Kai Rüütel debuts as Carmen with Estonian National Opera
Kai Rüütel debuts in the title role of Bizet’s Carmen with Estonian National Opera, opening on 7 November 2018. The production is directed by Walter Sutcliffe and conducted by Jüri Alperten.
Further highlight this season include returning to the Royal Opera as Waltraute in Wagner’s Die Walküre, to Theater an der Wien as Angel in Mendelssohn’s Elijah and joining the new European Ensemble on their European tour performing Pärt’s Stabat mater.
Last season Rüütel took to the stage as Emilia in Otello at the Royal Opera House, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte at Theater an der Wien and Meg Page in Falstaff at Opera Vlaanderen.
There is a second performance of Carmen on 18 November.
Kai Rüütel & Roger Vignoles perform at the Oxford Lieder Festival
Kai Rüütel and Roger Vignoles join forces at the Oxford Lieder Festival on 17 October with a programme entitled ‘Tallinn to St Petersburg’, featuring works by Veljo Tormis, Ester Mägi, Mart Saar, Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov.
On the concert platform this season, Rüütel appeared at the ‘Stars of Operalia’ gala at the Birgitta Festival and at Gloucester Cathedral performing Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. Operatic highlights include a return to Theater an der Wien to star alongside Christian Gerhaher in a staged production of Mendelssohn’s Elijah as well as making her highly anticipated home operatic debut in the title role of Carmen at Estonian National Opera. She also returns to Royal Opera House for their Ring Cycle to sing Waltraute Die Walküre.
In addition to his recital with Rüütel, Vignoles also gives public masterclasses at the festival this year and performs a programme of Debussy and Boulanger with Wolfgang Holzmair on 21 October. Other highlights this autumn include a return to the Snape Maltings for masterclasses with Britten-Pears Young Artists and a recital with Johannes Kammler and a European tour with Marie-Nicole Lemieux in November.
David Butt Philip and Kai Rüütel perform Dream of Gerontius at Gloucester Cathedral
David Butt Philip and Kai Rüütel join the Gloucester Choral Society and the British Sinfonia under the baton of Adrian Partington to perform Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at Gloucester Cathedral on 13 October 2018.
Both artists have performed the work previously to critical acclaim:
"[Kai Rüütel’s] English was flawless; her voice sounded absolutely gorgeous; she sang with excellent feeling but with a complete absence of histrionics – she simply stood and delivered; and although she carried a score she barely glanced at it, singing directly to her audience with whom she maintained a compelling eye-contact."
Seen and Heard International
"The big moments — the almost Verdian “aria” Sanctus fortis, and especially the climactic Take Me Away — rang out with the operatic fervour Elgar surely wanted, but gets all too rarely from interpreters raised in the cathedral or college tenor tradition. Yet Butt Philip sings with a spiritual inwardness that touches, even rends, the heart. At several instances, I was brought close to tears by the sheer beauty of his singing. This young man is a marvel, born to sing this part. The other soloists seemed inspired by Butt Philip’s exemplary pathos.”
This season Rüütel returns to Theater an der Wien to star alongside Christian Gerhaher in a staged production of Mendelssohn’s Elijah as well as making her highly anticipated home operatic debut in the title role of Carmen at Estonian National Opera. She also returns to Royal Opera House for their Ring Cycle to sing Waltraute Die Walküre. On the concert platform, Rüütel appears at the ‘Stars of Operalia’ gala at the Birgitta Festival and in recital with Roger Vignoles at Oxford Lieder.
This season, Butt Philip’s upcoming concert highlights include Beethoven Symphony No.9 on New Years’ Eve with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and Vladimir Jurowski, Verdi Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and Faust La damnation de Faust with the Hallé Orchestra. Operatic highlights include his company and role debut in the title role Der Zwerg, a new production by Christoph Loy at Deutsche Oper Berlin. He also returns to Madrid to sing Froh Das Rheingold in the new Ring Cycle production of Teatro Real and to the Royal Opera House as Grigoriy Boris Godunov; English National Opera in Daniel Kramer’s new production of Britten’s War Requiem; and Opera Holland Park in his debut as Count Vaudemont in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.
Kai Rüütel returns to Opera Vlaanderen as Blanche in The Gambler
Kai Rüütel returns to Opera Vlaanderen this month to reprise the role of Blanche in Karin Henkel's new production of The Gambler, opening on 13 June 2018. The production is conducted by Dmitri Jurowski.
Recent highlights for Rüütel include Emilia in Otello at the Royal Opera House, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte at Theater an der Wien and Meg Page in Falstaff at Opera Vlaanderen.
Next season Rüütel sings Waltraute in Die Walküre at Covent Garden, Angel in Elijah at Theater an der Wien and a role debut in the title role of Carmen at Estonian National Opera.
Performances of The Gambler run until 7 July.
Craig Colclough, Kai Rüütel & Michael Colvin star in Christof Waltz's Falstaff at Opera Vlaanderen
Craig Colclough makes his debut at Opera Vlaanderen on 13 December 2017 singing the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff. Conducted by Tomáš Netopil and directed by Christoph Waltz, the cast for this new production also includes Intermusica's Kai Rüütel as Meg Page and Michael Colvin as Dr Caius alongside Johannes Martin Kränzle as Ford and Julien Behr as Fenton.
Colclough has previously sung this role to great success for Arizona Opera, receiving the following praise from critics:
“Bass-baritone Craig Colclough sang with excellent diction and a skilfully controlled voice all evening. He interpreted his role visually with exquisite comic timing and aurally with a wide range of dynamics and luminous bronzed vocal tones. His was a moving and sympathetic, but broadly drawn, portrayal of the fat knight.”
Opera Today, April 2016
“Colclough is… the undisputed star of the show, mixing expert slapstick with virtuosic renditions of arias about the joys of alcohol, the uselessness of 'honour' and the virile power of his own bulging belly.”
Arizona Republic, April 2016
Falstaff performances take place throughout December in Antwerp, moving to Gent in January with the final performance on 20 January.
Further highlights this season for Colclough include his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Pistola Falstaff, with recent highlights including Scarpia Tosca for English National Opera and the Canadian Opera Company.
Kai Rüütel & Simon Shibambu return to the Royal Opera House in new production of Otello
Kai Rüütel and Simon Shibambu return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 21 June 2017 for Keith Warner’s new production of Otello. Conducted by Antonio Pappano, Rüütel and Shibambu take the roles of Emilia and Montano alongside a stellar cast of Jonas Kaufmann, Maria Agresta, Ludovic Tézier and Frédéric Antoun.
Rüütel reprises the role following a successful debut of the role at Vlaamse Opera:
“Kai Rüütel an energetically dark Emilia”
Online Musik Magazin, February 2016
“When Emilia debunks the honesty of her husband Iago, Kai Rüütel alarmed with her hair-raising voice that provided the necessary energetic impulse at the end of Act IV.”
Bachtrack, February 2016
Since graduating from the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, Rüütel has performed at Covent Garden as Meg Page Falstaff, Wellgunde Der Ring des Nibelungen and as Marchesa Malibea Il Viaggio a Reims in a special gala performance. Moving from the lyric repertoire into German and Slavic dramatic repertoire, Rüütel has made debuts with Royal Opera House, Dutch National Opera, Teatro Real, Vlaamse Opera, Gran Teatro del Liceu, Scottish Opera, Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, and Dallas Opera.
This season Rüütel has made her Dallas Opera debut as Olga Eugene Onegin as well as singing the role of Mary Der Fliegende Hollander at Teatro Real and appearing in the world premiere of Chaya Czernowin’s Infinite Now at Vlaamse Opera. Engagements next season include her debut with Theater an der Wien as well as returns to Vlaamse Opera. Looking further ahead she take on roles including Fricka and Waltraute.
Shibambu is a current Jette Parker Young Artist, with roles this season including Toante Oreste, Quinault Adriana Lecouvreur and Flemish Deputy Don Carlo. Next season he sings roles including Second Armed Man Die Zauberflöte, Le Sire de Béthune Les Vêpres siciliennes, Nino’s Ghost Semiramide, Count Ceprano Rigoletto, Angelotti Tosca, Doctor Macbeth, Steward/Sentry Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and Fourth Noble of Brabant Lohengrin.
Performances of Otello run until 15 July.
Kai Rüütel returns to Opera Vlaanderen for the world premiere of Infinite Now
Kai Rüütel returns to Opera Vlaanderen on 18 April 2017 for the world premiere of Chaya Czenowin Infinite Now. Czernowin's new opera is staged by Australian actor and theatre director Luk Perceval. Rüütel performs alongside Karen Vourc’h, Noa Frenkel, Terry Wey, Vincenzo Neri and David Salsbery Fry, with Titus Engel conducting.
Rüütel's most recent performance at Opera Vlaanderen as Emilia in Verdi Otello received critical acclaim:
"When Emilia debunks the honesty of her husband Iago, Kai Rüütel alarmed with her hair-raising voice that provided the necessary energetic impulse at the end of Act IV."
Bachtrack, February 2016
Infinite Now runs from 18 April to 6 May.
Kai Rüütel returns to Teatro Real to sing Mary Der fliegende Holländer
Kai Rüütel returns to Teatro Real, Madrid, on 17 December 2016 in the role of Mary in Wagner Der fliegende Holländer. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the Principal Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real in Alex Ollé’s production, with Rüütel performing alongside Kwangchul Youn as Daland, Ingela Brimberg as Senta and Nikolai Schukoff as Erik.
Performances of Der fliegende Holländer continue until 3 January. Following this Rüütel returns to Opera Vlaandaren for the world premiere of Infinite Now, and also returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to reprise Emilia Otello.
Kai Rüütel makes US operatic debut in Eugene Onegin at Dallas Opera
Kai Rüütel make her US operatic debut this month as Olga in Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin at Dallas Opera, which opens on 28 October 2016. Directed by Jean-Claude Auvray, the production also stars Andrei Bondarenko, Svetlana Aksenova, Stephen Costello and Mikhail Kazakov.
Performances continue on 28 and 30 October and 2 and 5 November. In addition to her US debut, further highlights for Rüütel this season include returns to Teatro Real, Madrid, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Opera Vlaanderen, and she also performs in the world premiere of Infinite Now by Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin.
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, announces its 2016/17 season
The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, announced its 2016/17 season on 6 April 2016. The season sees Corinne Winters make her house debut, while Capalbo and Gregory Kunde all take title roles in new productions:
Alexander Lewis sings the title role of Shostakovich’s The Nose and Susan Bickley sings Old Lady, in a new production by Barrie Kosky conducted by Ingo Metzmacher opening on 20 October 2016.
Leonardo Capalbo sings the title role of Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Sofia Fomina singing Olympia, conducted by Evelino Pidò. Les Contes d’Hoffmann opens on 7 November.
Christopher Purves reprises the role of Protector in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin opening on 13 January 2017.
Gregory Kunde sings the title role in Verdi’s Otello in June 2017 alongside Kai Rüütel as Emilia. Keith Warner directs this new production.
Kai Rüütel sings Flowermaiden new production of Parsifal at Teatro Real
Kai Rüütel makes her debut at Teatro Real Madrid this month, singing the Flowermaiden in Wagner Parsifal from 2 April 2016. This new co-production between Zurich Opera and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona is directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Semyon Bychkov.
Excelling as Emilia in Opera Vlaaderen’s recent production of Otello, Rüütel was praised for her gripping stand out performance:
"When Emilia debunks the honesty of her husband Iago, Kai Rüütel alarmed with her hair-raising voice that provided the necessary energetic impulse at the end of Act IV."
Following opening night, Parsifal continues through to the end of the month. Rüütel returns to Teatro Real next season to sing the role of Mary in Wagner Der Fliegende Hollander.
Corinne Winters and Kai Rüütel star in Verdi's Otello at Opera Vlaanderen
Corinne Winters makes her highly-anticipated role debut as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello on 12 February 2016 at Opera Vlaanderen, alongside Kai Rüütel as Emilia. This new production of Otello is directed by German director Michael Thalheimer and conducted by Alexander Joel. Performing alongside Rüütel and Winters are Ian Storey in the title role, Vladimir Stoyanov as Iago and Adam Smith as Cassio.
Later this season, Rüütel can be heard as a Flowermaiden and Esquire in a new production of Parsifal at Teatro Real, Madrid. Further ahead she makes her debut with Dallas Opera and returns for new productions at Royal Opera House, Opera Vlaanderen and Teatro Real.
Winters has just finished a successful run as Mimi in English National Opera’s new production of La bohème, and later this season sings Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia and makes another role debut as Mélisande in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the Opernhaus Zürich.
Otello runs in Antwerp and Ghent until 15 March.
Kai Rüütel sings Annina Der Rosenkavalier at Dutch National Opera
Kai Rüütel opens the Dutch National Opera’s 50th Season singing Annina in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier on 5 September 2015. The productions is directed by Han Philipp Gloger in his Dutch National Opera debut.
Rüütel is joined by Camilla Nylund as Die Marschallin, Peter Rose as Baron Ochs and Paula Murrihy as Octavian, conducted by Chief Conductor of Dutch National Opera, Marc Albrecht.
Later this season, Rüütel will return to Opera Vlaanderen to sing Emilia in Otello, conducted by Alexander Joel, and to sing as one of the Flowermidens in Parsifal at Teatro Real, Madrid. Furture plans include a house debut with Dallas Opera and a world premiere at Opera Vlaanderen.
Kai Rüütel returns to Royal Opera House as Meg Page in Falstaff
Former Jette Parker Young Artist Kai Rüütel returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on 6 July 2015, where she sings Meg Page in a revival of Robert Carsen’s 2012 production of Verdi’s Falstaff. Having graduated from the programme in 2011, she has since returned to the Royal Opera House to sing Marchesa Melibea Il viaggio a Reims, Wellgunde Der Ring des Nibelungen, as well as the first run of Falstaff in 2012.
"The women hold the key to the piece and Mistresses Ford and Page (Ana Maria Martinez and Kai Rüütel) lead the way"
Camden New Journal, May 2012
This season Rüütel made her debut at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse as Kate Julian Owen Wingrave and returned to Opera Vlaanderen as Nefertiti in Glass’s Aknaten.
Future engagements for Rüütel include debuts with Teatro Real and Dallas Opera and returns to new productions and world premieres at Royal Opera House and Dutch National Opera.
Following the opening night on Monday 6 July, further performances will be on 9, 12, 15, and 18 July.
Kai Rüütel performs recitals with Roger Vignoles in Estonia
Kai Rüütel and Roger Vignoles travel to Rüütel’s native Estonia for two recitals this month, on 17 and 18 March. The duo will perform in Tallinn (17 March), and Tartu (18 March) as part of a series celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of the first Schubert Lieder. The programme will include Schubert’s ‘An die Musik’, as well as songs by Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, Wolf, and Schumann, and piano solos by Brahms and Schumann.
After these recitals in Estonia, Rüütel will travel to The Hague, Amsterdam, to perform two concerts with the New European Ensemble. This concert features Rüütel alongside Björk Níelsdóttir andEyjólfur Eyjólfsson performing Pergolesi’s and Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Maters written 250 years apart. The concert will also have the Dutch premiere of John Tavener’s Scatter Roses over My Tears.
Tim Mead & Kai Rüütel star in Glass’s Akhnaten at Opera Vlaanderen
Tim Mead sings the title role in Philip Glass Akhnaten at Opera Vlaanderen in a production directed by Nigel Lowery, opening on 13 February. He is joined by Kai Rüütel, who sings the role of Nefertiti.
Mead recently performed a solo recital at Rome’s Accademia Filarmonica Romana and received critical acclaim for his performances of Handel Messiah in December, in which “his striking tone quality made big impact” (Classical Source). Later this year, he will make debuts with Opera Theater of St Louis, Opera de Lille and Bergen National Opera.
Kai Rüütel returns to Opera Vlaanderen after her “fierce” (Mundo Clasico) portrayal of Sonyetka in Calixto Bieito’s production of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in March of last year. Later this season she returns to Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to revive the role of Meg Page in Falstaff and makes her recital debut in her native Estonia, together with Roger Vignoles. Further ahead she makes debuts with Teatro Real and Dallas Opera and returns for new productions at the Royal Opera House and Dutch National Opera.
Kai Rüütel sings Hänsel und Gretel with Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall
Kai Rüütel returns to London on 4 December for a concert performance of Suite, Hänsel und Gretel with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall conducted by Juraj Valčuha. She will sing the role of Hänsel alongside Olena Tokar as Gretel.
Rüütel last performed the opera with Scottish Opera, to much acclaim:
“Kai Rüütel and Ailish Tynan made a fine pair as the title characters. They worked very well as brother and sister, sharing one another’s strengths… Ultimately their parts are essentially about duet work and it was possible to feel an immediate bond between their voices. Each had a warm resonance that was perfect for the exquisite beauty of the score.”
Kelvin Holdsworth, Opera Britannia, February 2012
Further engagements this season include a performance of Akhnaten by Philip Glass with Vlaamse Opera, Stabat Maters with New European Ensemble, and Meg Page Falstaff at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Kai Rüütel makes debut as Siegrunde Die Walküre at Gran Teatro de Liceu Barcelona
Kai Rüütel makes both her role and house debut as Siegrunde in Robert Carsen’s production of Die Walküre at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, on 19 May. She performs under the baton of Maestro Josep Pons, and alongside a cast including Anja Kampe and Eva Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde, and Klaus Florian Vogt and Frank van Aken as Siegmund.
This performance follows Ruutel’s recent successes in two new productions – as Blanche in Andrea Breth’s The Gambler at De Nederlandse Opera, and Sonyetka in Calixto Bieito’s Lady Macbeth from the Mtsensk District for Vlaamse Opera.
Die Walküre opens on 19 May with further performances on 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31 May and 3 June.
Kai Rüütel makes role & house debut in Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District with Vlaamse Opera
Estonian mezzo-soprano Kai Rüütel makes her debut with Vlaamse Opera as Sonyetka in a new production of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District directed by Calixto Bieito on 21 March. The production is conducted by Dmitri Jurowski, and subsequent performances take place on 23, 26, 29 March, 1, 3 and 6 April.
Rüütel is joined on stage by Ausrine Stundyte in the title role, Czech tenor Ladislav Elgr as Sergei, and John Tomlinson as the father-in-law Boris.
Future highlights include Siegrune Die Walküre at Gran Teatre del Liceu and leading roles at the Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Kai Rüütel makes debut with Netherlands Opera in new production of The Gambler
Kai Rüütel makes her debut at Netherlands Opera on 7 December in the role of Blanche in Andrea Breth’s new production of Prokofiev’s The Gambler.
In 2009, Rüütel made her Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut in The Gambler singing Venerable Lady and covering Blanche as a member of the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists’ programme. As a Young Artist she was praised for her “fruity and luscious mezzo” (Opera Britannia) as well as her “sensitivity, with thrusting top notes and fluent coloratura” (Opera). This production at Netherlands Opera marks her first debut from a series of first appearances this season in houses including Liceu Barcelona, Vlaamse Opera, Theatre Capitole de Toulouse and Dallas Opera.
The Gambler opens on 7 December with further performances on 10, 13, 17, 20, 23, 26 and 29 December.
Kai Rüütel debuts Dream of Gerontius at Three Choirs Festival
On 3 August, Estonian mezzo-soprano Kai Rüütel will make her debut singing Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. She is joined by acclaimed British singers Toby Spence and Matthew Rose, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Three Choirs Festival Chorus conducted by Adrian Partington.