2011: Lucrezia Borgia English National Opera (ENO)
In the title role, Claire Rutter gives a glorious display of bel canto, with elegant legato, supple crescendo and diminuendo, crisply articulated runs, stunning high notes and even a trill. She looks wonderful and moves regally.Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph, London
The lustrous British soprano Claire Rutter in the title role... has a gleaming and agile voice. She incisively dispatched the coloratura flights, which sometimes turn demonic, and was engrossing during the long stretches of dramatic recitative.Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Her singing blew me away: unﬂagging power, crystal clear coloratura.Richard Morrison, The Times
Claire Rutter is magniﬁcent in the title role. Donizetti always tests his sopranos with show-off coloratura arias that demand a powerful voice, extreme control and a wide range, all of which Rutter displayed excellently.William Hartston, Daily Express
The excellent Claire Rutter ... makes a real ﬁst of the all-pervasive coloratura, emracing the limpid embellishments and nailing the whopping high notes.Edward Seckerson, The Independent, London
Claire Rutter in the title role has a sumptuous voice, rich and full, and hits the high notes with stunning ease.Clare Colvin, Sunday Express
Claire Rutter demonstrates a real ﬂair for bel canto style and spins out a seductive, polished and dramatic sound.Warwick Thompson, Metro
Rutter’s muscular coloratura, idiomatic phrasing and sweetly-spun high notes are handsomely delivered.Anna Picard, The Independent
The talented British soprano Claire Rutter in the title role offered pearly coloratura and top-note precision.Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
Claire Rutter is wonderfully cast as Lucrezia, with her coloratura precisely pitched and her voice strong and warm throughout.Paul Levy, The Wall Street Journal
Claire Rutter has the bel canto style, the top notes, the ability to spin a phrase so that it takes on a beauty of its own.Richard Fairman, Financial Times
Claire Rutter is the only British soprano with all the requisite vocal thrills and spills for Tosca, and she delivers big timeHugh Canning, The Sunday Times, London
"At Grange Park, the technical demands of Bellini's Norma hold no terrors for the extraordinary Claire Rutter, who embraces the meditative hymn of "Casta diva", the coloratura fireworks of the confrontation with Pollione and the Gluckian sublime of her final self-sacrifice with an ease, command and tonal splendour which I haven't heard equalled for a generation.
"...But it's all worth it to hear Rutter's fabulous singing: why isn't she booked into the Met, La Scala, and Covent Garden?"
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph, London
"...Claire Rutter's extraordinarily vivid and generous performance in the title role... This bel canto Everest was impressively well within her reach, and Rutter even raised the summit a notch by singing 'Casta Diva' up a tone, in the original key of G.
"All the bel canto effects - steely coloratura, flexible phrasing - were there in their mannered glory, and she had the power for some spectacularly dramatic vocal broadsides in the Act I confrontation with Adalgisa and, even more memorably, in Act 2, when she sets out to kill her children.
"Rutter easily and tirelessly dominated the evening".
Peter Reed, Opera
"Claire Rutter's Norma discovers her lover's infidelity - and wrestles with her conscience - with total verismo... Rutter's gorgeously steely soprano... Rutter is the star."Michael Church, The Independent, London
"A brief word of praise for Grange Park's roof-raising Norma... In Claire Rutter, Grange Park has secured a thrilling, starry Norma, her voice secure even in the stratospheric top notes. The entire audience leapt to their feet when Rutter took her bow."Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, London
"Bellini's opera about a Druid priestess who breaks her vows by entering into a relationship with a Roman enemy is not only one of the peaks of the bel canto repertoire, but also includes what is arguably the most challenging role ever written for the soprano voice. The range of technical skills required, plus its musical and dramatic demands, not to mention its sheer length, place it beyond the means of all but the most outstanding interpreters. It says much for the artistry of Claire Rutter that she assumes it so superbly ... an exceptional portrayal."George Hall, The Stage
But the standout performance is Claire Rutter's Aida, whose tender lyricism and pure tone are shown off best in the daunting aria, O Patria Mia.Neil Fisher, The Times, London
Claire Rutter's Aida has both the heft and delicacy for the title role, and she rides the big ensembles to thrilling effect.George Hall, The Guardian, London
In two runs of performances now Claire Rutter has made an extraordinary impression in the much-vaunted and highly challenging title role. She sings the role with great subtlety, finesse, and imagination, making light of the extraordinary difficulties.Edward Seckerson
|2011||Lucrezia Borgia (in English)||Lucrezia Borgia||English National Opera (ENO) (Daniel|Figgis)|
|2010||Donna Anna||Don Giovanni||The Dallas Opera (Pascoe)|
|2010||Floria Tosca||Tosca||Grange Park Opera (Posner|Marcianò)|
|2010||Amelia||Un ballo in maschera||Suomen Kansallisooppera / Finnish National Opera|
|2009||Aida||Aida||Opera Australia (Murphy)|
|2009||Norma||Norma||Grange Park Opera (Constantine)|
|2009||Floria Tosca||Tosca||Opéra National de Bordeaux|
|2008||Aida (in English)||Aida||English National Opera (ENO) (Davis|Gardner)|
|2007||Donna Anna||Don Giovanni||De Vlaamse Opera (Freyer)|
|2007||Aida (in English)||Aida||English National Opera (ENO) (Davis|Gardner)|
|2006||Donna Anna||Don Giovanni||L'Opéra National du Rhin (Freyer|Glover)|
|2005||Amelia||Un ballo in maschera||Florida Grand Opera (Veronesi)|
|2004||Floria Tosca (in English)||Tosca||English National Opera (ENO) (McVicar)|
|2002||Donna Anna||Don Giovanni||Opéra et Orchestre National de Montpellier (Freyer)|
|2002||Amelia (in English)||Un ballo in maschera||English National Opera (ENO) (Bieito|Litton)|
|2001||Donna Anna (in English)||Don Giovanni||English National Opera (ENO) (Litton|Bieito)|
|1998||Mimì||La bohème||Hong Kong Arts Festival (Kitsopoulos|Lo)|
Claire Rutter's phenomenal performances of Lucrezia Borgia for English National Opera have sparked the latest in a long series of fabulous reviews in the international press. Born in South Shields, County Durham, UK, Claire studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the National Opera Studio sponsored by The Friends of English National Opera.
Claire was nominated for the Maria Callas Award following her U.S. début as Fiordiligi (Cosi fan Tutte) for Dallas Opera, and returned there in 2010 for Donna Anna in John Pascoe's acclaimed Don Giovanni. She has sung Aida for Opera Australia in Sydney Opera House, Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera) for Finnish National Opera and for Florida Grand Opera; Aida, Tosca, Elvira (Ernani) and Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera) for English National Opera, Alice Ford (Falstaff) in Santa Fe, Abigaille (Nabucco) for Opera North, Violetta (La Traviata) for Den Norske Opera, Oslo, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) for Opéra National du Rhin, Opéra de Montpellier, Bordeaux Opera, De Vlaamse Opera, and English National Opera, the title rôle in Verdi's Giovanna d’Arco at the Ludwigshafen Festival with Opera North, Tosca and Countess (Nozze di Figaro) for Bordeaux Opera, Miss Jessel (Turn of the Screw) for Oviedo Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Mimi in La Bohème in the Beijing International Festival. She was for three years a principal with Scottish Opera, for whom her rôles included Maddalena (Andrea Chénier), Violetta (La Traviata), Fiordiligi, Gilda (Rigoletto), Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Elettra (Idomeneo), and Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus). She has also sung both Violetta and Gilda for both English National Opera and Welsh National Opera.
Claire now has formed a close relationship with the Summer Festival Grange Park Opera in Hampshire, to work near her family home, and sang a much celebrated Bellini's Norma in 2009, garnering huge press attention, followed last summer by her most successful Tosca to date, directed by Royal Shakepeare Company's Lindsay Posner, when the Sunday Times called her the "only British soprano with all the requisite vocal thrills and spills for Tosca".
With her husband, baritone Stephen Gadd, she has composed songs for "Rutter & Gadd; Family Album", which they recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Her other recordings include a Christmas Album recorded with the Hallé Orchestra (conducted by Carl Davis), Holst's The Mystic Trumpeter with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (for which she was nominated for two Classical Brit Awards), plus several other CD’s for Naxos including Carmina Burana (Marin Alsop/BSO), and Howell’s Hymnus Paradisi (David Hill/BSO). 2010 saw the release of Elgar's The Kingdom with the Hallé conducted by Sir Mark Elder. She regularly broadcasts both staged opera and opera gala concerts on BBC Radio, most recently Britten's War Requiem on Classic FM.
Claire's concert performances have included "Rutter sings Verdi" with the CBSO, Strauss's Vier Letzte Lieder, Mahler Symphonies no’s 8 and 4, Verdi's Requiem, Rossini's Stabat Mater, A Sea Symphony, Beethoven Symphony No.9, Carmina Burana, A Child of Our Time, Songs of the Auvergne, Elijah, The Apostles, The Kingdom and Brahms's Requiem, at all of Britain's major concert halls with leading conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Richard Armstrong, Edo de Waart, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and all of the top orchestras such as the LSO, the Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert, BBC Scottish, Hallé, Royal Scottish National, The Philharmonia, The Ulster Orchestra, BSO, CBSO, English Chamber and Scottish Chamber orchestras. She also sang a wide-ranging programme of bel canto repertoire in the 2007 Prague International Music Festival.
Future work includes re-invitation to Finnish National Opera for her successful Amelia in Ballo in Maschera, title role in Tosca for ENO, title role in Madama Butterfly for Grange Park Opera, plus more Bel Canto repertoire, to be announced.