Catherine Carby


Management: Australasia

Iphigénie en Tauride, English Touring Opera
"…Carby sounds extraordinarily beautiful as her voice cleaves through Gluck’s soaring lines"
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, March 2016

“…And if you want to hear world-class singing, that’s what you’ll get from mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby in the title role..... Carby sails through her hugely demanding role with seemingly effortless grace”.
Michael Church,, March 2016

Partenope, Opera Australia
…Catherine Carby was as impressive – perhaps even more so – with her silken, sophisticated, confused Arsace.  Carby is superb in trouser roles, taking on masculine qualities in subtle, interesting ways without a trace of strain”.
Deborah Jones, Opera Magazine, June 2011

Capuleti e i Montecchi, Opera Australia
Carby combined wonderfully flexible vocal expressiveness with a haughty stage swagger so that her pluck, statuesque carriage and fragility amid the realism of guns and knives created a genuine frisson.
Peter McCallum Sydney Morning Herald, August 2009

Don Giovanni, Opera Australia
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 II aria, Mi tradi, was a musico-dramatic turning.
Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald,  July 2008

Currently residing in the UK, leading Australian mezzo soprano Catherine Carby has performed with many major opera companies including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Australia (including OzOpera), Victoria State Opera and Opera Queensland.


In addition to return invitations to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and Longborough Festival Opera, 2019-20 season saw Catherine perform Idamante (Idomeneo) for English Touring Opera, appear as soloist in Karl Jenkins’ 75th birthday celebrations and make her debut with Pinchgut Opera as Penelope (Il Ritorno d’Ulisse).  This year Catherine will also perform the role of Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, in the inaugural production of the National Opera Company, Canberra.


Recent engagements have also included returns to the Royal Opera House for Antonia’s mother (Tales of Hoffmann), and Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride (title role); Rodrigo (Pia di Tolomei, Donizetti) and Diana (La Calisto) for English Touring Opera; Haydn Paukenmesse with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Elijah at the Hexham Festival; Nita,(The Mountebanks) with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) at the Teatro São Carlos, Lisbon; and Katharina Schratt (Mayerling) for the Royal Ballet, London.


For Opera Australia Catherine has sung Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), title role  Carmen, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Baba the Turk (The Rake’s Progress), for which she won a Helpmann Award, Mallika (Lakmé), Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Cornelia (Giulio Cesare), for which she received a Green Room Award, Ruggiero (Alcina), Kristina (The Makropulos Affair), Heavenly Being and Madam By-Ends (The Pilgrim’s Progress), Suzuki (Madame Butterfly), Second Lady (Magic Flute) and Auntie (Peter Grimes).


Elsewhere in Australasia, Catherine has performed Nicklausse (The Tales of Hoffmann) for West Australian Opera, Mozart Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and in the Superdome Spectacular with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Der Rosenkavalier under Paul Daniel for West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Queensland and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Messiah for Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Haydn’s Missa in Tempore Belli with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Arianna auf Naxos with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and at Opera Australia’s New Year’s Eve Gala Concert and Opera Under The Stars in Broome.


Her international concert engagements have included Beethoven Symphony No 9 with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra, Messiah with the Dunedin Consort at the Three Choirs Festival, Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Das Lied von der Erde with the Gardner Chamber Orchestra Boston, Mozart’s Mass in C for the Polski Chór Kameralny Gdansk, Taverner’s Supernatural Songs with the City of London Sinfonia, a Verdi Gala for the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder, CPE Bach Magnificat with Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Galas for both the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Théâtre de Vals les bains.


Since relocating to the UK Catherine’s roles have included Siegrune (The Ring Cycle), Minerva (The Return of Ulysses), Die Stimme von Oben (Die Frau ohne Schatten conducted by Semyon Bychkov), Soeur Mathilde (Dialogue of the Carmelites with Sir Simon Rattle conducting),  and 2nd Maid (Elektra)  at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Ramiro (la finta giardiniera) for Buxton Festival; Arsace (Partenope) for Opera Australia for which she received a Green Room Award nomination, Romeo (I Capuleti e I Montechi)  at Southbank Centre and Elcia (Mose in Egitto, Rossini) for Chelsea Opera Group; Aurelio (Donizetti’s L’Assedio di Calais) for English Touring Opera, and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) for Longborough Festival Opera. She has also covered significant roles including Blanca in Thomas Ades’ The Exterminating Angel for both Salzburg Festival and the Royal Opera, and Brangäne and Ariadne (Birtwistle’s The Minotaur) for the Royal Opera


Her recordings and broadcasts include the Mountebanks (with the BBC Singers for Dutton Epoch), Satanella for Naxos CD, The Love for Three Oranges for Chandos CD, Les contes d’Hoffmann for Sony CD/Blu Ray, Der Rosenkavalier for Opera Australia CD/DVD/Blu Ray and Classic 100 Opera for ABC.


Catherine Carby studied at the Canberra School of Music and the Royal College of Music, London, and was a Young Artist for both the Victoria State Opera and Opera Australia. She was a finalist in several major competitions including the Kathleen Ferrier Award, the Richard Tauber Award, the McDonalds Aria, the ABC Young Performers (Vocal finalist) and the Young Concert Artists Trust.

Catherine Carby is managed by Graham Pushee:
February 2021
This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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