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 completed the prestigious Opera Course and Artist Diploma programmes at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with distinction. In 2016 she played the title role in Donizetti's La Favorite (UCOpera), Philomen in Gluck Philomen and Baucis (UK Premiere) and Pallas in Arne The Judgement of Paris with Bampton Classical Opera and covered Idamante in Idomeneo for Garsington Opera.
Catherine is a Britten-Pears Young Artist and performed Kate Julian in Owen Wingrave at the 2014 Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals. Further operatic roles include Dryad Ariadne auf Naxos (Opera Project), Prince Orlofsky Die Fledermaus (Clonter Opera), L'Enfant L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (Barbican), Mezzo Actor A Night at the Chinese Opera (BYO), Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro (Guildhall School).
Notable concert performances include several works with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the St Magnus Festival, Bach B Minor Mass with Ludus Baroque, Handel's Messiah with Dunedin Consort and Alexander Nevsky in the Barbican. Her recital work has featured Elgar Sea Pictures , Schumann Frauenliebe und Leben and Wagner Wesendonk Lieder. An enthusiast of new music, Catherine has performed Kurtág Messages of the Late R.V.Troussova, Mariko in Tokaido Road by Nicola LeFanu, Jan in Jan Tait and the Bear by Emily Doolittle and Ronald Reagan in The Catfish Conundrum by Edward Lambert.