The young Australian mezzo-soprano Kate Howden is increasingly establishing a reputation as being “a name to absolutely take note of” (San Francisco Classical Voice), especially in her dramatic performances of contemporary repertoire. The Spanish newspaper El País also admires her “high quality voice” and that she knows “how to fill important and great musical details”.
As an inaugural member of the Hannigan’s Equilibrium Artists mentorship scheme, Kate Howden will be performing W. A. Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, conducted by Barbara Hannigan, in March 2020 at the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix-en-Provence, the Philharmonie de Paris and at the Cité de la Musique et de la Danse in Soissons.
Having been chosen out of 350 applicants from 39 countries for Equilibrium, Kate recently sang Baba the Turk in Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Anthony Turnage’s Twice Through the Heart and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Ludwig Collective at the Ojai Festival in California. In the 2019/20 season, Kate is also returning to work with the Scottish Opera on Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves.
Other recent performances include Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are at the Mariinsky Concert Hall St Petersburg and the title role in Stephen Dodgson’s Margaret Catchpole at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall (Naxos recording to be released). She sang Erik Satie’s hypnotic Socrate with pianist Keiko Shichijo at the Canberra International Music Festival and a worldwide tour of IlRitorno, based on Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, with the contemporary circus group Circa. Further engagements have also taken her to the Royal Opera House London Aldeburgh Festival and Wigmore Hall among others.
Georges Bizet Carmen (Carmen)*
Benjamin Britten The Rape of Lucretia (Bianca), Noye’s Fludde (Mrs Noye)
Engelbert Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel (Hansel)
Nicolas Isouard Cendrillon (Cendrillon)
Oliver Knussen Where the Wild Things Are (Mama and Tzippie)
Jules Massenet Cendrillon (Cendrillon, Dorothée)
Missy Mazzoli Breaking the Waves (Dodo)
Claudio Monteverdi Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Penelope)*
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart La Clemenza di Tito (Annio), La Nozze di Figaro (Cherubino)
Giacomo Puccini Gianni Schicchi (La Ciesca), Suor Angelica (La suora zelatrice)
Maurice Ravel L’enfant et les Sortilèges (Un pâtre and une bête)
Gioachino Rossini Le comte Ory (Isolier), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)*, La Cenerentola (Cenerentola)*
Antonio Salieri La scuola de’gelosi (Carlotta)
Richard Strauss Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian)*
Igor Strawinsky The Rake’s Progress (Baba the Turk)
Viktor Ullmann The Emperor of Atlantis (Drummer)
Johann Sebastian Bach Christmas Oratorio (alto), St John Passion (alto), B Minor Mass (soprano 2), G Minor Mass (alto)
Hector Berlioz Les nuits d’été
Maurice Duruflé Requiem (mezzo)
Georg Friedrich Händel Solomon (Solomon), Samson (Micah), Messiah (alto)
Joseph Haydn Nelson Mass (alto)
Gustav Mahler Das Lied von der Erde
Felix Mendelssohn Elijah (alto)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart C Minor Mass (soprano 2), Requiem (alto)
Maurice Ravel Trois poèmes de Mallarmé
Gioachino Rossini Petite messe solenelle (alto)
Erik Satie Socrate
Igor Strawinsky Pulcinella
Giuseppe Verdi Requiem (mezzo)
Antonio Vivaldi Gloria (alto)
24 March 2020, 20:00, Grand Théâtre de Provence, Aix-en-Provence
27 March 2020, 20:30, Philharmonie de Paris
28 March 2020, 18:00, Cité de la Musique et de la Danse, Soissons
Luigi Nono Djamila Boupacha
Joseph Haydn Symphonie n°49 « La Passion »
Arnold Schoenberg Friede auf Erde
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Requiem
Cast: Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Barbara Hannigan (conductress),, Martina Batič (choral conducting), Chœur de Radio France, Yannis François (bass baritone), Kate Howden (mezzo-soprano), Elizabeth Karani (soprano), Elgan Llŷr Thomas (tenor)
4 April 2020, 19:30, Blackheath Halls, London
Programme: Johann Sebastian Bach St John Passion
Cast: Blackheath Halls Orchestra, Max Barley (conductor), Eltham Choral Society & Blackheath Halls Chorus, Grant Doyle (Christ), Kate Howden (alto), Nicholas Mogg (Pilate/baritone), Daniel Norman (Evangelist), Nardus Williams (soprano)
Australian mezzo Kate Howden (a name to absolutely take note of) gave a spine-chilling, heart-wrenching performance as a woman who is so totally lost, emotionally destroyed and still wrought with guilt.
San Francisco Classical Voice, Jim Farber, 11 June 2019
Mezzo Kate Howden as Baba the Turk (added) great human depth to this role which often becomes a caricature.
Expressen, December 2018
Kate Howden…has (a) high quality voice and knew how to fill important and great musical details to the bearded woman.
Kate Howden’s Cinderella is musically sensitive, though still providing fire as necessary.
Kate Howden’s Cinderella came across with charming simplicity, her graceful, generous mezzo well suited to the part.
Bachtrack, Charlotte Valori, 24 July 2018
But it was Penelope – sung by Australian mezzo-soprano Kate Howden – who was centrestage in this suite of highlights, delivering a dark, lush performance of Penelope’s Lament, Di misera regina. Her voice was full-toned, with an easy resonance, the timbre brightening as she sung of Ulisse’s “longed for day of return”.
Limelight magazine, Angus McPherson, 3 May 2018
Mezzo-soprano Kate Howden stole the show with “Penelope‘s lament”. Her rich, vibrant voice and her impassioned, full-blooded grip on the role suggested a considerable operatic future as she flung herself into the phrases of unfulfilled longing that Monteverdi made his own.
Citynews.com.au, Helen Musa, 3 May 2018
Kate Howden’s exceptionally clear and luxuriant mezzo, combined with natural and expressive acting, made us wish the servant-girl Carlotta had a larger role.
Bachtrack, Charlotte Valori, 25 July 2017
Howden, standing in at short notice, did well to shape Massenet’s lines with simple elegance. She coped well at the top and her fresh sound blended pleasingly with Simkin’s mezzo.
Opera Today, Claire Seymour, 18 July 2017
Celine Lowenthal’s delicate direction let the mezzo Kate Howden carry the drama in her eyes and voice, leaving space for Turnage’s score to speak eloquently. Howden was exceptional, the understated gentleness of her performance provocative in the moral friction it offered. Hers is an even, impeccably produced voice, and the beauty and control she brought to her fractured musings offered a very different portrait of trauma to Pierard’s.
Kate Howden sang superbly.
The Times, Richard Morrison, 7 November 2016