Opera News calls her “a natural actress…with thrilling, laser-like focus” and “luminous tone.” Opera magazine praises her “stunningly rich mezzo.” With a career that takes her throughout the U.S. and Europe, the “powerhouse” mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner is recognized as one of today’s finest artists.
Katharine’s performances in 2019 and 2020 included her role debut as a “deliciously slippery,” “snake-like” Annina in Der Rosenkavalier at The Metropolitan Opera, directed by Robert Carsen and conducted by Sir Simon Rattle; an exciting last-minute performance as the Marquise de Berkenfeld in Laurent Pelly’s production of La fille du Regiment, also at the Met, and costarring Kathleen Turner, Pretty Yende, and Javier Camarena and conducted by Enrique Mazzola; a “powerful and velvety” Fricka in Die Walküre in Augsburg; Verdi’s Requiem with the Jacksonville Symphony; and Brigitta in Die tote Stadt in Toulouse and with RTÉ Dublin. Critics have described Katharine’s performances as Ma Joad in Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie’s The Grapes of Wrath as “consistently stunning” and “a perfect marriage of artist and role.” She created the roles of both Jackie Onassis in David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s JFK and Peggy Ophuls in Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown. She brings her “marvelous” Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro back to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in spring 2021.
Katharine’s impressive international career has taken her to the stages of Toulouse, Lyon, Seville, Bilbao, Hannover, Kassel, Monte Carlo, Montreal, Santa Fe, Arizona, Dallas, Paris’ Châtelet, the Salzburg Festival, and the Savonlinna Festival, spanning the mezzo repertoire from the Composer in Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos, one of her signature roles, to more recent portrayals of Amneris, Dalila, Herodias, and Brangäne. Her many roles at the Metropolitan Opera have included the Schoolboy in Lulu (the role of her company debut), Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Ascanio in Benvenuto Cellini, Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus and Jane Seymour in Anna Bolena opposite Anna Netrebko in the title role. She has starred as Carmen at Finland’s Savonlinna Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Dorset Festival (UK), Madison Opera, and New York City Opera.
Katharine’s vast concert repertoire includes Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and on tour at Lincoln Center; Shostakovich's Songs from Jewish Folk Poetry
with Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now at Carnegie Hall; a DVD of K.A. Hartmann’s Erste Sinfonie with Lothar Zagrosek and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra; Salome in concert with Edo de Waart at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Georges Prêtre and the Vienna Symphony; Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Timothy Hankewich and Orchestra Iowa; and multiple performances with RSO-Vienna, Berlin Symphony, Filarmonica Toscanini, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonie de Radio France, and the Basel Sinfonietta, with such distinguished conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras, Hans Graf, Dennis Russell Davies, Michael Schønwandt, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Marek Janowski, and Adam Fischer.
Passionate about classical art song, Katharine has presented recitals at the Kennedy Center, the Salzburg Mozart Festival, Vienna’s Festival Ravel, the Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Drake University, and her alma mater, the University of Iowa. As a member of the chamber trio The Prairie Song Project, she has commissioned two works for mezzo, flute and piano: Peter Ash’s Paradox and Rory Boyle’s A Handful of Leaves.
Katharine received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Iowa. She was extremely honored to be named an Alumni Fellow by the University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2012. She also holds a Magister Diplom/Masters Degree with High Honors in Lieder and Oratorio from Salzburg’s Mozarteum University. Katharine shares her passion 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, the AIMS institute in Graz, and the University of Miami Summer in Salzburg program.
Updated: May 2020