MA JOAD (THE GRAPES OF WRATH)
OPERA THEATER ST. LOUIS
Michigan Opera Theatre closed its
(2018/2019) season with Ricky Ian Gordon’s
The Grapes of Wrath….Mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner played Ma Joad, the emotional center of the family, with power and open-heartedness.
Her early aria “(This Dead Land is) Us,” which launched the score’s most crucial melodic motives, was as warm and loving as a mother’s hug; her later “No One is Goin’” was an explosion of fire and despair.
The story’s beating heart, Goeldner never faltered, her voice consistently stunning in this rare leading role for a mature mezzo-soprano.
Opera News, Jennifer Goltz
"The linchpin of the story is Ma, the Joad family’s matriarch, who keeps her large family together for as long as she can; as sung by mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner, she’s a powerful presence (and voice) of considerable character."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sarah Bryan Miller
"This role was such a perfect fit for Katharine Goeldner’s interpretive gifts, it is hard to know where Ms. Goeldner ended and Ma Joad began. Her Earth Mother presence swept all before it, barking orders one moment, comforting the sick another, healing the hurt as needed, and above all, trying to claw the family together with finger tips of steel. Here is a skilled vocalist with a sound technique who knows what her large, pointed
mezzo-soprano can (and can’t) do. She takes some thrilling risks, pushing the voice for dramatic effect, and the results are often electrifying. But Katharine can also draw you in with sustained, floated pianissimi,
so private and delicate that she breaks your heart. It is not often we are privileged to witness such a
perfect marriage of artist and role."
Opera Today, James Sohre
ANNINA (DER ROSENKAVALIER)
"Thomas Ebenstein...and Katharine Goeldner made a deliciously slippery pair as Valzacchi and Annina."
Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review
"Playing Annina (was) Katharine Goeldner...snake-like in her movements, particularly as she begged Ochs for
money after delivering the letter from Mariandel."
David Salazar, Operawire
MARCELLINA (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO)
LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO
"American mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner is a marvelous Marcellina,
relishing her comic role as the wedding spoiler..."
Dorothy Andries, Better.net
"Katharine Goeldner’s excellent Marcellina was one of the highlights of the evening."
Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News
FRICKA (DIE WALKÜRE)
"But not only in terms of vocal technique, but also in the psychology of the roles, there was something excellent to hear: for example, the marriage conflict between the sharp-tongued Fricka of Katharine Goeldner and
the quickly defensive Wotan of Johan Reuter."
Augsburger Allgemeine, Rüdiger Heinze
FRICKA (DAS RHEINGOLD)
"Katharine Goeldner's powerful and velvety mezzo-soprano is entirely suited to the goddess Fricka."
Twin Cities Arts Reader
"The women were wonderful. Katharine Goeldner, an Iowa native too seldom heard in these parts, was a guileful Fricka."
Opera News, Larry Fuchsberg
DALILA (SAMSON ET DALILIA)
"As Delilah, Katharine Goeldner regaled us with her rich, creamy mezzo-soprano that found lyrical luxuriousness in the opera’s two celebrated arias “Spring Blossoms” and “My Heart Opens to Your Voice.” These were compelling, magical and emotional moments, among the best to be heard. As the temptress, Goeldner was cold, calculating and devious, using her outer mask of sincere love to deceive and destroy Samson.
Her Delilah was a delight to watch and a mighty exciting thing to hear."
The Virginia Gazette, John Shulson
"With bull’s-eye pitch and exquisitely controlled dynamics, Goeldner’s voice shines throughout,
with her upper register occasionally blasting through with great dramatic effect."
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Andy Garrigue
"Katharine Goeldner’s singing as Dalila hit the spot. The mezzo sculpted melting phrases in “Printemps qui commence,” making distinctive use of portamento, and sustained a velvety quality throughout “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix.” Goeldner played the role to the hilt, especially when it came to goading Samson, blithely filing her nails at one point during their Act II scene. (This Dalila changed hair colors nearly as often as Mrs. Slocombe in Are You Being Served? -- each new wig put one more spin on the vixen’s vain, deceptive nature.)"
Opera News, Tim Smith
"As Amneris, the daughter of Pharaoh, mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner rendered a superb performance. Her singing was flawless, distinguished by beauty and drama and connected seamlessly to the complex machinations of her character."
David Sckolnik, peakradar.com
"Katharine Goeldner had her Utah Opera debut as Amneris, the daughter of the Pharaoh. Goeldner’s voice has a lovely lower register, and she adeptly showed all the facets of Amneris – her love for Radamés, her regal fire as the daughter of the king, and her sorrow and remorse as the tragic events unfold."
The Utah Review, Sarah Neal
"Of the three principals, Katharine Goeldner’s Amneris stood out with tone as golden as her detailed gown, designed by Alice Bristow, and displayed equally refined dramatic acumen. It was difficult not to root for Goeldner’s highly developed character during the second act’s “Fu la sorte dell’ armi,” even as she ruthlessly turned against Aida upon detecting the latter’s feelings for Radamès."
Opera News, Robert Coleman
BRANGÄNE (TRISTAN UND ISOLDE)
Katharine Goeldner enthralled
us with her expressive
mezzo-soprano and her masterful interpretation of Brangäne. With her performance this evening, the doors of all
the great opera houses
of the world should be open
Der neue Merker, Harald Lacina
THIRZA (THE WRECKERS)
BARD SUMMERSCAPE 2015
"Katharine Goeldner unfurled her stunningly rich mezzo as Thirza in a gutsy, thrilling performance."
Opera, Eric Myers
"As Pascoe’s wife, Thirza, Katharine Goeldner proved herself a natural actress, and her powerhouse mezzo cut with thrilling, laser-like focus in her Act II aria; her heroine emerged as the performance of the night."
Opera News, Adam Wasserman
"Katharine Goeldner fully mastered the high-lying mezzo role of Thirza, giving heat to that duet."
The New Yorker, Alex Ross
GIOVANNA SEYMOUR (ANNA BOLENA)
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA | WELSH NATIONAL OPERA
Mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner
also scored a personal triumph substituting for Ekaterina Gubanova in the role of Giovanna Seymour. Her voice is dark and beautiful and she is a good actress too. Her duet with the virile Enrico of Ildar Abdrazakov showed Giovanna’s inner conflicts and her voice suits the belcanto style.
OperaClick.com, Ingrid Haas
"Up came the curtain and out came mezzo Katharine Goeldner. She replaced Gubanova in the role of a conflicted Jane Seymour, Henry the VIII’s reluctant next wife in Donizetti’s telling. The second act’s first scene gives the character a duet with (Anna) Netrebko’s fiery Anne Boleyn. Goeldner nailed her role as a penitent supplicant and sang confidently and well in their harmonies."
Los Angeles Times, Christopher Smith
"We have a captivating, dramatically superb, Katharine Goeldner as her rival Jane Seymour."
walesonline.com, Mike Smith
LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO | NEW YORK CITY OPERA
…Katharine Goeldner is a sensitive, intelligent artist and fielded a satisfying protagonist…her mezzo is fluidly produced, with a dusky throb in the lower register, and she was keenly responsive to text; the habanera was insouciantly tinged, and “En vain pour éviter” was excellent.
Opera News, Mark Thomas Ketterson
The splendor of mid 19th Century Seville is showcased with the vivid opening scenes culminating with Goeldner’s expert rendering of the Habanera “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle.” We do indeed realize that Carmen, the gypsy prostitute, is a free spirit who will not be ordered about…What anchored the opera for me was the emotional connection between Goeldner’s Carmen and Lee’s Don Jose – we empathize, we hope for them and we are saddened by their demise…The audience at the performance I attended
gave several “bravos” including a most enthusiastic standing ovation to the cast.
Chicago Critic, Tom Williams
Katharine Goeldner’s Carmen has been widely praised, and it’s easy to see why. She’s a delectable creation: sexy and intelligent, alive to musical and dramatic detail. She moves beautifully, without surrendering to hip-shaking cliché, and she plays a mean castanet. This Carmen is richly amused by
(and a bit incredulous at) her power over men.
Opera News , William V. Madison
Katharine Goeldner, as Carmen, is herself singing more and more at the Met, and with reason: she has a fine,
firm voice and knows how to wield it.
The New York Times, Anne Midgette