Caitlin Hulcup

Mezzo-soprano

"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

Download full biography

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-Elysées, 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-Elysées, 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.

In 2019/20, 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. 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 last season include a return to Opera Lafayette for Purcell’s Mad and Spiritual Songs, and a recital for the Oxford Lieder Festival alongside violinist Jonathan Stone and pianist Sholto Kynoch.

In 2021/22, she performs the title role in The Rape of Lucretia with Potsdam Winteroper, sings Handel’s Messiah with Kammerorchester Basel and Das Lied von der Erde with the Noord Nederlands Orkest.

Caitlin is Professor of Singing at the Universität der Künste Berlin and a visiting academic to the University of Melbourne.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Britten The Rape of Lucretia (title role), Potsdamer Winteroper

Potsdamer Schlosstheater (November 2021)

Caitlin Hulcup as Lucretia shows in an impressive way how a once self-confident woman almost implodes psychologically after being raped. Her voice then sounds paler, more broken.

Harald Asel, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg

Caitlin Hulcup performs the role with a gentle, dignified alto and with growing exaltation.

Andreas Berger, Braunschweiger Zeitung

Arne Artaxerxes, The Mozartists, Signum SIGCD672

(May 2021)

…and the cast list is no less starry, from… Hulcup’s Arbaces makes short work of the showpiece ‘Amid a thousand racking woes’, giving us the best of both worlds: a countertenor’s lightness and a mezzo’s broader colours.

Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone

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.

Sceneblog

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.

Ars Artis

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.

OperaGene

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 ****

Caitlin Hulcup’s Concert Repertoire

BACH

Mass in B minor
Cantatas (various)
Christmas Oratorio
St Matthew Passion

BEETHOVEN

Mass in C
Symphony no. 9

BERLIOZ

La Damnation de Faust (Marguerite)
Les nuits d'été

BOCCHERINI

Stabat mater

CHAUSSON

Poeme de l'amour et de la mer

ELGAR

Sea Pictures
The Dream of Gerontius (Angel)

HANDEL

Armida Abbandonata
Belshazzar
Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno
Israel in Egypt
La Lucretia
Messiah
Piacere
Sechs Deutsche Lieder

HAYDN

Nelson Mass

MAHLER

Des Knaben Wunderhorn (various)
Rückert Lieder

MOZART

Mass in C minor
Coronation Mass
Credo Mess
Requiem
Vespere Solennelle

SCHUMANN

Requiem op. 148

STRAUSS

Orchesterlieder

RAVEL

Shéhérazade
Chanson Madecasse

RESPIGHI

Il Tramonto

VIVALDI

Gloria

Caitlin Hulcup’s Operatic Repertoire

ARNE

Artaxerxes (Arbaces)

BELLINI

I Capuletti e I Monetcchi (Romeo)

BERLIOZ

La Damnation de Faust (Marguerite)

BIZET

Carmen (title role)

BRITTEN

Owen Wingrave (Kate)
The Rape of Lucretia (Lucretia)
Albert Herring (Nancy)

CAVALLI

La Calisto (Diana; Il Destino)

CHARPENTIER

Médée (title role)

DEBUSSY

Pelléas et Mélisande (Mélisande)

GLUCK

Orfeo (title role)
Paride ed Elena (Paride)
Iphigénie en Tauride (title role)

HANDEL

Alcina (Ruggiero)
Ariodante (title role)
Rinaldo (title role)
Rodelinda (Eduige)
Theodora (Irene)
Xerxes (title role)

HUMPERDINCK

Hänsel und Gretel (Hänsel)

JANÁČEK

Katya Kabanova (Varvara)

MASSENET

Cendrillion (title role; Le Prince Charmant)
Thaïs (Albine)
Werther (Charlotte*)

MOZART

La clemenza di Tito (Sesto; Annio)
Le nozze di Figaro (Cherubino)
Così fan tutte (Dorabella)
Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira; Zerlina)
Idomeneo (Idamante)

OFFENBACH

Les contes d'Hoffmann (Niklausse; La Muse)

RAVEL

L'heure Espagnole (Concepción)

ROSSINI

Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
La cenerentola (Angelina)
Maometto II (Calbo)

STRAUSS

Ariadne auf Naxos (Komponist)
Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian)
Salome (Page)

VERDI

Falstaff (Meg Page)

VIVALDI

Griselda (title role)
Juditha (Triumphans)

WAGNER

Das Rheingold (Wellgunde; Fricka*)
Die Walküre (Fricka)
Tannhäuser (Hirt)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Magdalena)

* In preparation

These photos are available to be downloaded.
Right click on a desired image and select the "Save Link As" option.