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Dutch-American soprano Katharine Dain maintains an active performance calendar in opera, chamber music, and oratorio throughout Europe and North America. 2018 saw her role debut as Konstanze in a production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (performed in Rouen-Normandie, Avignon, Clermont-Ferrand, Reims, and Massy) to great acclaim: “coloratura of ideal precision and phrasing like a dream, in an unending crescendo of inspiration … her tragic arias were the highlight of the evening” (Opera Online). In 2019 she will sing Mozart’s Donna Anna with the Armel Opera Festival (in Ecuador and Budapest) as well as with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under Kenneth Montgomery. A fierce advocate of the contemporary repertoire, her debut with the Dutch National Opera was in Claude Vivier Kopernikus (Coloratura Soprano), a production of its Talent Development Programme.

Dutch-American soprano Katharine Dain maintains an active performance calendar in opera, chamber music, and oratorio throughout Europe and North America. 2018 saw her role debut as Konstanze in a production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (performed in Rouen-Normandie, Avignon, Clermont-Ferrand, Reims, and Massy) to great acclaim: “coloratura of ideal precision and phrasing like a dream, in an unending crescendo of inspiration … her tragic arias were the highlight of the evening” (Opera Online). In 2019 she will sing Mozart’s Donna Anna with the Armel Opera Festival (in Ecuador and Budapest) as well as with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under Kenneth Montgomery. A fierce advocate of the contemporary repertoire, her debut with the Dutch National Opera was in Claude Vivier Kopernikus (Coloratura Soprano), a production of its Talent Development Programme.

Katharine Dain is the revelation of the evening. Her ample and silky voice, supple phrasing and warm timbre are apparent from her first aria. The young soprano marries dramatic power and enormous vocal agility without ever stepping outside of Mozart’s style.

ÔLYRIX

Mozart has unquestionably found in the beautiful American soprano Katharine Dain an ideal Konstanze. Fluent high range, expressive middle, virtuosity without excess, dramatic intelligence: her “Martern aller Arten” promises us a splendid heroine.

FORUM OPERA

Katharine is becoming known for unusual musical imagination, intelligence, and fearlessness. She is frequently asked to jump in for high-profile performances of obscure repertoire, including Luigi Nono’s Il Canto Sospeso at the Holland Festival under Ingo Metzmacher, performances of Tavener, Gubaidulina, and Ravel at Ireland’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival (“singing as though the music had been written just for her,” said the Irish Times), a solo recital of Strauss, Marx, and Korngold lieder in the Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal (called “a miracle” by Place de l’Opera), Carmina Burana at the Concertgebouw’s Robeco Summer Nights series, and for the world premiere of Dutch composer Jan van de Putte’s Insonia with Asko|Schönberg and Cappella Amsterdam under Reinbert de Leeuw–a performance that was broadcast live on Dutch Radio 4 from the Concertgebouw’s Zaterdagmatinee series and later released commercially on Etcetera Records.

A passionate promoter of chamber music and recital repertoire, she has co-founded several chamber groups including, most recently, Damask Vocal Quartet, which released its first album of quartets by Brahms and contemporaries, titled O schöne Nacht, in 2018 to enthusiastic reviews.

Katharine is becoming known for unusual musical imagination, intelligence, and fearlessness. She is frequently asked to jump in for high-profile performances of obscure repertoire, including Luigi Nono’s Il Canto Sospeso at the Holland Festival under Ingo Metzmacher, performances of Tavener, Gubaidulina, and Ravel at Ireland’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival (“singing as though the music had been written just for her,” said the Irish Times), a solo recital of Strauss, Marx, and Korngold lieder in the Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal (called “a miracle” by Place de l’Opera), Carmina Burana at the Concertgebouw’s Robeco Summer Nights series, and for the world premiere of Dutch composer Jan van de Putte’s Insonia with Asko|Schönberg and Cappella Amsterdam under Reinbert de Leeuw–a performance that was broadcast live on Dutch Radio 4 from the Concertgebouw’s Zaterdagmatinee series and later released commercially on Etcetera Records.

A passionate promoter of chamber music and recital repertoire, she has co-founded several chamber groups including, most recently, Damask Vocal Quartet, which released its first album of quartets by Brahms and contemporaries, titled O schöne Nacht, in 2018 to enthusiastic reviews.

news

  • Berg and Zemlinsky at the Osterfestival

    I’m jumping in for an ill colleague at Austria’s Osterfestival in the heart of the Alps. The program is Berg’s luscious Sieben frühe Lieder and Zemlinsky’s little-known and absolutely gorgeous Maeterlinck Lieder, performed in an arrangement for chamber orchestra by Reinbert de Leeuw. Reinbert (the founder and conductor of Asko|Schönberg, the Netherlands’ most storied new-music band) also conducts the performance, which features players of the Belgian ensemble Het Collectief. I wish my colleague a speedy recovery; my adrenaline is high as […]
  • British invasion

    This spring I’m delighted to be performing with some truly stellar British ensembles and players: January 23rd with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Dutilleux Le temps l’horloge and Berlioz Herminie), February 15th at St. Martin-in-the-Fields (Bach Mein Herz schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199), two London performances on February 21st with two of my favorite pianists (lunchtime recital of Mozart, Debussy and Wolf at LSE with Sam Armstrong, afternoon lecture/recital of Schubert at Wigmore Hall with James Cheung), April 3rd with Paul […]
  • O schöne Nacht is out!

    At last, the release of Damask’s album of vocal quartets by Brahms and his contemporaries has arrived! The disc is available directly from us or from various online distributors and is now also downloadable on iTunes; other releases will follow. We have had several nice reviews already: “a perfectly executed, imaginative recital” (OpusKlassiek); “a remarkable fusion of timbres and palpable collaborative energy” (ON Magazine). We are thrilled.
  • Gubaidulina with the New European Ensemble

    In early October I sang on several concerts honoring the composer Sofia Gubaidulina with the New European Ensemble. I first encountered her magisterial Hommage à T. S. Eliot at West Cork Chamber Music Festival several years ago; I couldn’t believe the sheer force of the music and the sympathy of the text setting. It was a huge pleasure to revisit the piece with these stellar players, and we got an excellent review in the NRC: “In Hommage à T.S. Eliot (1987) liet […]

blog

  • coming to light
    March 11, 2019
    ... as heimlich  progresses through its shades of meaning, it eventually coincides with its opposite, unheimlich, which the German writer Schelling defined as "the name for everything that ought to have remained ... hidden and secret, and has become visible." ... In the annals of etymology, where heimlich and unheimlich reveal themselves as one and the same, we find the secret to this very particular kind of anxiety, Freud tells us,...
  • Entführung diaries: Memories
    January 23, 2019
    My year of Konstanze has ended. I'm sure I'll revisit the role, but saying goodbye to her now, and to this unforgettable team and production, was so hard. I have spilled so much (virtual) ink here talking about the process, so I won't do that any more; I'll just leave some images here of one of the most absorbing, beautiful, challenging projects I've ever done, with thanks and kisses to everyone involved (including many...
  • in which my brain bids 2018 a relieved goodbye
    December 31, 2018
    Happy end of 2018, friends. It’s been a hard one for many of us. For me and my work, there have been moments of almost unbearable intensity, both good and bad, and stretches that were entirely business-as-usual. Typically, the latter periods bring stability and groundedness, but sometimes this year they did the opposite, which was to wind me up so much with feelings of banality and wheel-spinning that I occasionally wanted to quit everything and...

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