“The loveliest scene of the opera was the first one. The river maidens, Jacqueline Echols (Woglinde), Catherine Martin (Wellgunde), and Renée Tatum (Flosshilde) all had such wonderfully unique voices, yet blended so beautifully with rich harmonies to create a shimmering river scene. As they effortlessly floated across the stage, there were billows of fog creating a cool and calming effect, which brought the audience deep into the river valleys of this mythical world. One can’t help but feel the intensely thick waves of music wash over you.”
-MD Theater Guide
“If I were shipwrecked, I would leave all of my other operas and try to save Norma.”
"You can see Casablanca over and over, designed to be frozen in time. But the best live performance art – not once-removed audio or videoed versions – is a transient one-time experience.
So when Florida Grand Opera agreed to produce Norma, Bellini’s masterpiece infrequently mounted because of its Herculean demands on the few divas willing to perform it, it provided an opportunity for local audiences to experience what they had only heard other people talk about or had listened to on recordings.
Fortunately, FGO’s version that opened Saturday is a superbly executed triumph that melds technical mastery and gut-wrenching emotion."
-Florida Theatre on Stage
The most revelatory performance came from mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin as the Egyptian princess Amneris, who is also desperately in unrequited love with Radames. Martin is both radiant and commanding, and her passion, both vocally and dramatically, sustains the tension-filled first half of Act IV. In fact, Martin succeeds in making Amneris the most interesting character in the opera. Verdi made sure that this was possible in the way he wrote the role, but the singer needs to cash in on that if she is not to retreat into the shadows of Aida and Radames.
-The Daily Camera
"Catherine Martin’s mezzo has warmth and shimmer, as well as a degree of cut that lends distinction to her interpretation of classic lyric roles...Martin’s six-foot stature is a strong component of her naturally striking stage presence"
-Brian Kellow, Opera News
"Catherine Martin was an exceptional talent whose lush overtones gave rise to a sound that resonated to all parts of the hall. Undoubtedly capable of doing great justice to Wagner, Martin carried her part tastefully in the more intimate setting."
As Sister Helen, Catherine Martin's remarkable vocal powers brought her character, and the opera to life. She is a beautiful and young American Mezzo-Soprano well on her way to a brilliant career. She dominates nearly every scene. Her vocal line gives musical meaning to the words...Her vocal powers sustained her complex character. She is a Star."
-The Oakwood Register
"Martin's Amneris took on enough depth of feeling to ultimately, and unexpectedly, make her the standout of the performance. . . Catherine Martin, who was Amneris, has a full, rich voice..."
-The Los Angeles Times
"Christine Goerke was balanced by the terrific Catherine Martin who sang with assurance and a firm, golden voice."
-The Washington Post
"Catherine Martin was an impassioned Composer."
-The Wall Street Journal
"The Opening act dwells on the angst of the Composer, played by Catherine Martin, whose characterization is convincing and voice first rate."
-WAMC/Northeast Public Radio
"Martin delivers angelic vocals, perfect facial expressions, spot-on comic timing, and yet just enough real sadness to be relatable...Catherine Martin’s voice is warm, gorgeous as always (you may have seen her recently at Washington National Opera), and often jazzy – her role in Lucrezia provides her with endless opportunities to use her “mezzo sass”. . . "
-D.C. Metro Theatre Arts
"Andrea Carroll, Catherine Martin and Renée Tatum deserve special credit for brightly singing the Rhinemaidens' music while gamely performing underwater somersaults."
-The Wall Street Journal
Martin is a San Antonio native who now is a global opera star. The Schubert work requires strength and stamina to be heard over the orchestra and choir, plus a wide vocal range. Martin checked off on all of those, adding her beautiful, rich voice."
“The evenings standout was Catherine Martin as Nicklausse, Hoffmann’s muse, who appears in the guise of a trusted (male) companion for most of the evening. Martin has a gorgeous, warm voice that you want to keep listening to (no small achievement in a role that often seems tiresome), and she’s a big talent.”
- The Washington Post