Born in Notthingham (United Kingdom)
British opera singer (dramatic soprano)
It is in the role of Brünnhilde, one of the most demanding roles of the entire Wagnerian score, that the British soprano Catherine Foster remarkably distinguished herself in recent years. To the point of making it almost a signature role. The artist took on this particularly perilous role in 2007 on the stage of the Weimar Theatre. Very quickly noticed for her incredible scenic commitment and a vocal power coupled with a rather rare virtuosity in her tessitura, Catherine Foster was then appointed to perform this role in the three Days of the Ring on the most prestigious international stages: Hamburg, then Berlin (Deutsche and Staastoper), Shanghai (with the Cologne Opera), Helsinki, Essen, Budapest, Bucharest, Tokyo, Riga, or even the Barcelona Liceu or the Amsterdam Opera.
In 2013, there was the recognition: Catherine Foster was invited to play the role of the virgin warrior in the production of the bicentenary of Richard Wagner’s birth in Bayreuth (The Ring directed by Frank Castorf). A role that she reprised every year for five years in this production with the same valiance. One of the most legitimate “accolades” since when the artist performed her first American Brunnhilde in 2016 (Washington Opera in the direction by Francesca Zambello), she received an ovation hailed by unanimous international critics. It was then no longer needed to recommend the one that… all the lyrical scenes would fight over.
Born in Nottingham (United Kingdom), nothing in particular predestined Catherine Foster to shine in the major Wagnerian roles on the biggest international opera stages as the young woman took her first steps in life as a nurse and midwife. Before making a decisive turning point in her life which lead her to begin training in opera. Studies that the young woman started at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 1995 and that allowed her to get a scholarship thanks to her victory in the “Lady Eva Turner Award” contest at the Royal Northern College of Music. With the presentation of this prize, the artist drew in particular the attention of Sir Peter Moores who invited the young soprano to complete her training at the London Opera Studio in the British capital during the 1998-99 season.
At the end of her studies, Catherine Foster was immediately appointed to make her debut in the role of the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) and made her very first steps on the stages of Dublin (Northern Ireland Opera) in 1998, in Cardiff (Welsh National Opera) in 1999, and, still in the same role, in London in 2000 (English National Opera).
It was the Weimar Theatre in Germany that offered Catherine Foster to join its troupe from 2001; there, the artist worked her repertoire, roles that lead her progressively from gigs as lyric soprano (Mimi in La Bohème or Elisabeth in Tannhäuser), to dramatic soprano: Leonora (Il Trovatore), Leonore (Fidelio), Abigaille (Nabucco) and Elettra (Idomeneo).
Catherine Foster‘s international career truly began in 2006, when she was appointed by the Dresden Opera (Semperoper) to play the role of the Empress in Richard Strauss’s Frau one Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow). On this same stage where the Straussian repertoire is as much the place of honour as the Wagnerian one, the soprano first took on Senta (The Flying Dutchman) in 2008-10, then Leonore (Fidelio) in 2010. She was then invited by the Frankfurt Opera (2011) and the one in Nice (2012) to play Isolde (Tristan and Isolde), a role that she seized with the same naturalness as the title role of Turandot (that she played on the stage of the Hamburg Opera in 2012 and of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin in 2010) or Abigaille in Nabucco (on the stage of the Opera House in Bremen in 2007, then at the Stuttgart Opera (in 2013 and 2015).
In 2013, Catherine Foster made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring under the direction of Frank Castorf. Then made particularly noteworthy debuts in the United States in the same Ring, but with Francesco Zambello this time, in Washington, in 2016.
Now, this soprano that neither the Wagnerian “Hojotoho” nor the other greater difficulties of her particularly demanding dramatic soprano repertoire stop, continues her career in the major Straussian and Wagnerian roles.