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 In Reviews

..the part here is sung by (mezzo) soprano Caitlin Hulcup, who creates a highly plausible young hero

unembarrassed by his tender side. Hulcup delivers one of the night’s strongest performances with a bright voice of coloured radiance and elegant smoothness. Besuited, modest and impeccably polite, the dramatic persona seemed at times like a whimsicaland ironic construction of what women wish men were like. 

Idomeneo, Sydney Morning Herald Peter McCallum.

women wish men were like.

Her voice is organ-like, round and resonant, with gorgeous overtones, and a sense of line that made the recitatives hold taut ... the pathos of Hulcup’s performance, first dreamlike, then pleading. It hurt in all the right places, a deeply moving performance.. 
Dido and Benjamin Poore.

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.

Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald,

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.

Radamisto Washington Classical Review Charles T Downey. 

...skilfully using her smooth, rounded coppery voice to express Orfeo’s changing psychological states...Hulcup judged the weight of ‘Che faro senza Euridice?’ just right, balancing dignity and agony. Her textual delivery was superb throughout, and this imbued Orfeo’s anguish and pleading with sincerity. This was a performance of gravity and directness.”

Gluck, Orfeo ed Euridice Opera Magazine, Claire Seymour

The most impressive solo vocal performance of the night.. was given by Australian mezzo Caitlin Hulcup, who sang the role of Samson’s friend Micah with a deep velvetiness and dark, dusky hues.
Handel, Samson Miranda Heggie.
But there was a singer in the pit, too. Australian singer Caitlin Hulcup ...who apparently learnt the role of Penelope over the weekend preceding this performance. She used a score, but that was really the only indication that the music was not fully in her blood... Rice, who had to write ‘Ulysses’ over and over again in chalk on the wooden acting circle as if obsessed, gave a dramatically convincing account of the role but it was Caitlin Hulcup’s musicality, her depth of both tone and interpretation, that made one of the most significant impressions of the evening. If Hulcup really did learn the role from scratch in a weekend, this an achievement all the more magnificent; certainly one aches to hear more of her in this repertoire, so stylish  was her delivery. Her diction, too, was remarkable.
 Monteverdi, The Return of Ulysses ,Colin Clarke.

Caitlin Hulcup was a radiantly gilded Iseult, moving about the stage with grace yet also impulsiveness, quickening as she abandoned herself credibly to the potion-induced love. With the texture of her mezzo so evenly sustained throughout her range, and flecked with distinctive timbre, she measured the emotional weight of every phrase with instinctive musicality." 


Frank Martin, Le Vin Herbé  The Guardian Rian Evans *****

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 ****

“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.”


Handel Theodora , The Sydney Morning Herald, Peter McCallum*****


“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.”

Limelight, Clive Paget

"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." Australian Book Review, Ian Dickson.

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. 
Mozart Idomeneo Robert Hugill

Caitlin Hulcup’s Idamante, all adolescent awkwardness and intensity, overflows with ardour for his beloved Ilia, reciprocated with shy delight by Louise Alder. Dramatically it’s a near-perfect pairing, finding the youth and even the silliness in two lovers whose sophistication is only a veneer painted on by suffering. Vocally, too, from Hulcup’s impassioned ‘Non ho colpa’ to Alder’s ‘Zeffiretti lusinghieri’, defiant in its radiant beauty, these are exceptional performances that rise to the challenge of conductor Tobias Ringborg’s speeds and forward-thrusting musical momentum. The Spectator, Alexandra Coghlan

Hulcup is a Handelian of growing distinction...she has all the right musical instincts. Her stylish decorative command was much in evidence here, but she also respected the essential simplicity of Scherza Infida. 'Dopo notte' was, rightly, the crown of the evening, giving us an adrenaline-fuelled, spirit of the moment sense of a singer at the top of her game, relishing the challenges Handel sets and traversing them with aplomb. Add to this Hulcup's dramatic antennae- dignity, deportment, demonstrable stage presence... and you have an important artist in the making. 

Handel Ariodante Andrew Clark, Opera


 ..just when you thought the piece was going to run out of steam, Caitlin Hulcup produced her superb mad scene as Aristeus. 


Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill 


Another outstanding performance comes from Caitlin Hulcup as Aristeus, a lovelorn suitor of Eurydice. The tragi-comic role includes a substantial mad scene, but Hulcup is as dazzling in comedy as in pathos and has a terrifically caressing voice too. 

Warwick Thompson


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


Currnyn boldly encourages his singers to turn baroque arioso, where appropriate, into something close to speech. Yet where full blooded lyricism is required, they deliver...Caitlin Hulcup's magnificently intense mad scene as Aristeus... 

Richard Morrison, The 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.

The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen 



Hulcup...displaying alluring tonal warmth, good diction and a sure sense of line. Her intensely compelling account of Urlicht was the highlight.

Murray Black, The Australian 


As for the mezzo-soprano Hulcup, the highlight was her rendition of Urlicht (which Mahler used for the fourth movement of his Resurrection Symphony). Her voice was sensitive and restrained, while the chorale in the brass was precise and as sacred as music can be...Hulcup also demonstrated great virtuosity and purity of sound as a young maiden in love in Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht? 

 Andrew Luboski, Limelight Magazine 


Gluck: Iphigenie en Tauride, Iphigenie

‘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

Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine

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 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


‘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


Vivaldi: Catone in Utica, Cesare

Caitlin Hulcup révèle une interprète exceptionnelle du rôle de Cesare.. cette mezzo australienne nous éblouit cette fois par l’aplomb avec lequel son timbre sonore et velouté se plie aux mille acrobaties exigées d’un personnage qui est peut-être le principal de l’œuvre. Ce qu’elle fait du « Se mai senti » évoqué plus haut est extraordinaire de palpitation, à mille lieues des versions aseptisées qu’ont pu en proposer d’autres chanteurs. Face à ce César-là, la reine de la soirée doit bien partager son trône. Avant l’arrivée d’Ann Hallenberg, les arias s’étaient enchaînées sans qu’il se passe toujours grand-chose, mais avec l’entrée en scène d’Emilia, le frisson du théâtre parcourt enfin nos veines, et sa virtuosité vous met la tête à l’envers. S’il fallait assister à ce concert, c’était assurément pour entendre la mezzo suédoise dans tout l’éclat de ses moyens à leur zénith, mais aussi pour Caitlin Hulcup, qu’on espère très vite retrouver à Paris dans les rôles de son répertoire, comme cette Octavian qu’elle fut à Moscou ou au Mai musical florentin.

ForumOpera.comBernard Schreuders Jan 10. 2014

Rossini: Maometto II, Calbo

The finest aria of the evening came from mezzo Caitlin Hulcup in the trouser role of Anna’s suitor Calbo. She sang the Act II “Non temer: d’un basso affetto” with vivid colours and heart-melting grace and nobility...  there can hardly have been a dry eye in the house.                                       BachTrack, David Karlin. 


Hulcup delivers her trouser-role with none of the usual irritating faux-masculine mannerisms, and with an artistry to take the breath away. She negotiates the most awkward leaps as if nothing could be more natural; she has distinctly different voices at the top and bottom of her register, but moves between them with seamless ease.    The Independent, Michael Church. 


'Ms Hulcup was close to ideal in weight and timbre for the title role and she immersed herself in the character with a combination of aristocratic poise and vulnerability that made her hormonally raging teenager extraordinarily sympathetic.'                                        

  Nicola Lischi / Opera Britannia


​'Caitlin Hulcup la ha affiancato un Octavian elegante e appassionato, altrettanto credibile sul piano scenico.'      

Maria Teresa / La Nazione Firenze

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