Vocalist - Mezzo-Soprano
Acclaim
 
After Life - Music of Remembrance

"Mezzo soprano Catherine Cook is a formidable artist in every respect, and she vividly embodies Stein’s larger than life persona. It is especially impressive how she conveys Stein’s overpowering grandeur and arrogance in a way that also reveals the very real insecurity and fragility just beneath the surface. Hers is a gleaming voice with thrilling thrust, but she also manages the moments of gentler lyricism and grace with assurance and aplomb."

Gregory Berg, Journal of Singing
Very verismo

"As the old Contessa di Coigny, woefully ignorant of the suffering around her, SFO favorite Catherine Cook won another huge audience response at the final curtain."

Philip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter
Andrea Chénier - San Francisco Opera

"It was the secondary characters who shone most. Mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook was simply delicious as Contessa di Coigny.... Although Cook was never onstage at the same time as Joel Sorensen’s remarkable L’Incroyable, she figuratively met her match in a portrayal so well sung and unctuous as to tempt you to procure a spy as your pet dog."

Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice
Andrea Chénier - San Francisco Opera

"In the role of Maddalena’s mother, the Comtessa di Coigny, veteran mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook was excellent as always."

James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet
'Sweeney Todd' collects powerful moments at Mill City Opera

"Vocally the show had plenty of highlights, not least mezzo Catherine Cook's contributions as Mrs. Lovett. She brought technical control and a lick of sensuality to 'Wait,' a tricky song to float effectively, and relished the ­climactic 'A Little Priest,' where the show's macabre mix of slapstick comedy and foul intent is at its most unsettling."

Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Dark tale of ‘Sweeney Todd’ fits deftly in ruins of mill

"There are no real heroes in this dark saga, but Robert Orth and Catherine Cook manage to make the throat-slashing barber and his baking accomplice a fascinating pair. They turn up the contrast in these enterprising partners, Cook displaying fine comedic skills and an exceptional voice as a dotty, endearing Mrs. Lovett while Orth balances Todd’s fury with the charm required of a budding businessman."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
After Life - Music of Remembrance

"Mezzo Catherine Cook makes for a formidable, colorful Stein with an outsized ego but humane core. She sounds luscious on long phrases ..." 

Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News
Triumph of Memory

"... the Bay Area's beloved Catherine Cook (Zosha) ... plays Krysia's friend in Auschwitz with the same greatness that she brings to character roles."

Jason Victor Serinus, Bay Area Reporter
BWW Review: UrbanArias' Pleasing AFTER LIFE / JOSEPHINE

“Mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook is full and rich and ringing voice, much like one would hope to hear in the afterlife.”

Roger Catlin, Broadway World
After Life and Josephine from UrbanArias

"Catherine Cook as Gertrude enters cautiously, then sings about her life choices and the importance of love with beautifully supported mezzo soprano tones."

Debbie Minter Jackson, DC Theatre Scene
‘After Life’ | ‘Josephine’ by UrbanArias

“As Gertrude Stein, mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook … is commanding, her voice powerful and richly resonant, negotiating the octave-plus leaps and unconventional intervals with effortless élan.”

Leslie Weisman, DC Metro Theater Arts
Groovy Figaro

“Catherine Cook, a strong mezzo, is very funny as the dowdy Marcellina. Her transformation from a giggly bride-to-be to a nurturing mother is hysterically instantaneous.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones
A Spirited 'Marriage of Figaro' at San Francisco Opera

“In this opera’s secondary roles, veteran mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook was a superb Marcellina.”

James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet
Another pass at a Mozartean classic

“Mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook as the old biddy Marcellina ... gets close to the biggest laugh of the night when her character, who has been pursuing Figaro as a potential mate, finds she is actually his long-lost mother. The expression on her face and quick-change in attitude is downright hilarious, and she accomplishes it without a trace of vulgarity.”

Philip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter
‘The Marriage of Figaro’ at San Francisco Opera

“Three performances stand out for comic excellence … best of all, though, is Catherine Cook’s hilarious Marcellina (a role in which she is justly celebrated). Her every movement, even a subtle nod of the head, is an occasion for laughter.”

Charles Kruger, Theatre Storm
Copley’s imaginative staging of Mozart continues to delight at SFO

“On the secondary side the coupling of John Del Carlo’s Bartolo with Catherine Cook’s Marcellina cannot go unmentioned. Both of them had a solid command of Pierre Beaumarchais’ comic skills as transformed into opera by both Mozart and Rossini. This was most apparent during the revelations in the third act, but they were always on top of their character types throughout all four acts of the opera.”

Stephen Smoliar, San Francisco Classical Examiner
The Marriage of Figaro - San Francisco Opera

“Catherine Cook — San Francisco Opera’s go-to artist[s] in the role[s] of … Marcellina — once again demonstrated [her] mastery.”

Georgia Rowe, Opera News
Opera needs a mezzo? Catherine Cook is the go-to

"For nearly a quarter of a century, the versatile and dramatically forceful mezzo-soprano has been the San Francisco Opera’s go-to choice for a wide range of character roles.... Total S.F. Opera performances to date: 321, and counting. It’s the career she always hoped for."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Music of Remembrance’s After Life: Stein and Picasso duel over art and morality

“Cook brilliantly portrays a dowdy, self-involved and insistent writer/cutting-edge public figure [Stein]. ‘Genius: Did somebody say my name?’ Stein sings at the beginning of the piece. And later, ‘Have they learned to read me?’ She thrusts a copy of Time magazine, her face on its cover, into Picasso’s face.”

Angela Allen, Oregon ArtsWatch
Music of Remembrance's new one-act opera lingers long after

“As Gertrude Stein, mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook sustained a fascinating balance of egotism and guilt-ridden uncertainty. Her powerful voice held its own against the jauntily macho posing Cipullo uses to characterize Picasso.”

Thomas May, Bachtrack
The Truth Will Set You Free

“One of the greatest satisfactions of this production was the high quality of the leads, demonstrated by fine voices and convincing portrayals throughout. A few of the stand-outs were Catherine Cook as Mrs. De Rocher....”

David Ostwald, Oxford University Press
“Dead Man Walking” Is A Musically and Intellectually Complex Opera

“Two of the most moving, riveting moments both musically and story wise came during the parole board hearing scene where the convict’s single mother, Mrs. De Rocher (sung masterfully by mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook) begs the board to have mercy on her son who became the man of the house and father figure to his two younger brothers....”

Humberto Capiro, Living Out Loud (LA)
Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking Performed by Opera Parallèle

“At this hearing, Mrs. De Rocher, sung by veteran mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook, emotionally pleads for her son’s life.... In this role of a lower class mother from rural Louisiana … her moving testimony as a Death Row convict’s mother was a highlight of this production of the opera.”

James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet
Opera Parallele Does Right By Dead Man Walking

“Mezzo Catherine Cook used her two arias as the killer’s mother to create a heartbreaking, fully formed portrayal of a mother’s grief and wishful denial.”

Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice
'Dead Man Walking’: Spare and moving new staging of opera

“Catherine Cook was a tremulous but strong-toned presence as the convict’s mother.”

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Catherine Cook balances drama and music in her approach to Schumann

“This was where Cook’s dramatic skills could best be appreciated. Beyond her skill at phrasing that captured the full semantic impact of each poem, her command of both posture and gesture captured just as powerfully the interiority of each poem, represented only through Schumann’s piano writing.”

Stephen Smoliar, SF Classical Music Examiner
'Standing O' for 'Susannah'

“The rest of the cast really couldn’t be bettered, with Catherine Cook suitably nasty as the meanest of New Hope Valley’s church ladies.”

Philip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter
Anya 17

“Natalia’s aria ‘New girls’ … [was] sung authoritatively by veteran mezzo soprano Catherine Cook … Cook made a strong impression and her crystal clear diction rendered Natalia’s supertitles unnecessary.”

Jeffery S. McMillan, Opera News
SUSANNAH - San Francisco Opera

“Mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook’s Mrs. McLean led the townswomen.... The chorus is an essential element in Susannah and Ian Robertson’s well-prepared singers evoked the townspeople’s poison and pity in equal measure.”

Georgia Rowe, Opera News
Opera Parallele's 'Anya17'

“There’s much to like in the opera though, in particular the music of Adam Gorb, which provides an off-beat light on the story. It is percussive during the set up scenes, but veers to its most sensual when things start going wrong: a lush jazzy color for a scene where Viktor and Natalia [Catherine Cook] get the girls drunk, and a power ballade for the amazing Catherine Cook … as she explain[s] how she was abused at ten by her father and walking the streets at 12.”

Cedric Westphal, SFist
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