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Kate Howden

Kate Howden, Australia

Mezzo-soprano, Australia

«A girl in my after-school theatre group said she wanted to be a singer and I thought "You can do that as a JOB?! Amazing!"»

What inspired you to become a singer?
I never knew that it was a possibility to be a singer until I was about 13 years old. A girl in my after-school theatre group said she wanted to be a singer and I thought "You can do that as a JOB?! Amazing!" Then I wanted to be a musical theatre singer until I went to study at a conservatoire in London and my wonderful teacher there Ameral Gunson introduced me to opera and songs that I loved and really wanted to sing.


What’s your dream role and why?
In the future, I would love to perform Octavian [in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier]. The acting challenges are immense and exciting. You have to be sexy (in a manly way), romantic, funny... He gets to go through such a journey and grows up a lot during the opera. And that’s not to mention the lush, amazing music.


Who is your favourite singer and why?
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; she just made every piece of music that much better. Every recording that I've ever heard of her is one in which she really explored every possible aspect of the piece to bring it to its full potential emotionally, whilst being entirely truthful and open. To be honest, whenever I have to learn a piece of music I'm not so keen on, I try to find a recording of her singing it to convince me of its beauty! Her recording of her husband's Neruda Songs is just amazing and heart-breaking.


What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition?
I hope to meet new friendly people in the industry, and to widen my audience through not only your esteemed judging panel but also through the live-streaming online (also great for allowing my parents in Sydney to watch it!)


Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself!
I was born in Australia but have actually only lived there for about 6 years of my life - I spent most of my childhood in Singapore as an international school kid, before moving to London at the age of 18 to study. All my family now live back in Australia (very far away!)


Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public?
Although I have travelled to many exciting places in the world, I have never been to any Scandinavian countries. I love to explore places I visit by foot, so I look forward to walking all over Oslo and finding out more about this great city!

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