Catherine Carby

Mezzo-soprano

Catherine Carby
REVIEWS

Romeo: I Capuleti e i Montecchi / Chelsea Opera Group

“The casting was exemplary. Catherine Carby's Romeo and Ana Maria Labin's Giulietta voiced their doomed passions with sumptuous tone, immaculate technique and formidable intensity.”

The Guardian

 

“Romeo was sung by the Australian mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby who made a passionate and highly involved Romeo. Her opening aria, where Romeo faces the rival faction, was wonderfully defiant with Carby displaying a lovely smooth, evenly produced voice with a nice facility for the passagework. Her performance has a creamy, seductive quality which leant a special quality to her duets with Ana Maria Labin's Giulietta… Carby's final scene was finely expressive as well as being beautifully sung. Throughout, she showed great sympathy with the bel canto style… Carby was finely passionate, beautifully fluid with a lovely sense of line, and produced some highly imaginative ornamentation for the arias.”

Planet Hugill

 

Romeo: I Capuleti e i Montecchi / Chelsea Opera Group

“The casting was exemplary. Catherine Carby's Romeo and Ana Maria Labin's Giulietta voiced their doomed passions with sumptuous tone, immaculate technique and formidable intensity.”

The Guardian

 

“The Australian mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby was a superb Romeo. Her wonderfully smooth and even voice – especially impressive at the bottom – conveyed youthful valour in her public stand-offs with the Guelphs, and sincere, passionate devotion in the intimate encounters with Ana Maria Labin’s Giulietta.”

Opera

 

“Romeo was sung by the Australian mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby who made a passionate and highly involved Romeo. Her opening aria, where Romeo faces the rival faction, was wonderfully defiant with Carby displaying a lovely smooth, evenly produced voice with a nice facility for the passagework. Her performance has a creamy, seductive quality which leant a special quality to her duets with Ana Maria Labin's Giulietta… Carby's final scene was finely expressive as well as being beautifully sung. Throughout, she showed great sympathy with the bel canto style… Carby was finely passionate, beautifully fluid with a lovely sense of line, and produced some highly imaginative ornamentation for the arias.”

Planet Hugill

 

Aurelio: L’Assiedo di Calais / English Touring Opera

"sung here by mezzo Catherine Carby and soprano Paula Sides, who achieved that magical soaring of blended voices that keeps you coming back to bel canto."

Bachtrack

 

"Catherine Carby was at ease with the intricacies of bel canto demands and her acting was eloquently emotional throughout."

Classical Source

 

“…Catherine Carby’s vivid and stylish bel canto in the trouser role of Aurelio…”

Opera

 

“The trouser-role of Aurelio was magnificently performed by mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby. She made an exceptional impact across a wide range, leaping athletically between registers, and her low voice was stirring and firm, of penetrating richness. Donizetti’s score is, for once, virtuosity-lite, but in its more florid passages Carby used the flamboyant gestures to make a striking dramatic impression: Aurelio’s account of his terrifying dream was especially moving.”

Opera Today

 

“…made a fine Aurelio with some spectacular bravura moments. She has a voice with which she was able to exploit the role's wide range, with some strong low notes as well as a finely free dramatic top with the whole linked beautifully. She used Donizetti's fiortiture dramatically rather than for its own sake. She was also dramatically believable as a young man so that no suspension of disbelief was required."

Planet Hugill

 

“As Aurelio (a trouser role), mezzo Catherine Carby excels in her/his vocal strength and delivers one of the winning characterisations of the evening. The brief aria “Giammai del forte ardir non langue”, with its large-interval jumps and pyrotechnics (it soon blossoms into an ensemble) was taken with seeming ease. Aurelio’s dramatic duet with Eleanora, his wife, was terrific.”

Seen and Heard International

 

"At the production's heart is a performance as the tragic Aurelio that ranks among the year's high points to date. Catherine Carby sings, loves and suffers with such conviction that it's impossible not to be moved by her, nor to revel in her rich timbre..."

What’s On Stage

 

Rodrigo: Pia de’Tolomei / English Touring Opera

“Catherine Carby is truly affecting in the trouser role of Rodrigo, her honeyed mezzo an absolute luxury in Rodrigo’s tragic imprisonment aria.”

Bachtrack

 

The most voluptuous singing of all came from Catherine Carby…”

Critics Circle

 

“Catherine Carby’s proudly lyrical Rodrigo…”

The Guardian

 

Iphigénie: Iphigénie en Tauride / English Touring Opera

“Catherine Carby knows exactly what to do to express Iphigenia's pain and dignity, using the French language to heighten the plangency.”

The Arts Desk

 

"In the title role the Australian mezzo Catherine Carby was completely in charge of Iphigénie’s suffering nobility and her ‘O malheureuse Iphigénie’ got to the heart of her tragedy and drew the audience into it."

Classical Source

 

Catherine Carby made an imposing contribution in the title role with her beautiful timbre.”

Critics Circle

 

“Catherine Carby manages real nobility as Iphigenia, singing with rich tone.”

The Financial Times

 

"Catherine Carby superbly registers Iphigénie’s fear of Craig Smith’s thuggish, xenophobic Thoas, and heart-rendingly delineates her growing empathy for the stranger she must kill, unaware that he is, in fact, her brother…Carby sounds extraordinarily beautiful as her voice cleaves through Gluck’s soaring lines."

The Guardian

 

"If you want to hear world-class singing, that’s what you’ll get from Catherine Carby in the title role. Carby sails through her hugely demanding role with seemingly effortless grace."

The Independent

 

“Catherine Carby offers a towering powering as the troubled Iphigénie.”

The Mail on Sunday

 

"Catherine Carby sang beautifully with fine French diction, her voice and portrayal bringing out the agony of her position."

Mark Ronan Theatre Reviews

 

“Catherine Carby is a totally convincing Iphigénie.”

Opera Now

 

“Catherine Carby, a mad, elegant and stylish Iphigénie.”

Planet Hugill

 

“Catherine Carby gave a heartfelt performance as Iphigénie: how could one not deeply sympathise with her plight?”

Seen and Heard International

 

"With her singing of Iphigénie's great solos, she clearly has the measure of this role, and those lucky enough to see her will surely come away both moved by her dilemma and edified."

The Sunday Times

 

“Carby carries the energy of the opera, her dark, tense voice most plangent in Iphigénie’s Act III aria, D’une image, hélas, trop chérie.”

The Times

 

“Carby, one of our finest mezzo-sopranos, is locked into her upper vocal register for much of the evening, but she turns the taxing tessitura to her advantage in a performance that reeks of wracked vulnerability.”

What’s On Stage

 

Auntie: Peter Grimes / Opera Australia

“There were so many clearly defined performances, each one adding individual colour and texture to the mosaic: Catherine Carby’s firm, capable, youthful Auntie…”

Opera

 

“Catherine Carby is a delightfully dubious Auntie, the glint in her eye belying a warmth and sad wisdom which shows itself in the women's quartet.”

The Opera Critic

 

Ruggiero: Alcina / Opera Australia

“Catherine Carby showed vocal dash and she caught the right nobility of tone as Ruggiero overcomes bewilderment in the name of a higher love.”

The Age

 

Cornelia: Giulio Cesare / Opera Australia

“Catherine Carby carried off the much put upon Roman part of Cornelia with the requisite stately misery.”

The Opera Critic

 

Arsace: Partenope / Opera Australia

“In the thankless role of Arscae, warm-toned mezzo Catherine Carby’s sinuous phrasing realised the character’s hangdop unhappiness.”

The Australian

 

Kristina: The Makropulos Case / Opera Australia

“Mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby is a delight as aspiring opera singer and Marty acolyte Kristina, a soprano role, but well suited to Carby’s light, silky voice, which has never sounded better,”

The Opera Critic

 

Donna Elvira: Don Giovanni / Opera Australia

“Catherine Carby’s richly coloured singing and passionate acting made for a fiery, feisty Donna Elvira, tormented by her conflicting emotions towards Giovanni.”

The Australian

 

“Catherine Carby’s Elvira was ballsy and vivid.”

Opera

 

“…her staggering ‘Mi tradiì” is possibly the production’s finest moment.”

The Opera Critic

 

“Catherine Carby’s Donna Elvira was the work’s most interesting character in her comic, self-humiliating obsession with Giovanni, and she rose to the challenge with humour and poignancy. Her beautifully phrased and coloured Act 11 aria, Mi tradì, was a musico-dramatic turning.”

Sydney Morning Herald

 

Ramiro: La finta giardiniera / Buxton Festival Opera

“Top quality standards, too, are to be found among the seven principals…Catherine Carby, Arminda’s sporty admirer Ramiro…”

The Guardian

 

“Catherine Carby was nicely believable en travesti as Ramiro…”

Planet Hugill

 

 

Niklausse: Les contes d’Hoffmann / West Australian Opera

“Catherine Carby (Nicklausse) and Adrian McEniery (the four character tenors) made welcome debuts with WA Opera.”

Opera

 

“Catherine Carby as the Muse / Niklausse is an attractive and subtle dramatic foil to Hoffmann.”

The West Australian

 

Smeraldina: The Love For Three Oranges / Opera Australia

“As a foil, Catherine Carby does the sour-faced usurper’s role of Smeraldina redoubtably…”

Sydney Morning Herald

 

Suzuki: Madama Butterly / Opera Australia

“Catherine Carby's presence as Suzuki seems like luxury casting, but in fact she's precisely as luxurious as the role itself demands. Suzuki is commonly cited as the archetypal Thankless Mezzo Role, but while she mightn't have a great deal to sing, her presence is nevertheless vital. Carby fills this role with delicate sincerity, and when she does sing, her shimmering mezzo is a delight, lighter than might be expected in the role, but surprisingly powerful.”

The Opera Critic

 

 

Voice from Above: Die Frau ohne Schatten / Royal Opera, London

“…Catherine Carby’s serenely eloquent Voice from Above…”

Classical Source

 

“Catherine Carby delivered a serene Voice from Avove…”

Opera

 

Octavian: Der Rosenkavalier / Opera Australia

“Catherine Carby was an urgent, believable Octavian…”

Opera

 

“Catherine Carby's trim, silvery voice and lively stage presence equip her well for Octavian: she sings with clarity, refinement and unflagging energy.”

The Opera Critic

 

 

Baba the Turk: The Rake’s Progress / Opera Australia

“...Catherine Carby in the bizarre role of Baba the Turk does a nice turn as an oddity made respectable by celebrity.“

The Age

 

“In the rather more sympathetic role of Baba the Turk, mezzo Catherine Carby managed to bring quite a touch of glamour to the part of the bearded lady.“

The Opera Critic

 

“…Catherine Carby (Baba) was as delightful a bearded lady as you are likely to meet…”

Sydney Morning Herald

 

 

Tavener: Supernatural Songs / City of London Sindonia

"Catherine Carby sang Supernatural Songs with confidence and a voice of impressive fullness, lending real sensuality to verses seeing spiritual aspects in sexual ecstasy."

The Argus

 

"There was a seductive and surprising vitality in Tavener's Supernatural Songs, sung with intelligence, authority and grave expressivity by the mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby."

The Times

 

Fenena: Nabucco / Opera Australia

“Fenena (Catherine Carby), the daughter of Nabucco, has a rich dark mezzo that gives the character a defining nobility…the best singing comes in the second half of the work when the lovely non-grandiose moments, like Carby's prayer, as she accepts death, are a relief from the almost uninterrupted force of the music, driven at an energetic pace by conductor Andrea Licata and a dazzling Orchestra Victoria.”

The Age

 

“Among the soloists the standouts were: Catherine Carby as the sweet Fenena with a pure, gloriously focused sound…”

Sydney Morning Herald

 

Brangäne: Tristan und Isolde / Longborough Festival Opera

“Catherine Carby a strong, sisterly Brangäne, spinning a marvellous line from her watchtower…”

The Arts Desk

 

“…Catherine Carby, an urgently impressive Brangäne.”

The Guardian

 

“…excellent in support.”

The Observer

 

“Catherine Carby, as Brangäne, was ideal in her Act 11 off-stage warnings…”

Opera Now

 

"Brangäne's warnings were gloriously voiced by Catherine Carby."

The Spectator

 

“…Catherine Carby’s warm-toned Brangäne…”

The Sunday Times

 

“…Catherine Carby, an engaging, eloquent Brangäne…”

The Times

 

“Catherine Carby's emotional and committed passion, her love for Isolde, and her horror of the consequences of her actions brought her to prominence in all her scenes. With a voice to match the emotional rollercoaster, Carby enjoyed a notable success."

Wagner News

 

“…Catherine Carby, a powerful Brangäne, vocally luminous in her offstage warning to the lovers…”

What’s On Stage



DISCOGRAPHY

R. Strauss Der Rosenkavalier (role of Octavian)
Cheryl Barber, Manfred Hemm, Emma Pearson, Warwick Fyfe
Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra / Andrew Litton
Opera Australia OPOZ 56028 CD / OPOZ 56026 DVD

Jewels of the Bel Canto
Elena Xanthoudakis
Royal Northern Sinfonia / Richard Bonyne
Signum CD SIGCD374

Balfe Satanella (role of Leila)
Sally Silver, Christine Tocci, Elizabeth Sikora, Kang Wang, Quentin Hayes, Anthony Gregory
Victorian Opera Orchestra / Richard Bonynge
Naxos CD 8660378

AUDIO / VIDEO
Catherine Carby sings Handel: Partenope - Cupid wounds me