Martin "perfectly suited" as Leonora in "La favorite" with New Amsterdam Opera
A Star Mezzo
"In the title role as Leonora, Catherine Martin brought a lush mezzo voice with agility in the coloratura and an even line. While her opening lines in the duet “Ah. mio bene” gave off some uncertainty, she quickly warmed up to showcase a rich timbre moving through the music with ease. During her duet with LaBrie, “In questo suolo a lusingar tue cure,” the two singers’ voices easily meshed, combining Martin’s anguish with LaBrie’s ardent passion. And as Act two built toward’s its finale, Martin’s desperation and torment built. Her voice grew with force and the sometimes icy qualities of the timbre shaped into a passionate outburst.
And it all climaxed in her Act three scene with the aria “O Mio Fernando.” This was perhaps the highlight for Martin. The mezzo gave the aria a yearning quality that expressed Leonora’s suffering and shaped each line with a delicate legato. This was in stark contrast to her cabaletta “Scritto e in ciel,” which not only showcased the soprano’s virtuosic agility, but also the fierceness in the voice and her dramatic weight. What made the cabaletta even more potent was Martin’s growing intensity and the fact that she never indulged in unnecessary coloratura. She sang each phrase with immediacy, giving the final moments force.
In Act four one finally saw the dramatic voice that Martin has. There was conflict, torment, and desperation within each of her phrases. But as the final duet built toward the climax in which the first act duet is repeated, Martin brought a bright color to her timbre. There was a moment of ecstasy as she unleashed her full vocal power. As Leonora sings her final dying phrases, Martin gave off a pure piano sound with such finesse that it was arguably the most heartbreaking moment of the evening.
Like LaBrie, Martin was as active as she could be on stage, interacting with her partners and reacting to the text with precision and immediacy. One got the sense that Martin wanted to move toward her partners and be able to have more contact, which only made this reviewer picture what a fully staged “Favorita” would be like with Martin allowed to have more physical contact with her castmates. Nonetheless, Martin perfectly suited for this role and one hopes to see this mezzo get a fully staged production in the future." -Opera Wire
Eight Valkyries perform in Richard Wagner's Die Walküre in a concert performance with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on May 18, 2018 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.
Karen Foster, Elaine McKrill, Catherine Martin, Nicole Piccolomini, Erika Wueschner, Blythe Gaissert, Krysty Swann and Edyta Kulczak were the powerhouse Valkyries.
The most stirring and thrilling part of the performance came from Act III. The familiar opening fanfare of “Ride of the Valkyries,” aggressively sweeping upward, was exhilarating to hear in its original context. The powerhouse chorus of Brünnhilde’s eight sisters, arranged in two neat rows and tucked behind the bass section of the orchestra, created a heady wall of sound as they exchanged haughty greetings, laugh with cascading chromaticisms, and share triumphant battle cries of “Hojotoho!” Together, they provide a ringing polyphony that paints the stage with the heavenly backdrop of Valhalla, and the crucial dramatic nuance that drives the urgency of the plot.
It’s clearly a difficult score to sing, which makes this production’s performances all the more impressive. Catherine Martin has a clear, powerful mezzo-soprano voice and offered a disarmingly natural characterization as Sister Helen
Catherine Martin's Sister Helen displays a similar kaleidoscope of emotions in a thoroughly convincing and beautifully sung performance.
the acting and singing of every person on that stage was perfection. Not once did I hear or see an inconsistency that pulled me from the world. Yes, some characters were especially compelling, but the entire stage was a team effort of a company supporting each other for the sake of the story. Further, every aspect of the show was cohesive in a way that could only come from a focused direction, led by Joel Ivany.
Catherine Martin energetically embodies Helen's headstrong and persevering nature, with Heggie's score suggesting uneasy enthusiasm for her mission during her long drive to the penitentiary in Angola
Catherine Martin, who plays Sister Helen Prejean, bears the brunt of the emotional journey in this tale. A prim nun assured of her own faith, Sister Helen takes a journey of strength and courage as the arch of the narrative progresses. Martin reveals Sister Helen’s vulnerability as she grapples with the weight of her calling.
CHICAGO — Many productions of Wagner’s “Die Walküre” stage the “Ride of the Valkyries” scene as a rowdy reunion. We see eight Valkyrie sisters, who arrive on their flying steeds, assemble at a mountaintop to greet one another giddily.
“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