“Catherine Backhouse sings Orestes’ song with such charm that I wished Offenbach had given her more to do.”

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“Young Scottish Mezzo Catherine Backhouse stands out as a noble, rich-voiced Annina”

Rowena Smith, The Guardian

“the whole thing revolved around Catherine Backhouse’s spirited Concepcion. Darting about the stage, eyes flashing, she shaped Ravel’s artfully artless lines with an easy grace and her voice – silvery and translucent at the top – had a core of satisfyingly sultry darkness.”

Richard Bratby, The Arts Desk


Mezzo-soprano Catherine Backhouse grew up in Edinburgh and began singing as a chorister in St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. She graduated with an honours degree in music from The University of Durham and was founder member of the a cappella group Voces8 with whom she sung for three years before training on the prestigious Opera Studies and Artist Diploma programmes at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She was a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist for the 2017/2018 Season and won the Sunday Herald Cutlure Award for Best Musical Artist for her performances which included Annina La Traviata, Opera Highlights Tour and singing the world première of Grace Notes by Samuel Bordoli. She began 2022 by playing Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino with Regent’s Opera and in the Summer performed Ernesto in Fool Moon with Bampton Classic Opera. She has played Concepción L’heure Espagnole for Grange Park Opera (film) and Mid-Wales Opera, Isabella L’Italiana in Algeri with Diva Opera, Suzuki Madama Butterfly with West Green House Opera, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni with Merry Opera, Kate Julian Owen Wingrave at the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals and the title role in Donizetti’s La Favorite. An enthusiast of new music, Catherine has performed Kurtág Messages of the Late R.V.Troussova, Mariko in Tokaido Road by Nicola LeFanu, Last Lines a concert of newly commissioned songs with the Hebrides Ensemble. On the concert platform she appeared as a soloist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the St Magnus Festival on Orkney, sung Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Ludus Baroque, The Angel in Dream of Gerontius and Verdi’s Requiem. Her recital work has featured Elgar Sea Pictures, Wagner Wesendonk Lieder and ‘Emotionally Volatile’ a programme of songs composed by women. She also performs programmes for voice, viola and piano with her group The Amalie Trio.
Catherine Backhouse Mezzo Soprano Biography