“Kate Tombaugh, a mezzo-soprano with a beautifully clear
voice and fine acting ability, prevailed as the First Place Winner.
Her rendition of Sexy Lady (Moore) brought down the house…..”
~Comic Opera Guild; Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition
Mezzo-Soprano Kate Tombaugh recently made her solo debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall upon winning the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition. Earlier this year, she portrayed the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon (Cinderella) with the Santa Fe Concert Association under the direction of Richard Kagey and the baton of Joseph Illick. She will be appearing for her second time as Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera this summer 2013 where she will cover “Flora” in Verdi’s La Traviata and “Amelie” in Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein. Additionally, Kate will be singing “Hansel” in Opera Omaha’s Education performances (November 2013), and “Rosina” with the Santa Fe Concert Association in January 2014. Her originally-conceived one-woman show “It Just Takes One” will premiere in October 2013 in central Illinois.
In 2012 Kate performed as a Stern Fellow with the LA-based Songfest, singing with such composers as William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, and John Musto. Additionally, she covered the title role in Madison Opera’s production of La Cenerentola (Cinderella) by Rossini and sang “Papagena” in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the Santa Fe Concert Association. Competitions garnered Kate further accolades in 2012. She won First Place in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and was invited by the Jackson Symphony to make her solo appearance with the ensemble in February 2014. The NYC-based Kurt Weill Foundation honored her with the “Grace Keagy Award” in their annual Lotte Lenya Competition while the American Prize organization chose Kate for Third Place in their Professional Opera Division and as a Finalist in their Professional Art Song Division.
Kate has performed as a Young Artist with the Santa Fe Opera (2011), Utah Opera (2010-2011), the Opera Theatre of St. Louis (2008), and in the Opera Studio of the A.I.M.S Festival in Graz, Austria (2008). Her experiences on the stage range from musical theater to operetta and opera, with a strong background in choral and oratorio literature.
Kate has been a two-time Central District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; both times she received Third Place in the Central Regional Finals. While a Masters student at CCM, Kate was honored as a Dieterle Vocal Scholar for maintaining top grades and a high level of performance. While an undergraduate student at Illinois Wesleyan University, Kate was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society and received the premier Nott Collegiate Choir Scholarship given in honor of the late Dr. David Nott.
Kate has been very involved in youth music education through directing youth choirs, teaching voice privately, coordinating and teaching music and drama courses, and performing in a multitude of outreach programs geared toward youth. She is a frequent recitalist and has an expansive interest in the varying styles and eras of composition. Concerts featuring Kate have spanned Bach and early music festivals to the premieres of newly-composed works.
Kate is originally from a farm near Streator, Illinois and grew up on land that has been in the Tombaugh family for six generations. She considers her farm upbringing and heritage to be defining factors of her personality, as well as the experience of growing up in a musical and theatrical family. Her first experience on the stage took place at age 5 at the Engle Lane community theater just down the road, where she and her family spent most of their summers performing.