Catherine Carby

ACO 2024: Meet Australian mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby

From studies in Canberra to acclaimed roles in Covent Garden: the life and work of the award-winning opera singer Catherine Carby.

Catherine Carby is one of Australia’s leading mezzo-sopranos, and has sung roles across the globe, from London and Lisbon to every major Australian city, and with major opera companies including the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Opera Australia.

She studied at the Canberra School of Music and the Royal College of Music, London, and cut her teeth as Young Artist for both Victoria State Opera and Opera Australia.

Carby further displayed her chops in major singing competitions, including the Kathleen Ferrier Award, the Richard Tauber Award, the McDonalds Aria, the ABC Young Performers (Vocal finalist) and the Young Concert Artists Trust.

“If you want to hear world class singing, that’s what you’ll get from mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby.”
— The Independent

Carby carved out a reputation for big roles and ‘trouser’ roles, including Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), the lead in Carmen, Arsace (Partenope), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), and many more for Opera Australia, and Emilia (Otello), Antonia’s mother (Tales of Hoffmann), Siegrune (Die Walküre), and many more for the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

She has appeared with countless other esteemed opera companies around the world, including her "favourite in the whole world", Pinchgut Opera in Australia. And she features on many opera and other recordings, including the highly praised 2022 recording of Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley, alongside soprano Mary Bevan, and the BBC Concert Orchestra and John Andrews’ award-winning The Dancing Master.

In the spare time she does have, Catherine is committed to achieving gender and pay equality in the opera industry, including as a board member of Swap’ra UK (Supporting Women and Parents in Opera).
“Catherine Carby...stole the show with her beautiful voice and superb acting skills”
— Opera Magazine, June 2021

Photo: David Shoukry / English Photo Works

Catherine Carby appears in Mahler’s Song of the Earth during the ACO’s 2024 National Concert Season. Click here to find out more and get tickets.