Following well reviewed performances of Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the summer, mezzo Caitlin Hulcup returns to Sydney, and to Pinchgut Opera, where she previously had great success as Iphigénie en Tauride.
This week’s performances as Irene in Theodora were received very well by audience and critics:
“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
Photos by Robert Catto/Pinchgut Opera.