Performance Biography

pAmerican mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook has excelled in a wide range of roles with leading companies throughout the United States.  Of her performance as the title character in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, Opera Today wrote that “to say that Ms. Cook was a revelation is an understatement, since she stamped the part as her own, and experienced a triumph for her sensational performance…. Ms. Cook is possessed of a round mezzo tone of great beauty, admirable control and potent power in all ranges and at any volume.”  In the 2022-23 season, Cook will return to Opera Colorado as Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, as well as a role debut of Mère Jeanne in Dialogues of the Carmelites for San Francisco Opera’s Centennial Season.

Among her engagements in the 2019-20 season were returns to San Francisco Opera as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and to Opera Parallèle as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit! which she reprised at the Sun Valley Music Festival.  Her 2020-21 season engagements included a return to San Francisco Opera as Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Drive-In.  In the 2018-19 season, Cook’s engagements included Mother Bailey in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life with San Francisco Opera, Death in the world premiere of Tom Cipullo’s The Parting with Music of Remembrance in Seattle, as well as its recording on Naxos Records, and Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera with West Edge Opera in Berkeley.  In the 2017-18 season, Cook returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Camila in Thomas Adès’ critically acclaimed opera The Exterminating Angel, and sang The Innkeeper in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.

Ms. Cook has been recognized as “San Francisco Opera’s go-to-choice” for a wide range of roles (San Francisco Chronicle), with recent highlights as the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne; La Frugola in Il tabarro; Mrs. McLean in Floyd’s Susannah; and Marcellina.  Past highlights with the company include Arlene Kamen and Wang Tai Tai in the world premiere of Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter; Jade Boucher in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was recorded and released by ERATO; Annina in Der Rosenkavalier, and Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress.

Other previous engagements include Countess de Coigny in Andrea Chénier, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and featured soloist in David Gockley’s Farewell Opera Gala Concert with San Francisco Opera; Marthe in Faust and Glasa in Kát’a Kabanová with the Metropolitan Opera; Ježibaba in Rusalka with Opera Colorado; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Houston Grand Opera; The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel and a recital with San Francisco Symphony; Older Woman in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Opera Parallèle; Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera; and two world premieres with Music of Remembrance: Zosha in Heggie’s Out of Darkness and Gertrude Stein in Cipullo’s After Life, as well as a reprise of the latter with Urban Arias.  Cook can be heard as Gertrude in the world premiere recording of After Life with Music of Remembrance, released by Naxos.

Cook has also appeared with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.  She can be heard as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. Nine with Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, released by Centaur Records.

Ms. Cook was a participant of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program.  She is a winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions as well as the Merola Chicago Regional Auditions Yoder Award.  Ms. Cook holds a Master of Music degree from Wichita State University and an Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where she won the Norman Treigle Award in their Corbett Competition.  She has received Outstanding Alumni awards from both Millikin University and Wichita State University.

Catherine Cook is a Professor of Voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she holds the Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice.

Photo Credit: Cory Weaver, Dan Norman, Kersh Branz

Performance Biography

American mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook has excelled in a wide range of roles with leading companies throughout the United States.  Of her performance as the title character in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, Opera Today wrote that “to say that Ms. Cook was a revelation is an understatement, since she tamped the part as her own, and experienced a triumph for her sensational performance…. Ms. Cook is possessed of a round mezzo tone of great beauty, admirable control and potent power in all ranges and at any volume.”  In the 2022-23 season, Cook will return to Opera Colorado as Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, as well as a role debut of Mère Jeanne in Dialogues of the Carmelites for San Francisco Opera’s Centennial Season.

Among her engagements in the 2019-20 season were returns to San Francisco Opera as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and to Opera Parallèle as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit! which she reprised at the Sun Valley Music Festival.  Her 2020-21 season engagements included a return to San Francisco Opera as Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Drive-In.  In the 2018-19 season, Cook’s engagements included Mother Bailey in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life with San Francisco Opera, Death in the world premiere of Tom Cipullo’s The Parting with Music of Remembrance in Seattle, as well as its recording on Naxos Records, and Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera with West Edge Opera in Berkeley.  In the 2017-18 season, Cook returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Camila in Thomas Adès’ critically acclaimed opera The Exterminating Angel, and sang The Innkeeper in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with the San Francisco Symhony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.

Ms. Cook has been recognized as “San Francisco Opera’s go-to-choice” for a wide range of roles (San Francisco Chronicle), with recent highlights as the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne; La Frugola in Il tabarro; Mrs. McLean in Floyd’s Susannah; and Marcellina.  Past highlights with the company include Arlene Kamen and Wang Tai Tai in the world premiere of Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter; Jade Boucher in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was recorded and released by ERATO; Annina in Der Rosenkavalier, and Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress.

Other previous engagements include Countess de Coigny in Andrea Chénier, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and featured soloist in David Gockley’s Farewell Opera Gala Concert with San Francisco Opera; Marthe in Faust and Glasa in Kát’a Kabanová with the Metropolitan Opera; Ježibaba in Rusalka with Opera Colorado; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Houston Grand Opera; The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel and a recital with San Francisco Symphony; Older Woman in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Opera Parallèle; Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera; and two world premieres with Music of Remembrance: Zosha in Heggie’s Out of Darkness and Gertrude Stein in Cipullo’s After Life, as well as a reprise of the latter with Urban Arias.  Cook can be heard as Gertrude in the world premiere recording of After Life with Music of Remembrance, released by Naxos.

Cook has also appeared with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.  She can be heard as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. Nine with Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, released by Centaur Records.

Ms. Cook was a participant of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program.  She is a winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions as well as the Merola Chicago Regional Auditions Yoder Award.  Ms. Cook holds a Master of Music degree from Wichita State University and an Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where she won the Norman Treigle Award in their Corbett Competition.  She has received Outstanding Alumni awards from both Millikin University and Wichita State University.

Catherine Cook is a Professor of Voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she holds the Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice.

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