American mezzo-soprano Katherine Rohrer has been impressing audiences internationally with her warm expressive tone, vocal agility and dramatic, emotionally gripping performances.
Balancing the rigors of traditional and mainstream repertoire with some of today’s most celebrated composers, Katherine has gained critical acclaim for recent performances of Nicklausse/Muse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Colorado and Florida Grand Opera, Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust with Oper Frankfurt, the Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Saint Louis Symphony. Further recent success includes the role of Lady Macbeth in Bloch’s rarely-performed Macbeth with London’s University College Opera, her debut with New York City Ballet for Brahms Liebesliederwalzer at the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, and her first Pilgrim in Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin with Vlaamse Opera. Recent and future engagements include a return to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, her début with Opera Columbus, and gala concerts in the USA.
Highlights of previous seasons include performances of Princesse Clarice in Prokofiev’s L’Amour des Trois Oranges with the Grand Thèâtre de Genève, the role of Sonyetka in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mzensk with the Teatro Municipal Santiago de Chile, Clara in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery in Valencia, Spain, and Stella in Elliott Carter’s opera What Next? at the Miller Theatre in New York City. Rohrer returned to the San Francisco Opera after her residency as an Adler Fellow for the 2006/7 and 2007/8 seasons performing the roles of Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte, Pauline in Pique Dame and Maddalena in Rigoletto. This was followed by her debut as Stephano in Roméo et Juliette with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, in which the Chicago Sun Times proclaims her as “the stand out in the supporting cast…she showed a voice and spirit alive”. Her debut in the title role of Carmen came with Glyndebourne on Tour and prompted the Times to write “she has already deeply assimilated the strength and complexity of this Carmen. And her minutely expressive mezzo-soprano traces every nerve ending of Bizet’s writing.” Pervious roles with Glyndebourne Opera include Mercédès Carmen and Nadine in the world première of John Lunn’s Tangier Tattoo.
Katherine has shown a dynamic affinity for Baroque opera since her debut as Oberto in Handel’s Alcina with San Francisco Opera, a role she later reprised at Opéra de Lyon. Her debut with Gotham Chamber Opera in Arianna in Creta was ecstatically received by the New York press, prompting Ann Midgette of the New York Times to remark “the role of Teseo….is one of the hardest in the book, every aria a flood of notes spewing out as if from a fire hydrant. Katherine Rohrer…was deeply impressive, playing it convincingly as an angry teenage boy of about 16, and hurling her agile voice (full but not dark) up and down the scale as she executed various bits of stage business, like brushing her teeth without any break in the cascade of notes.” Further debuts include the role of Vitage in Handel’s rarely performed Flavio for New York City Opera and the Messenger and Proserpine in Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Glimmerglass Opera.
Recent and previous concert engagements include Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Japan with the Mito Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, which was released internationally on CD and DVD, Mozart’s C Minor Mass with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and a Gala Concert with New Orleans Symphony under the baton of Klauspeter Siebel. Her Carnegie Hall debut was for the Marilyn Horne Foundation followed by recitals in Louisville, Kentucky and Bradford, Pennsylvania. The Louisville Courier-Journal’s review of the performance praises her “luscious, ringing voice” and notes that she displayed “just enough sass to convert you immediately to her cause.” She also featured in two recitals as part of the 2003 Schwabacher Debut Recital Series accompanied by Steven Blier.
Rohrer has collaborated with many of the world’s leading directors and conductors including Michail Jurowski, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Daniel Oren, Steven Lord, David Agler, Dimitri Jurowski, Jakub Hrůša, Marco Armiliato, David McVicar, John Copley, Christopher & David Alden, Stephen Langridge, John Cox, Roy Rallo, Ian Judge and James Robinson.
Recipient of Central City Opera’s John Moriarty Apprentice Encouragement Award, her other credits include 1st place in the Rose Palmer Mobile Opera Competition and was a finalist in both the Eleanor McCollum Competition at Houston Grand Opera and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Katherine is visiting voice professor at the University of Ohio and was a San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow from 2004-2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stetson University and a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory.