British soprano Catherine Foster has become one of the most renowned Brünnhildes on stage today and will be making her U.S. debut in WNO’s Ring cycle as Brünnhilde in 2016. Having begun singing Brünnhilde in Weimar in 2007, Catherine has gone on to sing the role on stages in international houses such as Hamburg Staatsoper, Berlin Deutsche Oper, Berlin Staatsoper, Shanghai with the Cologne Opera, Helsinki, Essen, Budapest, Bucharest, Tokyo, Riga, Liceu Barcelona and with the Netherlands Opera for their final staging of Pierre Audi’s world renowned Ring in 2014. In 2013 Catherine was invited to sing in the 200th anniversary Ring production in Bayreuth returning in 2014 to reprise the role.
As Brünnhilde, Catherine has had the privilege to work with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim at Berlin Staatsoper, Marek Janowski with the RSB in Bucharest, Adam Fisher in Budapest, Simone Young at Hamburg State Opera, Sir Donald Runnicles at Deutsche Opera Berlin, Hartmut Haenchen in Amsterdam, Leif Sergestam in Helsinki, Marcus Stenz and the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne in Shanghai, Stefan Soltesz in Essen, Carl Sinclair in Weimar and Cornelius Meister in Riga, singing in productions and working with directors such as Pierre Audi, Claus Gut, Frank Castorf, Robert Carsen, Götz Friedrich, Michael Schulz and Dietrich Hilsdorf.
Catherine was born in Nottingham UK, where she first qualified and worked as a nurse and midwife before beginning her professional studies for singing at the Birmingham Conservatoire between 1995-97 under the guidance and tutelage of Pamela Cook MBE, who remained her teacher till 2013. She then won the acclaimed Dame Eva Turner award to continue her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music during the 1997-1998 term, where she attracted the attention of Sir Peter Moores who went on to sponsor her for a year’s study in London at the London Opera Studio during the 1998-1999 season.
Her first professional engagements were as the Queen of the Night with Opera Northern Ireland in 1998, with Welsh National Opera in 1999, and with English National Opera in 2000. Between 2001 and 2011 Catherine sang in the ensemble of the DNT Weimar with roles such as Mimi (La Bohème), Elisabeth in Tannhäuser & Don Carlo, Leonora in Fidelio & Il Trovatore, Turandot, Abigaille, Tosca, Elektra, Isolde and Brünnhilde.
Catherine's international career began on the Dresden stage with Kaiserin in 2006, Senta from 2008 - 10 and Fidelio in 2010. Her guest appearances continued with Isolde in Frankfurt (2011) and Nice (2012), Turandot in Hamburg Staatsoper (2012) and at the Berlin Deutsche Oper since 2010. As Abigaille, Catherine has appeared in Bremen (2007) and in Stuttgart in 2013 and will return in 2015.
As a leading protagonist of the dramatic roles Catherine is also becoming known for her interpretation of Strauss's Elektra which she began in 2010 in Weimar followed quickly by Cologne, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Lübeck and more recently Mannheim. She can be seen in this role during the 2014/15 season at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and will be performing the role with the Berlin Radio symphony orchestra with Marek Janowski conducting in May 2015.
Future engagements in the 2014/15 season will see Catherine returning to Bayreuth in summer to reprise her role as Brünnhilde, to Berlin Deutsche Oper as Elektra and Turandot, Abigaille in Stuttgart, Barcelona as Brünnhilde, and travelling to Tokyo for Die Walküre.