"Australian Caitlin Hulcup’s delicious mezzo oozed glorious warmth."
David Smythe, bachtrack
"Hulcup delivers with an artistry to take the breath away."
Michael Church, The Independent
"Perhaps the finest aria of the evening came from mezzo Caitlin Hulcup."
David Karlin, BachTrack
Caitlin Hulcup has appeared at leading opera houses internationally, including the Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Royal Opera House London, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Real Madrid, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Scottish Opera, La Monnaie Brussels, Theater an der Wien, Bolshoi Theatre Moscow and Palau de les Arts Valencia.
She made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2004 as Enriquetta I Puritani. Since then roles have included Octavian Der Rosenkavalier for Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Zubin Mehta in a new production by Lorenzo Mariani, and for the Bolshoi Theatre with Vassily Sinaisky, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for the Palau de les Arts Valencia with Mehta, Meg Page Falstaff under Daniele Gatti and Cesare Catone in Utica under Alan Curtis both for Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Diana/Il Destino La Calisto at La Monnaie in Brussels under René Jacobs, Arbaces Artaxerses at the Royal Opera House under Ian Page, the roles of Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia and Dorabella Così fan tutte for the Wiener Staatsoper, Calbo Maometto II for Garsington Opera under David Parry, Sesto La Clemenza di Tito with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra under Benjamin Bayl in a new production by Justin Way, Alceste Admeto re di Tassaglia at Theater an der Wien, and Cyrus Belshazzar with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie in a tour of France, the UK and Spain, which was recorded and recently released on CD for Les Arts Florissants Editions label. Caitlin also performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Venezuela under Gustavo Dudamel and at the BBC Proms in 2009.
Her performances of the title role in Handel’s Ariodante at both the Barbican in London and Teatro Real in Madrid with Les Talens Lyriques brought great critical acclaim. She was subsequently invited to sing the role at the Händel Festspiele, Opernhaus Halle, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and at Theatre an der Wien.
Recent performances include Penelope The Return of Ulysses for The Royal Opera, for whom she also sang Aristeo in Rossi’s Orpheus, Iseult in Martin’s Le vin herbé for Welsh National Opera, Romeo I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Victorian Opera, Radamisto for Opera Lafayette in her US debut at Washington’s Kennedy Center, Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel at Grange Park Opera, Piacere Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno at the Royal Danish Opera, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Ravel’s Mallarme songs with the Sydney Symphony, Dido with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican, and Mozart’s Requiem at the Gewandhaus Leipzig.
Last season she made her role debut as Fricka in the Singaporean premiere of Die Walküre, as well as performing Gluck’s Orfeo with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Biondi, a role she previously sang to critical acclaim at Scottish Opera, Sydney. Engagements that could sadly not take place in 2020 include the title role in Charpentier’s Médée with Pinchgut Opera, Mozart’s Requiem with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and a return to the London Handel Festival.
Engagements this season include a return to Opera Lafayette for Purcell’s Mad and Spiritual Songs, a recital for the Oxford Lieder Festival alongside violinist Jonathan Stone and pianist Sholto Kynoch, and a performance of the Defiant Requiem in Amsterdam.
Caitlin is Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London and a visiting academic to the University of Melbourne.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Wagner Die Walküre (Fricka)
Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore (January 2020)
It was [Warwick Fyfe’s] stage-wife, Caitlin Hulcup, who stole the preceding scene as the imperious, shrewish Fricka. … Another wonderful actor, she acted as much with her rich, secure, velvety mezzo as with her facial expressions, exiting triumphantly after brow-beating Wotan into submission – with a devastating arch of her left brow – leaving him to lick his wounds.
Derek Lim, the flying inkpot
Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice (Orfeo)
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (October 2019)
Orfeo was sung by Australian mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup, a better singer of which cannot be found. She has a noble, solid, long-lasting, full-bodied voice. Hulcup's Orfeo retained her melancholic dignity when confronted with the Manala guards, who were furious in the opera’s dramatic and gloomy scene.
Hannu-Ilari Lampila, Helsingin Sanomat
Humperdink Hansel and Gretel (Hansel)
Grange Park Opera (June 2019)
Caitlin Hulcup and Soraya Mafi were quite simply the most visually plausible Hansel and Gretel I have ever seen, boisterous anarchic children of the sort that always land in trouble and wangle their way out of it. Their singing was perfection – Hulcup all boyish bravado, Mafi mercurial and sparkling.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph*****
Caitlin Hulcup’s Hansel and Soraya Mafi’s Gretel are of truly international class.
David Mellor, Daily Mail****
Caitlin Hulcup is outstanding as Hansel, both in her phrasing and in her convincingly boyish persona
Barry Millington, Evening Standard*****
Caitlin Hulcup and Soraya Mafi were entirely credible as the children, brimming with high spirits and optimism... Hulcup’s lovely, artless mezzo was the right fit for Hänsel's mix of diffidence, courage and affection. Hulcup is a head taller than Mafi, which capped the pair's plausibility, Mafi's Gretel touchingly filling the gaps left by Hänsel's occasionally faultering bravado.
Peter Reed, Opera Magazine
As the children, Caitlin Hulcup and Soraya Mafi are outstanding, brimming with high spirits and optimism. … Hulcup’s lovely mezzo expresses any amount of adolescent diffidence, courage and affection. Hulcup is a head taller than Mafi, which puts the finishing touch to their credibility as brother and sister, and throughout they are immensely affecting and strongly directed.
Peter Reed, Classical Source*****
Soraya Mafi and Caitlin Hulcup made a delightful pairing as Gretel and Hansel, for all the picturesque charm of the characters' depiction there was a fundamental seriousness to their performance which emphasised the music's quality. … [Mafi] was matched by Hulcup's wonderfully boyish Hansel (one of the best 'boys' I have seen in this opera for a long time), with the two voices blending and contrasting. They kept the action moving so that the scenes between them in the first two acts, which can sometimes drag somewhat, flew by.
Robert Hugill, OperaToday
[Mafi’s] lightness contrasted with Hulcup’s more rugged, rambunctious Hänsel, whose darker and rounder sound spoke of that character’s earthiness – very much his father’s son.
Benjamin Poore, Bachtrack
Handel Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Piacere)
Royal Danish Opera (April 2019)
For the sweetness, the melancholy, the abundance of timbre, the painfully beautiful ornaments at the Dacapo, there is a second applause for Caitlin Hulcup.
Jan Brachmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine
Lustful, pleasure - here in a gold-plated mezzo-voice, Caitlin Hulcup.
Ulla Strømberg, Kulturkupeen
Caitlin Hulcup sings her with juicy and delicious mezzo voice.
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken
The four soloists are more than extraordinary … Caitlin Hulcup has a truly exuberant mezzo voice.
Lars-Erik Larsson, Norra Skåne
The soaring high tones of the soprano emerge during giant showdowns between the vigorous Caitlin Hulcup as the Pleasure, the incredibly accurate Sonia Prina as the Wisdom, and the deeply controlled Joshua Ellicott as Time.
Søren Schauser, Berlinske Tidende
Caitlin Hulcup’s delivery of Lascia La Spina is very intimate and leaves me with an open mouth and chills. Together with the subsequent duet Il Bel Pianto, it constitutes the clear highlight of the second act.
Line Kirsten Nikolajsen, den4vaeg.dk
The Australian mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup was Piacere: gold in attire, golden in vocal resiger, and seductive and insatiable.
Valdemar Lønsted, Dagbladed Information
a brilliant [mezzo] soprano, Caitlin Hulcup.
Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld, gregersDH
Caitlin Hulcup is powerful as Piacere.
Piacere is sung by Australian Caitlin Hulcup and she is a pleasure to listen to; her mezzo soprano voice is as dark and rich as good chocolate; it is sexy and full of will.
Handel: Radamisto (Title Role)
Opera Lafayette, Washington and New York (February 2019)
Australian mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup made an outstanding American debut in the title role. Hulcup applied a sweet, honeyed legato to the gorgeous “Cara sposa, amato bene,” adorned with elaborate embellishments in the da capo repeat. Her melismas were exceptionally clear and balanced across a wide ambitus, as in “Ferite, Uccidete,” in Act I. The cadenza to this aria, as well as others, featured some high-flying excursions into her upper range as well, a sort of virile sound matched by her convincing male stage characterization.
Chris T. Downey, Washington Classical Review
Tall and slim, she made an astonishingly convincing male and ably embodied her character’s joy and anguish. Her trim coppery mezzo rang out with bold confidence … particularly fine was her sneering “Vanne sorella ingrata,” and she ended strongly with her wrenchingly done “Qual nave smaritta,” the opera’s final aria.
Christopher Corwin, Parterre Box
In the title role, the soprano Caitlin Hulcup managed to give her voice a masculine cast, looking and sounding more like a countertenor, with the round, slightly falsetto-based vocal production, than a female singer.
Anne Midgette, The Washington Post
I was especially touched by the beauty of [Caitlin’s] voice and the emotion it carried in an early act II aria bemoaning Zenobia’s apparent suicide.
With regal bearing Ms. Hulcup projected one of the more impressive male personas I’ve ever encountered in a trouser role. Her vocalism was assured throughout, from the clarion tone and soft legato phrasing in the rhapsodic lament “Ombra cara” to often elaborate fioratura in her arias as well as frequent highflying cadenzas.
Richard B. Beams, Opera Con Brio
Radamisto has a lot to be upset about in this opera. But in Caitlin Hulcup's performance, the exiled prince was all heroic centering and surface calm. This set up his one emotional outburst in the second act: the aria "Ombra cara mia sposa", in which Radamisto believes his wife to be dead. Ms. Hulcup penetrated the depths of grief and loss over a slow, pulsing orchestra, using her chest voice to memorable effect. Appropriately heroic joy was found in the Act II finale, as Radamisto was reunited with Zenobia.
Paul J. Pelkonen, Superconductor
Purcell: Dido and Aeneas (Dido)
Academy of Ancient Music, The Barbican (October 2018)
It wasn’t easy for the singers. At the same time as delivering Purcell, they had to clutch a white mask, plus a trailing cloth, and adopt emotive gestures. Caitlin Hulcup and Ashley Riches, both vigorously expressive, went farther still, doubling as co-puppeteers, skilfully guiding their Dido and Aeneas masks towards crumpling with sorrow, attempting a kiss or dying to Purcell’s best-known tune. Both performed extraordinarily well.
Geoff Brown, The Times ****
Caitlin Hulcup replaced the indisposed mezzo Christine Rice, but to absolutely no detriment. Her voice is organ-like, round and resonant, with gorgeous overtones, and a sense of line that made the recitatives hold taut the dramatic string pinched by Egarr’s continuo section at the other end. Her big number, Dido's Lament, was quick, perhaps detrimentally so. The bass-line was launched by Egarr with cruel, spare inexorability, contrasting with the pathos of Hulcup’s performance, first dreamlike, then pleading. It hurt in all the right places, a deeply moving performance enriched by a carefully controlled vibrato and tasteful ornamentation in keeping with the production’s restraint: what a pity it’s only getting the one performance.
Benjamin Poore, Bachtrack ****
[Hulcup’s] assumption of Dido was movingly spontaneous and sincere - a tragic everywoman rather than a tragedy queen.
Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine
Caitlin Hulcup did well to deliver such an expressive Dido’s lament while guiding her puppet to a dignified end.
Richard Fairman, Financial Times ****
The singers included … best of all, Caitlin Hulcup, mellow and then anguished as Dido.
Erica Jeal, The Guardian ****
Australian mezzo Hulcup gamely made her puppet double live, move, and suffer, while she sang with unerring control and an emotional fluency in no way impeded by her additional job.
Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk ****
Caitlin Hulcup, managed not only to give a creditable account of the role but also managed to project her emotions via her voice and the puppet. … Hulcup’s assumption of the role was direct and eloquent, a strategy that climaxed in a tremendously powerful ‘Thy hand, Belinda’ that leads to her final, great, moment.
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International
Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Romeo)
Victorian Opera (September 2018)
The cast physically boosted the drama by often engaging with each other and moving to different music stands – even abandoning them altogether as Caitlin Hulcup regularly did, most notably for Romeo’s final, heartbreaking aria. Outstanding in this trouser role, which she took literally in black slacks topped with a different jacket for each act, Hulcup moved with a slightly masculine demeanour, energetically bit her thumb at Romeo’s rival, and heightened her death scene by producing an invisible bottle of poison. Her powerful, radiant voice was also rich with meaning and emotion.
Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine ****
Caitlin Hulcup certainly proved a worthy counterpart [for Jessica Pratt]. ... Caitlin Hulcup's portrayal of the young Montague was faultless. Romeo's Act I cavatina requires power at both ends of the mezzo range; the bottom can often result in a murky, unsupported sound and the top a dull screech. It is truly difficult singing and Hulcup was impressive, scaling the demanding terrain with elegance and strength.
Bridget Davies, Sydney Morning Herald ****
Handel: Samson (Micah)
Dunedin Consort (April 2018)
“The most impressive solo vocal performance of the night however was given by Australian mezzo Caitlin Hulcup, who sang the role of Samson’s friend Micah with a deep velvetiness and dark, dusky hues.”
Miranda Heggie, ArtsDesk
“[The choir’s] enunciation was as clear as that of the soloists, where mezzo Caitlin Hulcup, in the role of Micah, Samson’s friend and - it sometimes seems - Jiminy Cricket-like conscience, was also worthy of special mention.”
Keith Bruce, The Herald ****
Mozart: Idomeneo (Idamante)
Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon (March 2018)
“Fortunately, an excellent cast carried the performance, thanks to great female singers such as … the excellent [mezzo] Caitlin Hulcup, who was an Idamante of high vocal quality…”
Pedro Boléo, Publico
Monteverdi: The Return of Ulysses (Penelope)
The Royal Opera / Roundhouse (January 2018)
"The Australian mezzo Caitlin Hulcup sang for her – with a sepulchral beauty of tone – from the pit."
Michael Church, The Independent *****
"... her music sung with admirable intensity from the pit by the splendid Caitlin Hulcup."
Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph ****
"Caitlin Hulcup sang strongly from the pit."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times ****
"Caitlin Hulcup made a good fist of singing from the pit – remarkably so, given the announcement that she had learned the role over the weekend."
David Karlin, Bachtrack
"With the great mezzo Christine Rice voiceless for at least a night, and rising star Caitlin Hulcup singing for her from the midst of the instruments in the pit right at the centre of the Roundhouse, how could faithful Penelope's final acceptance of her long-lost husband Ulysses (Roderick Williams) achieve transcendence? Yet it was moving to tears, thanks to the exquisite sensitivities of three very special performers and Christian Curnyn's Early Opera Company. … The release of the final duet still spread its balm as Hulcup, often with her back to Williams owing to the revolves, blended perfectly. Hers is a very different mezzo from Rice’s, ... but she is already the “real” Penelope’s equal in musicality and engagement."
David Nice, ArtsDesk ****
"She was voiced, and very beautifully, from the pit by the fast-learning Australian mezzo Caitlin Hulcup."
Claudia Pritchard, CultureWhisperer ****
"... all was down to three magnificent singers: Roderick Williams..., Christine Rice, who acted bravely and with total commitment as his despairing wife despite being rendered voiceless by a throat infection, and her fellow mezzo Caitlin Hulcup, who sat with the orchestra and sang a keening Penelope pitstop. (This exceptional Australian mezzo should be a star by now. With luck this showing will give the powers-that-be a prod.)"
Mark Valencia, Whats On Stage ****
Martin: Le vin herbé (Isolde)
Welsh National Opera (February 2017)
Caught between overwhelming passion and chivalric duty, Tristan and Iseult - sublimely sung by Tom Randle and Caitlin Hulcup - can neither live nor die without the other.
Steph Power, The Independent *****
Caitlin Hulcup is a magnificent Iseult. Her voice has an expressive richness throughout her mezzo range.
Rhian Evans, The Guardian *****
Caitlin Hulcup as Iseult sings with unassailable intensity, especially in the moment she crosses the stage saying she always loved Tristan most. Her voice is in stark contrast to what happens to her – it seems that it could survive anything.
Kate Kellaway, The Observer
A fine cast is headed by the strong Tristan of Tom Randle and magnetic Iseult of Caitlin Hulcup, vocally radiant ...
Richard Fairman, Financial Times
Caitlin Hulcup is a revelation, wonderfully intense as Iseult the Fair.
Richard Morrison, The Times
Hulcup, in particular, sings with a poignancy and strength that improves throughout the piece, the physically frenzied scenes on the ship as she tries frantically to meet with the dying Tristan being exceptionally moving.
The Reviews Hub
His beloved Iseult is sung, radiantly, by mezzo Caitlin Hulcup
Mark Valencia, What's On Stage ****
Handel: Theodora (Irene)
Pinchgut Opera (December 2016)
It is difficult to know what to commend most strongly - ... the glowing smoothness of contralto Caitlin Hulcup, or simply the quality of the score that the composer thought his best. ... Caitlin Hulcup as Irene, leader of the persecuted Christians, sings with a sound of rounded firmness, fluid mellifluousness and natural attractiveness.
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald *****
Caitlin Hulcup proves the perfect foil as Irene, capturing the tension between her faith’s demands for passive endurance and her passionate love for Theodora. Her rich, thrusting mezzo is perfect for As with rosy steps, while Lord to Thee each night and day is powerfully acted with both body and voice.
Clive Paget, Limelight
In the title role, fresh-voiced soprano Valda Wilson was outstanding. ...As Irene, mezzosoprano Caitlin Hulcup was her equal. Sustaining a focused sense of line and appealing tonal warmth, she persuasively conveyed her character’s devotion to her faith.
Murray Black, The Australian
Caitlin Hulcup has a natural stage authority. She can command attention while simply standing still. She sang with a radiant intensity that was especially moving in Lord to Thee, in which she showed the physical and mental toll it takes to remain ‘Strong in Hope’ when everything seems to lead to despair.
Ian Dickson, Australian Book Review
Caitlin Hulcup has already established her reputation as a Handelian here and abroad, and her rendition of Irene’s arias were intense and moving, with lovely golden mezzo sound.
Sandra Bowdler, Bachtrack ****
Irene, the female leader of the Christians in Antioch was beautifully sung by Caitlin Hulcup. She was calm and strong, her solos ‘The Clouds Began to Veil’ and ‘Defend Her and Lord To Thee Each Night and Day’ were sensational. She sang with limpid mellifluousness and was firm and inspired.
Lynne Lancaster, Performing Arts Hub
Mahler: Symphony No.2
Sydney Symphony Orchestra (August 2016)
The soloists were all of a piece with the superb playing and conducting; mezzo soprano Caitlin Hulcup sang the Urlicht movement with gorgeous plangent tone.
Greg Keane, Limelight *****
The rich acoustics of the Town Hall came into its own when mezzo soprano Caitlin Hulcup stood in the organ gallery behind the orchestra to deliver the fourth movement solo with a sound of deeply coloured expressiveness.
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald *****
For the fourth movement Hulcup stood alongside the choir and projected effortlessly across the massive orchestra to reach the audience for the beautiful Primordial Light solo.
Steve Moffatt, Daily Telegraph
Mozart: Idomeneo (Idamante)
Garsington Opera (June 2016)
One of the most convincing trouser-role performances I’ve ever witnessed on an opera stage – from mezzo Caitlin Hulcup… Hulcup’s flawless visual transformation into a lithe, agile passionate young man – combined with heartfelt singing – stole the show.
Michael White, Opera Now
It's all rather gloriously sung ... by Caitlin Hulcup, by now a trouser-role specialist, as a boyish Idamante.
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times
Idamante is one of those roles where the casting seldom pleases everyone, but Garsington gets it right for us, with the superb mezzo Caitlin Hulcup, who can add this debut to her rapidly growing list of triumphs. She looks absolutely convincing as a young prince, and plays the part of the king’s son with such assurance that it’s sometimes hard to remember that this is actually a girl. Her singing is truly Mozartean, with finely nuanced phrasing even in such small moments as ‘O dolce nome!’ and attention given to the subtleties of the arias, which are sung with exceptional beauty of tone and dramatic commitment.
Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH (4.5 stars)
Mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup as Idamante looks for all the world like a young Toby Spence, and has a lovely swaggering lower register in this trouser role.
Claudia Pritchard, CultureWhisper (5 stars)
Caitlin Hulcup, a mezzo-soprano Idamante, added boyish ardour.
Rebecca Franks, The Times (4 stars)
... Caitlin Hulcup's youthful, humble and charming Idamante, beautifully voiced and played with affecting innocence and nicely masculine body language.
Charlotte Valori, bachtrack
... Idamante (world-class mezzo Caitlin Hulcup, convincingly boyish)... Add to the mix the lustrous Hulcup as Idamante, a mezzo Idamante who's already succeeding as Strauss's Octavian around the world, and you're in for the best sung performance of Mozart's first great ensemble, the stricken Act Three Quartet, that may ever have been heard in an opera house: voices are perfectly blended, the action tellingly set across the rift that's opened up in the wooden stage since the devastation.
David Nice, The Arts Desk
Spence is matched by the haloed mezzo of Caitlin Hulcup as Idamante, not only plausibly masculine but dynamic of movement and fleet of tone...
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage (4 stars)
Caitlin Hulcup is vocally eloquent and convincingly male as his son Idamante.
George Hall, The Stage (4 stars)
Caitlin Hulcup made a similarly youthful Idamante, creating a believable 20-something prince in a performance which required little or no suspension of disbelief. Her singing was equally impressive and profoundly moving as she imbued the vocal lines with a lyrical passion which combined intensity with elegance. This was an aristocratic but still passionate young man. The long sequence where Idomeneo and Idamante are at odds (because Idomeneo cannot admit to Idamante that he is to be the sacrifice) was finely done in the way both artists sustained the tension. Spence and Hulcup ensured that it was this father/son relationship which was at the centre of the whole opera. ... The scenes between Alder and Hulcup fairly crackled, and their handling of the recitatives was impressive.
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill (4.5 stars)
The voices of Louise Alder (Ilia) and Caitlin Hulcup (Idamante) play off each other with graceful intensity.
Michael Church, The Independent (4 stars)
Louise Alder and Caitlin Hulcup are hugely appealing as the young lovers, Ilia and Idamante, and their love duet in Act 3 is one of the most glorious moments in the entire opera, wonderfully joyful and life-affirming.
Tim Hughes, Oxford Times
As his son Idamante, Caitlin Hulcup ... was dramatically convincing as the frock-coated young lover.
Flora Willson, The Guardian
The political and romantic plights of the three central characters (Idomeneo, Idamante, and Ilia) are brought out with musical acuity and idiosyncrasy by their respective singers… Caitlin Hulcup was eloquently expressive in [Idamante’s] part as he comes to acknowledge his love for the Trojan princess Ilia. Hulcup realized the trouser role convincingly.
Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard International
Handel Ariodante (title role)
Scottish Opera (February 2016)
The beauty of Scottish Opera’s adroitly cast and meticulously directed Ariodante is the steady darkening of mood towards Act III, where Hulcup delivers a blistering Cieca notte.
Anna Picard, The Times ****
Australian mezzo Caitlin Hulcup is convincingly boyish and baffled in the title role, a young lover mistakenly convinced he’s been wronged, with a broad vocal range (and particularly resonant lower notes) and a remarkably expressive performance of “Scherza infida”, probably the production’s standout aria.
David Kettle, The Arts Desk ****
Caitlin Hulcup’s Ariodante - in a role originally conceived for male castrato - is one built on stoical virtue, her velvety nuances a glowing enrichment of the writing’s surface virtuosity.
Ken Walton, The Scotsman
There are fine performances ..., not least Hulcup’s anguished Ariodante.
Mark Brown, The Telegraph ****
Mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup is a superb Ariodante, with flawless agility and a brassy timbre, which is reminiscent of the colour of one Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson. As an actress she gives a startling credibility to this trouser role. One can sense the painstaking work in order to adopt a masculine body language: it is virtually deceiving. The staging prefers the broken man to the outraged hero: her “Scherza infida” is a great moment, perhaps also because, within minutes, pit and stage seem to become one.
Clémence Faber, bachtrack
Scottish Opera has assembled a uniformly strong cast for this production, which is very finely sung. Caitlin Hulcup’s convincingly boyish Ariodante was a study in anguish, her “Scherza infida” heart wrenching, full of melancholy as the blizzards raged outside and a mournful bassoon in the pit amplifyied the sadness. Even at the end of a long evening, her joyful “Dopo notte” was a tour de force, nailing top notes and tricky runs thrillingly.
David Smythe, bachtrack ****
This is an opera completely driven by brilliant singing. Caitlin Hulcup completely owns the title role. She looked dashing as the young Ariodante (a soldier, in this production) and took the audience deftly through a rollercoaster of emotions. Her “Scherza infida“, which came shortly before the interval in this production, was pure, heart wrenching sadness. Sung from an awkward crouching position, the sheer knots of grief that betrayal can engender were laid out before us. It was pure, it was sad and it was lovely. Later on, Miss Hulcup gave an astonishingly virtuoso performance of “Dopo notte” – precise, joyful and exquisitely sung. It was all the more remarkable, coming towards the end of quite a long evening of singing.
Kelvin Holdsworth, Opera Britannica ****
Caitlin Hulcup sings well in Scottish Opera’s new production: her Ariodante is baffled, callow, subtle.
Kate Molleson, The Guardian
Iphigénie en Tauride (Iphigenie)
Pinchgut Opera (live recording, released Dec. 2015)
All the singers impress, musically and dramatically... [Hulcup’s] high mezzo, enfolding deeper, grander colourings, and sense of vulnerability are well-nigh ideal for the title-role. ... She is magnificent in the heroic anguish of her Act 3 aria.
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone
Caitlin Hulcup, who is moving in her grief and touching in her tenderness for the two captured Greeks...
Brian Robins, Opera
The youthful Australian quartet of principals sings Gluck’s perilously unadorned phrases with unstinted involvement and, in the case of the warm, unstrained high mezzo Caitlin Hulcup in the title role, a remarkable degree of technical confidence. This [recording] is alive from start to finish.
Max Loppert, BBC Music Magazine ****
Without question, [Dame Janet] Baker was the most celebrated Gluck interpreter of her generation, and it is Baker whose vocal prowess and acumen as an actress that mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup’s singing of Iphigénie in this performance often recalls. Accomplished in a repertory spanning multiple centuries of musical invention, Hulcup finds in Gluck’s long-suffering Iphigénie a rôle that might have been written with her individual gifts in mind. Like Baker, she grants music and text equal importance, maximizing the communicative capacities of Iphigénie’s strenuous vocal lines. The unimpeachable security of her repeated ascents to G at the top of the stave in ‘Grands Dieux! soyez-nous secourables’ in Act One illustrates the level of excellence that Hulcup achieves in this music. Her ‘Ô race de Pélops! race toujours fatale!’ is fiery but sophisticated, Iphigénie’s aristocratic demeanor always apparent. ... The mezzo-soprano’s portrayal of the troubled Iphigénie gains further dimension in Act Two, not least with her subtle singing of the recitative ‘Je vois toute l'horreur que ma présence vous inspire’ and her penetrating ‘Ô Ciel! de mes tourments la cause et le témoin.’ The Classical poise of her voicing of the pained Cantabile con espressione ‘Ô malheueurse Iphigénie’ is a credit to herself and to Gluck, ... compellingly conveying the character’s despair and desperation. The recitative ‘Je cède à vos désirs’ and Larghetto cantabile air ‘D'une image, hélas! trop chérie’ in Act Three are delivered with abundant tonal beauty, and Hulcup reaches dizzying heights of tragic expression in the trio with Oreste and Pylade. Her performance of ‘Je pourrais du tyran tromper la barbarie’ alone qualifies her as world-class Iphigénie, but she crowns her interpretation with particularly fine, fearless sing in Act Four. The top As in the recitative ‘Non, cet affreux devoir je ne puis le remplir’ display increased freedom, and she suffuses ‘Ah! laissons là ce souvenir funeste’ with sounds befitting the daughter of a royal house. Not long after singing Iphigénie in Sydney, Hulcup expanded her Gluckian résumé with a much-appreciated portrayal of the titular troubadour in Orfeo ed Euridice for Scottish Opera. Singers with special affinities for Gluck’s music are rare, but even among their sparse company Hulcup is exceptional. A worthy rival to Callas, Jurinac, and Goerke, hers is as well-sung an Iphigénie as has been heard in the modern age.
Joseph Newsome, Voix des Artes (Best Opera Recording of 2015)
Enthused by [the opera’s] opening, I became even more engaged upon hearing the first notes from the eponymous protagonist, Caitlin Hulcup. She is up against the strongest possible competition from other singers able to bridge the soprano-mezzo gap, with superb recordings from singers like Callas, ..., Régine Crespin, Sena Jurinac, Rita Gorr, Marilyn Horne,... Carol Vaness and Susan Graham... Hulcup may hold her head high in such exalted company; she has a big, warm, rich mezzo with a lovely fluting timbre. Her vocalism is thrilling, flawless and frequently reminiscent of her distinguished senior compatriot, now retired, Yvonne Minton; her singing of “O malheureuse Iphigénie” is a highlight.... Hulcup’s Iphigénie is something to hear and hear again. I look forward to encountering her voice in future performances and recordings.
Ralph Moore, MusicWeb International
Rossi: Orpheus (Aristeus)
Royal Opera, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe (October 2015)
Caitlin Hulcup’s magnificently intense mad scene as Aristaeus ... these are the standouts but there are no weak links.
Richard Morrison, The Times *****
No weak links here, and some outstanding performances: by Caitlin Hulcup as a deranged Aristeus (stylishly evoking a castrato sound)...
Michael Church, The Independent *****
Caitlin Hulcup wrung the humour and tragedy out of Aristaeus, Orpheus’s rival.
Hannah Nepil, Financial Times *****
But the evening’s most distinguished performance came from the Australian mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup as Orpheus’ rival Aristaeus (another castrato role): his-her mad scene after Eurydice’s death brought an otherwise absent note of emotional urgency to the proceedings and momentarily made me feel that the opera had something sincere to communicate.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
The other castrato role is that of Aristeus, from which Caitlin Hulcup extracts all the dramatic and musical juice...
Andrew Clements, The Guardian ****
The dramatic momentum is unflagging, but the darker emotional recesses are explored too, not least in Aristeus’s harrowing mad scene (movingly delivered by Caitlin Hulcup), in which the unfortunate spurned lover hallucinates about himself and others, embarking on an extraordinary range of musical styles and psychological states. ****
Barry Millington, Evening Standard ****
As that hapless would-be lover, Caitlin Hulcup showered warm mezzo riches on us at thrilling close quarters.
David Nice, The Arts Desk ****
We were treated to some truly lovely arias from Stagg’s Orpheus, Alder’s Eurydice and Caitlin Hulcup as Aristaeus - having spent most of the previous two Acts being downtrodden and risible, Hulcup seized her chance to project some real pathos. ...
David Karlin, bachtrack
All Rossi's castrato roles are sung by women and every one of them is a gem. Caitlin Hulcup is a fiery, passionate Aristeus.
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage
There are memorable individual contributions ... especially Caitlin Hulcup’s Aristaeus.
George Hall, The Stage
Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Wigglesworth), Sydney Opera House (May 2015)
Hulcup was enchanting in the failed flirtation, Verlorn'ne Muh... Hulcup's voice is rounded with deep warmth and richly focus, and without a hint of excessive vibrato. In Urlicht, (which Mahler appropriated as the fourth movement of his Second Symphony) she shaped each phrase like glowing light.
Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald
Gluck Iphigénie en Tauride (Iphigénie)
Pinchgut Opera, Sydney (December 2014)
As for the title role, Caitlin Hulcup carries this immense part with unfailing intensity, maintaining a purity of tone and fleetness of phrasing throughout the most turbulent of arias.
Harriet Cunningham, The Sydney Morning Herald
As Iphigénie, mezzo soprano Caitlin Hulcup is quite remarkable. A woman on the verge, indeed, but every gesture of voice and body is eloquent and controlled. Her instrument is a pure stream of liquid silver, flowing in the arias, nuanced in the crucial Gluckian recitative. And her portrayal of poor Iphigénie, almost crushed beyond hope, and yet hanging in there by that shred of humanity that somehow manages to keep so many of us going, is an agony that we, the spectators, willingly become a part of. Ô malheureuses Iphigénie is heart-rending, ... powerfully sung and staged. ... With this, their latest and possibly finest staging to date, Pinchgut have done Sydney audiences a real service in presenting one of the greatest Classical period operas in an outstanding production, and crowned by Caitlin Hulcup’s sublime Iphigénie.
Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine
As Iphigenie, Australian mezzo soprano Caitlin Hulcup sustained remarkable clarity and focus in her tour de force performance. Firm and secure across her tessitura, she displayed excellent dynamic control, impressive timbral variety and an alluring range of tone colours
Murray Black, The Australian
A sense of anguish pours from Caitlin Hulcup’s grand performance as Iphigénie, vocally typified by glorious, emotive phrasing, a warm, even vibrato and demonstrative wide-ranging tonal colour. Hulcup fires from the start, maintaining her vigour in Act II’s mournful and piercing O malheureuse Iphigénie. Then, as if dabbing paint to music, Hulcup renders Act III’s Je cède à vos désirs: du sort qui nous opprime with a fierce delicacy as she agonises over her strange desire to free Oreste in feeling a mysterious bond.
Paul Selar, bachtrack
As Iphigenie, Caitlin Hulcup is superb. Stern and refined as the priestess she hides a compassionate heart. She sings divinely and is in glorious form with a warm tone. She is always conscious of the phrasing and shaping of the vocal line and very dramatically moving and convincing.
Lynne Lancaster, Performing Arts Hub
In the title role, Caitlin Hulcup sings with a beautifully warm, full and focused tone, ever attentive to the possibilities of phrasing and shaping the vocal line, and is consistently dramatically convincing and moving.
Michael Halliwell, The Conversation
The title role is huge, and Caitlin Hulcup’s performance of it was a true tour de force. She understood every nuance of the emotional fabric of the music. Her voice, mercurially capable of moving seamlessly from deep plangency to tender warmth, and indeed between an array of different feelings, was always true and vibrant, and always true to Gluck’s ideals; at the service of the drama. The arias in the opera are models of concision, [and] ... she has scenas which, though never flashy, demand a very special range of techniques to bring off. Caitlin Hulcup was mistress of them all.
Nicholas Routley, Australian Stage
Caitlin Hulcup is ideal in the title role: her poise, dignity, and beauty in form and voice yield great empathy.
Jason Catlett, Sinfini Music
Vivaldi: Catone in Utica (Cesare)
Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (January 2014)
The second mezzo, Caitlin Hulcup in the role of Cesare (sung in Vivaldi’s première by star soprano castrato Lorenzo Girardi), succeeded with a beguiling “Apri le luci e mira” in striking delicate emotional cords. Her legatos were softly rounded and her Cesare didn’t lack subtlety and feminine sensitiveness.
Vesna Gerintes, bachtrack
Caitlin Hulcup proves an outstanding interpreter of the role of Cesare.
Bernard Schreuders, Forum Opera
Rossini: Maometto secondo (Calbo)
Garsington Opera, Avie AV2312
Caitlin Hulcup’s exceptionally musical singing of Calbo’s aria in the second act stops the show...
Rodney Miles, Opera
Caitlin Hulcup as Anna’s Venetian fiancé…makes [a] sterling contributions.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
[Caitlin Hulcup] becomes in some ways the most interesting person – character developed through sheer bel canto technique.
Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now
The Australian mezzo Caitlin Hulcup is Calbo…Hulcup should please listeners with her fioritura. For a mezzo whose compact voice is not the largest imaginable, she runs the range of that aria with no sign of difficulty and finds the low notes for the line ‘basso affetto nel mio petto’, eliciting at the end of the aria a well-reserved outburst of enthusiasm. She blends well in the trios.
John T. Hughes, International Record Review
In her performance as the Venetian general Calbo, Australian mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup fires volley after volley of blazing coloratura, seeming a fusion of Conchita Supervia and Marilyn Horne in their primes. Ms. Hulcup’s voice combines a robustness of timbre that enables her to credibly portray male characters with a bravura technique that firmly places her in the ranks of today’s best Rossini singers. Ms. Hulcup sings her lines in the terzettone ‘Ohimè! Qual fulmine’ in Act One—Rossini’s emblematic ‘big fat trio’—with stunning immediacy, her characterization of Calbo demanding the listener’s sympathy. In Act Two, her performance of the fervent aria ‘Non temer’ is shaped by dramatic intensity tempered by absolute mastery of bel canto technique. The peak of Ms. Hulcup’s performance is reached in the terzettino with Anna and Erisso in Act Two, ‘In questi estremi istanti,’ in which she unleashes the full power and poetry of her artistry. There are passages at the bottom and top of Calbo’s music that challenge Ms. Hulcup, but she copes with every requirement of her rôle with the confidence of a marathon runner who has the finish line in sight. Poor Calbo can get lost among the high-flying, frenzied exchanges between Anna and Erisso: Ms. Hulcup ensures that her character remains at the center of the drama from first note to last.
Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts
It’s amazing, I mean those spine-tingling low notes and then the agility at the top, I mean really, she’s got it! ... it’s such impressive control over the whole register.
Flora Willson, BBC Radio 3
Mozart Don Giovanni (Elvira)
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (February 2013)
Australian Caitlin Hulcup, who was a first-class Octavian for the inauguration of last year’s Festival, returned as Elvira and was again in lovely voice, performing with tremendous rhythmic fervour. […] She flung herself through the cadenzas with extraordinary purpose, signalling at once the vulnerability and tenacity of the character. In a few words, her vocal vibrancy and dramatic commitment suggested a passion that seemed indubitably Spanish and youthful.
Nicola Lischi, Opera Britannia
Caitlin Hulcup’s Concert Repertoire
Mass in B minor
Mass in C
La Damnation de Faust (Marguerite)
Poeme de l'amour et de la mer
Des Knaben Wunderhorn (various)
Mass in C minor
Requiem op. 148
Caitlin Hulcup’s Operatic Repertoire
I Capuletti e I Monetcchi (Romeo)
La Damnation de Faust (Marguerite)
Carmen (title role)
Owen Wingrave (Kate)
La Calisto (Diana; Il Destino)
Médée (title role)
Pelléas et Mélisande (Mélisande)
Orfeo (title role)
Hänsel und Gretel (Hänsel)
Katya Kabanova (Varvara)
Cendrillion (title role; Le Prince Charmant)
La clemenza di Tito (Sesto; Annio)
Les contes d'Hoffmann (Niklausse; La Muse)
L'heure Espagnole (Concepción)
Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
Ariadne auf Naxos (Komponist)
Falstaff (Meg Page)
Griselda (title role)
Das Rheingold (Wellgunde; Fricka*)
|* In preparation|