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Soprano Katharine Dain performs opera, chamber music, and oratorio throughout Europe and North America. Highlights of current and recent seasons include Konstanze (Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail) in the opera houses of Rouen, Avignon, Clermont-Ferrand, Reims, and Massy, Donna Anna (Mozart Don Giovanni) in Ecuador, Hungary, and on tour throughout the Netherlands and Belgium with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, and Cunégonde (Bernstein Candide) in Banff. On the concert platform, Katharine has recently performed works of Dutilleux and Berlioz with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ryan Bancroft, song cycles of Zemlinsky and Berg under Reinbert de Leeuw in Austria’s Osterfestival, and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with Cappella Amsterdam under Daniel Reuss.

Soprano Katharine Dain performs opera, chamber music, and oratorio throughout Europe and North America. Highlights of current and recent seasons include Konstanze (Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail) in the opera houses of Rouen, Avignon, Clermont-Ferrand, Reims, and Massy, Donna Anna (Mozart Don Giovanni) in Ecuador, Hungary, and on tour throughout the Netherlands and Belgium with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, and Cunégonde (Bernstein Candide) in Banff. On the concert platform, Katharine has recently performed works of Dutilleux and Berlioz with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ryan Bancroft, song cycles of Zemlinsky and Berg under Reinbert de Leeuw in Austria’s Osterfestival, and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with Cappella Amsterdam under Daniel Reuss.

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

A musician of unusual intelligence and fearlessness, Katharine is becoming particularly known for her work in 20th- and 21st-century repertoire. In early 2020, she was the featured soloist with the Nederlands Studenten Orkest under conductor Manoj Kamps in a touring program of Wagner, Stravinsky, and a newly-commissioned piece written for her by young Dutch composer Rick van Veldhuizen. She has co-founded several chamber groups, including Damask Vocal Quartet, whose first album of works by Brahms and contemporaries, O schöne Nacht, garnered universal acclaim in the press and won the French award the Choc de Classica.

A musician of unusual intelligence and fearlessness, Katharine is becoming particularly known for her work in 20th- and 21st-century repertoire. In early 2020, she was the featured soloist with the Nederlands Studenten Orkest under conductor Manoj Kamps in a touring program of Wagner, Stravinsky, and a newly-commissioned piece written for her by young Dutch composer Rick van Veldhuizen. She has co-founded several chamber groups, including Damask Vocal Quartet, whose first album of works by Brahms and contemporaries, O schöne Nacht, garnered universal acclaim in the press and won the French award the Choc de Classica.

a note about COVID, me, and the arts

Dear friends,

I, like all musicians around the world, will not perform in public for the foreseeable future while the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m grateful to be healthy and living in a reasonably well-functioning country; beyond that, I’m simply trying to take the uncertainty and loss a day at a time. Meanwhile, I’m quarantining with a pianist and dear friend, Sam Armstrong. We’ve been using the time together to explore some favorite song repertoire deeply together. This has resulted in a few casual living-room performances on social media (here’s Samuel Barber Nocturne; find me on Facebook or Instagram to see more), and May 23 sees our first live-streamed recital together from Amsterdam’s Bethlehemkerk.

I haven’t edited my 2019-20 season calendar to erase the work I was originally planning for these months, as it still seems useful to have a record of projects and invitations for now. But I’ve made cancellations clear, and I’ll update further as I learn more about 2020-21. There are dates next season I’m really looking forward to—Berg 7 Early Songs and Mahler 4 with LUDWIG, Clara Schumann and Kaija Saariaho with Boston’s A Far Cry, and my debut in London’s Wigmore Hall with my quartet Damask, among others. We’ll see if these can proceed as planned.

In the first weeks of isolation, I wrote a long blog post that addresses some of my concerns about the pandemic’s affect on the arts, as well as more personal topics. Tell me what you think if you read it.

Stay healthy, everyone. I can’t wait to see you and sing for you again once it’s safe.

—love from Katharine

a note about COVID, me, and the arts

Dear friends,

I, like all musicians around the world, will not perform in public for the foreseeable future while the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m grateful to be healthy and living in a reasonably well-functioning country; beyond that, I’m simply trying to take the uncertainty and loss a day at a time. Meanwhile, I’m quarantining with a pianist and dear friend, Sam Armstrong. We’ve been using the time together to explore some favorite song repertoire deeply together. This has resulted in a few casual living-room performances on social media (here’s Samuel Barber Nocturne; find me on Facebook or Instagram to see more), and May 23 sees our first live-streamed recital together from Amsterdam’s Bethlehemkerk.

I haven’t edited my 2019-20 season calendar to erase the work I was originally planning for these months, as it still seems useful to have a record of projects and invitations for now. But I’ve made cancellations clear, and I’ll update further as I learn more about 2020-21. There are dates next season I’m really looking forward to—Berg 7 Early Songs and Mahler 4 with LUDWIG, Clara Schumann and Kaija Saariaho with Boston’s A Far Cry, and my debut in London’s Wigmore Hall with my quartet Damask, among others. We’ll see if these can proceed as planned.

In the first weeks of isolation, I wrote a long blog post that addresses some of my concerns about the pandemic’s affect on the arts, as well as more personal topics. Tell me what you think if you read it.

Stay healthy, everyone. I can’t wait to see you and sing for you again once it’s safe.

—love from Katharine

news

  • Wagner & van Veldhuizen with the NSO

    I’m so grateful to have been involved in the 2020 Nederlands Studenten Orkest tour of a concert program fittingly titled “Extase,” which closed Sunday night to massive fervor in the Grote Zaal of Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. The orchestra (made up of all university students, approximate ages 18-26, led by Manoj Kamps) worked for four weeks, I for three, with an intensive rehearsal period followed by 13 concerts in 15 days. It was exhausting, it was massively stimulating, and it was incredibly […]
  • The Guardian thinks I’m “worth discovering!”

    My album of Clara Schumann and Rhian Samuel songs (with bass-baritone Paul Carey Jones and pianist Jocelyn Freeman) got a short mention in the Guardian. It’s a tiny review, but I’ll take it, especially as it allowed me to see my name in the Guardian’s instantly-recognizable typeface for the first time, which was maybe more of a thrill than the words themselves. “There’s more by Samuel on the album Song Lied Cân (Ty Cerdd). This small Welsh label, doing quietly impressive […]
  • Boccherini and Mendelssohn in Brussels

    In a very last-minute change, I will be replacing the Spanish soprano Nuria Rial tonight in a concert presented by Bozar Brussels with the Auryn Quartet and bassist James Munro. The repertoire is Boccherini’s lovely Stabat Mater for soprano and strings, as well as music by Bach and Mendelssohn. I wish Nuria a speedy recovery and am grateful to my new colleagues for their generosity and beautiful playing in our rehearsal today. On the early trip down from Rotterdam this […]
  • great press for Don Giovanni

    I’ve been hugely enjoying singing Donna Anna with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under Kenneth Montgomery, a semi-staged production that is touring the Netherlands and Belgium in October. With a dream cast and a group of players that take as much interest in the storytelling as the singers, I’m finding new colors and possibilities in the piece in every performance. The press has been very positive. “Donna Anna … was in handen van Katharine Dain, een heel fraai optreden. […]

blog

  • Höchste Lust: music as the opposite of social distancing
    April 10, 2020
    In dem wogenden Schwall, in dem tönenden Schall, in des Welt-Atems wehendem All— ertrinken versinken— unbewusst höchste Lust! (In the welling waves, in the sounding swell, in the world-breath's infinite All— to drown to sink— unconscious highest bliss!) —Richard Wagner   it is a necessity to have a plan, a manifesto, an alternative. it’s a question of life and death for our species. as a musician i feel i can suggest the musical poetic angle which is that after tragedies one has to invent a new world, knit it or embroider, make...
  • Reinbert de Leeuw, 1938-2020
    February 14, 2020
    The world is a less vibrant place today. The last time I saw Reinbert was nearly a year ago, spring, a jump-in—Berg and Zemlinsky songs in gorgeous chamber arrangements he had made. I had enough notice that I could go to his house in Amsterdam on a sunny April day to go through the music. I had been cramming at home and was quaking in my boots when I arrived, because I was barely past...
  • thoughts on an itinerant Thanksgiving
    November 28, 2019
    Happy Thanksgiving from me, an immigrant. Or am I an expat? There’s a huge difference in privilege and expectation between those two words. I wasn’t forced out of my home country by oppression or war or danger, thank goodness. But I am American, and I live in the Netherlands, and I plan to stay. I applied for dual citizenship when that became possible, and now I am “Dutch-American soprano Katharine Dain,” a phrase I put...

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