1. Faculty

Catherine Cook

Frederica Von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice; Voice

“To say that Ms. Cook was a revelation is an understatement, since she stamped the part as her own, and experienced a triumph for her sensational performance… Ms. Cook is possessed of a round mezzo tone of great beauty, admirable control and potent power in all ranges and at any volume."
Opera Today


  • Artist Diploma, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
  • MM, Wichita State University
  • BM, Millikin University


  • Private Lessons
  • Audition Workshop for Singers


  • Metropolitan Opera
  • San Francisco Opera 1991–Present
  • Houston Grand Opera


  • National Winner, Metropolitan Opera National Council, 1990
  • Corbett Prize, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

What is your hometown?

Villa Park, IL

What is your favorite recording?

The DVD of Caballe singing Norma with Jon Vickers at the L'Orange Festival.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Sports! I am a huge Warriors fan, Bears fan, and love the SF Giants!

Who were your major teachers?

Barbara Honn and Dr. George Gibson.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
—Oscar Wilde

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

When I saw The Barber of Seville at Lyric Opera of Chicago in high school — I was immediately hooked!

What was a turning point in your career?

Winning the Metropolitan Opera Competition in NY

What are your most important collaborations?

Performing in the world premiere of Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie and playing the title role in the world premiere of Dolores Claiborne by Tobias Picker, both with San Francisco Opera.

What recordings can we hear you on?

Dead Man Walking, Erato
After Life, Naxos
Beethoven: Ninth Symphony, Centaur