Kate Aldrich withdraws from CARMEN due to pregnancy - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Kate Aldrich withdraws from CARMEN due to pregnancy

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

American mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich withdraws from
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s revival of Bizet’s CARMEN due to pregnancy

  American mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner
will portray the title-role gypsy in all six October performances


American mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich has withdrawn from all scheduled October performances of  Bizet’s Carmen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, general director William Mason announced today. “Ms Aldrich has withdrawn due to side effects from her pregnancy,” Mason said.

Aldrich was to have made her Lyric Opera debut portraying the title-role gypsy in five of the revival production’s six fall performances, Oct. 13-29.

American mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner will portray Carmen in all six fall performances. She was originally announced for the Oct. 29 matinee.

“We’re sorry that Ms. Aldrich is unable to continue with us at this time,” said Mason. “We wish her all the best with her pregnancy and look forward to welcoming her to Lyric in the future. We are fortunate to have Ms. Goeldner available for all six October performances. She is an outstanding Carmen, and has enjoyed exceptional successes in a very wide range of roles internationally.”

Katharine Goeldner has established an international reputation as one of today’s finest mezzo-sopranos.

A favorite at New York City Opera, Goeldner has appeared there as Carmen, as Erika/Barber’s Vanessa, and Ruggiero/ Alcina. She has been honored with both NYCO’s Betty Allen and Diva awards.

Her main roles at the Metropolitan Opera have included Cherubino/Le nozze di Figaro, Ascanio/Benvenuto Cellini, Nicklausse/Les contes d’Hoffmann, Prince Orlofsky/Die Fledermaus, Stéphano/Roméo et Juliette the Page/Salome, and the Schoolboy/Lulu (company debut). At Lyric this season, in addition to Carmen, she is scheduled to portray Pitti-Sing/The Mikado in the premiere of Gary Griffin’s new production. Goeldner earned critical acclaim at Lyric in her debut two seasons ago as Suzuki/Madama Butterfly, a role that also marked her recent debut at Florida Grand Opera (Miami). Among the highlights of her current and upcoming seasons are the demanding role of Erika/Vanessa at Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Page/Salome at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Recent engagements include Carmen at Madison Opera, Goeldner’s return to one of her signature roles, the Composer/Ariadne auf Naxos in Oviedo, Spain (she has previously sung it in Madrid, Salzburg, Toulouse, Lyon, and at Paris’s Châtelet); Countess Geschwitz/Lulu with the Graz Opera in Austria; and her role debut as Herodias/Salome in her home state of Iowa with Cedar Rapids Opera Theater, filmed by Iowa Public Television for broadcast and DVD.

Goeldner has performed in concert with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Bilbao Symphony, Berlin Konzerthaus, and Orchestra Iowa. She has presented concerts and master classes with her chamber music trio, The Prairie Song Project.

Among other past roles in the career of this exceptionally versatile artist have been Dorabella/Cos fan tutte (Santa Fe); Fenena/Nabucco (Dallas, Bilbao, Antwerp Ghent); Prince Orlofsky on tour with Seiji Ozawa (Japan); the title role of Der Rosenkavalier (Toulouse, Lyon Seville); Fricka/Das Rheingold, Waltraute Götterdämmerung,  and Countess Geschwitz (Toulouse); Charlotte/Werther and Nicklausse (Bilbao, available on DVD); Rosina/The Barber of Seville (Glimmerglass, Omaha, Cedar Rapids); Hippolyta/Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Dresden); and Maffio Orsini/Lucrezia Borgia (Monte Carlo).

Goeldner’s many concert performances include Haydn’s Paukenmesse with Vienna’s Hofburgkapelle and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Symphony, both conducted by Georges Prêtre; Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Bilbao Symphony; K.A. Hartmann’s Erste Sinfonie and Eisler’s Deutsche Sinfonie with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart concert arias with Orchestra Iowa. She has also performed in concert with the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony, the Bruckner Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, the American Symphony, at Carnegie Hall with the New York Choral Society, the Basque National Symphony, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, Orchestre Philharmonie de Radio France, and Basel Sinfonietta, under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras, Hans Graf, Dennis Russell Davies, Lothar Zagrosek, Ulf Schirmer, Michael Schønwandt, Jesús Lopez Cobos, Adam Fischer, Marek Janowski, George Manahan and Bertrand de Billy.

Goeldner has presented recitals for the National Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart Festival at the Kennedy Center, the Salzburg Mozart Festival, Vienna’s Festival Ravel, the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Drake University, Florida International University, and the University of Iowa. As a member of the chamber trio The Prairie Song Project, she has commissioned two new works for mezzo, flute and piano, Peter Ash’s “Paradox” and Rory Boyle’s “A Handful of Leaves.”

Her performances on DVD include Nicklausse/Les contes d’Hoffmann with the Bilbao Opera (Opus Arte) and K.A. Hartmann’s Erste Sinfonie: Versuch eines Requiems (Bayerische Rundfunk). Her performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Symphony, led by Georges Prêtre, was recently released on the ORF/Weitblick CD label.

Goeldner holds a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Iowa, where she studied voice with Jocelyn Reiter; and a Magister Diplom in German Lieder from Salzburg’s Hochschule Mozarteum. She lives with her husband and daughter in Salzburg, Austria.


CARMEN  / Georges Bizet   (in French with projected English translations)

11 performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for matinees at 2:00 p.m.

Oct. 13, 16, 20 (mat), 22, 25, 29 (mat); Mar. 12, 15, 18, 24 (mat), 27 (mat)

Georges Bizet’s passionate Carmen (1875), long one of the most popular operas in the entire repertoire, returns to Lyric with the title role of the free-spirited gypsy played by mezzo-sopranos Katharine Goeldner (Oct.) and Nadia Krasteva/debut (Mar.). Carmen works her wiles on the corporal Don José (tenors Yonghoon Lee/debut, Oct., and Brandon Jovanovich, Mar.), whose jealousy erupts when Carmen rejects him in favor of the toreador Escamillo (bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen). Micaëla, the village girl who loves José, will be portrayed by sopranos Elaine Alvarez (Oct.) and Nicole Cabell (Mar.).  

Carmen figured in Lyric’s first season (1954) and has since returned eight times, most recently during the 2005-06 season. Alain Altinoglu (debut) will conduct the revival of the 1999-00 production, staged by Harry Silverstein, with set designs by Robin Don and costume designs by Robert Perdziola. Jason Brown is lighting designer. Members of the Chicago Children’s Choir will be prepared by Josephine Lee, artistic director. August Tye is choreographer and ballet mistress.

Carmen is The Julius Frankel Foundation Production in memory of Ardis Krainik. The revival is generously made possible by an Anonymous Donor and the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation.