestra Iowa, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the Bruckner Orchester Linz, Berlin Symphony, Basel Sinfonietta, Basque National Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonie de Radio France, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Prague Radio Orchestra, and the Filarmonica Toscanini Parma.
Together with the flutist Amy Morris (Minnesota Opera Orchestra) and pianist Eric McEnaney (Minnesota Opera), Katharine has formed the chamber music trio The Prairie Song Project, whose purpose is to promote the works of Midwestern composers, artists, and musicians. The trio has commissioned and recorded two new works for mezzo, flute, and piano: Peter Ash’s Paradox and Rory Boyle’s A Handful of Leaves.
Born and raised in Sigourney, Iowa, Katharine received a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Iowa and a Magister Diplom in Lieder and Oratorio from the Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Katharine lives in Salzburg with her husband Edward Bartlett, a bassoonist in the Mozarteum Orchestra, and their daughter Anna.