Currently residing in the UK, leading Australian mezzo soprano Catherine Carby has performed with major opera companies including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Australia, Victoria State Opera, State Opera South Australia and Opera Queensland. As a board member of Swap’ra UK (Supporting Women and Parents in Opera), Catherine is committed to achieving gender and pay equality in the opera industry .
Alongside a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Catherine’s engagements in 2022/23 include the roles of Waltraute (Ring Cycle) for Longborough Festival Opera, Malcolm (La Donna del Lago) for Buxton International Festival, the title role (Médée) for Pinchgut Opera and on the concert platform, Verdi Requiem (Chief Conductor Jaime Martín conducting), Handel Messiah (Sir Andrew Davis conducting) with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and a celebration of the work of Karl Jenkins at Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Sir Karl himself.
Catherine’s roles for the Royal Opera include Emilia (Otello), Antonia’s mother (Tales of Hoffmann), Second Maid (Elektra), Minerva/Fortune (The Return of Ulysses), Siegrune (Die Walküre), Sister Mathilde (Dialogue des Carmélites), Annina (La Traviata), and Voice from Above (Die Frau ohne Schatten) and for the Royal Ballet, Katharina Schratt (Mayerling). Further roles include Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) at the Teatro São Carlos, Lisbon; Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito) for National Opera Company, Canberra; Penelope (Il Ritorno d’Ulisse) for Pinchgut Opera; Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride (title role), Aurelio (Donizetti’s L’Assedio di Calais), Cornelia (Giulio Cesare), Idamante (Idomeneo), Diana (La Calisto), and Rodrigo (Donizetti’s Pia di Tolomei) for English Touring Opera; Sara (Robert Devereux), Elcia (Mose in Egitto, Rossini) and Romeo (I Capuleti e I Montechi) for Chelsea Opera Group; Ramiro (La finta giardiniera), and Prue in Malcom Arnold’s The Dancing Master, (the Resonus Classics recording of which won BBC Music Magazine’s Best Opera Award 2021), for Buxton International Festival; Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) for Longborough Festival Opera, and the title role in L’Orfeo for Opus 48, Oxford.
For Opera Australia Catherine has sung Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier, available on DVD), title role (Carmen), Arsace (Partenope, Green Room Award nomination), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Baba the Turk (The Rake’s Progress, Helpmann Award), Mallika (Lakmé), Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Cornelia (Giulio Cesare, Green Room Award), Ruggiero (Alcina), Kristina (The Makropulos Affair), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Second Lady (Magic Flute) and Auntie (Peter Grimes).
On the concert platform she has been heard in Elijah at the Hexham Festival; Nita (The Mountebanks) with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Beethoven Symphony No 9 with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra; Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Das Lied von der Erde with the Gardner Chamber Orchestra Boston; Mozart’s Mass in C for the Polski Chór Kameralny Gdańsk; Karl Jenkins’ 75th birthday celebrations; Verdi Requiem with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Haydn’s Arianna auf Naxos with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Her recordings include The Mountebanks (with the BBC Singers for Dutton Epoch), Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley for Resonus Classics, Satanella for Naxos CD, The Love for Three Oranges for Chandos CD, Les contes d’Hoffmann for Sony CD/Blu Ray, Der Rosenkavalier for Opera Australia CD/DVD/Blu Ray, and The Royal Opera’s Die Walküre (Siegrune) on Opus Arte Blu Ray/DVD which won the 2021 BBC Music Magazine’s DVD of the Year.
Catherine Carby studied at the Canberra School of Music and the Royal College of Music, London, and was a Young Artist for both Victoria State Opera and Opera Australia. She has been a finalist in several major competitions including the Kathleen Ferrier Award, the Richard Tauber Award, the McDonalds Aria, the ABC Young Performers (Vocal finalist) and the Young Concert Artists Trust.
Pinchgut Opera acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the first story-tellers and singers of songs. We pay our respects to elders past, present, and emerging.