Katie Bray


"Yet it is the bright young mezzo Katie Bray who really impresses here, showing both the emotion and colour of voice to support Rosina’s challenging range..."

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

"The most strikingly successful element of the evening was Katie Bray’s fresh-faced and ingenuous Charlotte. Her olive-toned mezzo projects cleanly... Here is a name to remember."

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

"Katie Bray’s mezzo is richly spiced and colourful in potent performances of the Zemlinsky."

Hugo Shirley, Gramophone

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Winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize in Cardiff Singer of the World 2019, British mezzo-soprano Katie Bray has become known for her magnetic stage presence and gleaming, expressive tone.

Recent roles for Opera North include Hansel Hansel and Gretel, Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Varvara Katya Kabanova, Louis XV Chair/Female Cat/Owl L’enfant et les sortilèges, Lola Cavalleria Rusticana, and Nancy Albert Herring and she has also sung for English National Opera (Daughter Akhnaten and The Way Back Home), Scottish Opera (Lucilla La Scala di seta), Welsh National Opera (Zerlina, Don Giovanni), Garsington Opera (Zulma L’Italiana in Algeri and Zaida Il turco in Italia), Opera Holland Park (Mallika Lakmé), English Touring Opera (Zenobia Radamisto, Minerva Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Satirino La Calisto) and at the Grimeborn Festival (Charlotte Werther). She also recently performed in a staged cabaret of ‘songs banned by the Nazis’, Effigies of Wickedness, at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, in collaboration with English National Opera.

Equally at home on the concert platform, Katie Bray has performed in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, and the Holywell Music Room and she appears regularly in the London English Song Festival, where she directed concerts at Wilton’s Music Hall, as well as at the Oxford Lieder Festival for which she recorded a disc of Schumann songs with Sholto Kynoch. Other recent highlights include a semi-staged version of Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with Christopher Glynn and Roderick Williams at Milton Court Concert Hall and Ryedale Festival, and the premiere of new monodrama Frida with the East London Music Group.

Katie Bray is particularly noted for baroque repertoire and has appeared with Barokksolistene and Bjarte Eike, Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, La Nuova Musica, Ludus Baroque, London Handel Orchestra and Laurence Cummings, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, and Spira Mirabilis. She has also appeared with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Chambre de Paris, and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of the 2019/20 season include the title role in Vivaldi’s Griselda for Irish National Opera with Peter Whelan, Dorabella Cosi fan tutte for Welsh National Opera, Eurinome in Conti’s Issipile with La Nuova Musica and David Bates, as well as Handel’s Messiah with Christoph Altstaedt and the RPO at the Royal Albert Hall, and a tour of Bach’s St John Passion with Harry Bicket and The English Concert.

Katie Bray graduated as a Karaviotis Scholar from the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded the Principal’s Prize and won First Prize in the Richard Lewis Singing Competition.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Katya Kabanova

Opera North (February 2019)

Katie Bray's engaging Varvara frolicked prettily in love but found sympathy and more serious tone when with Katya

Martin Dreyer, Opera Magazine

At the end of Act 2, Varvara and her lover, the teacher Kudryash, get the one simple strophic melody of the opera: Bray and Alexander Sprague sang it beautifully, more credible young lovers than I’ve seen in many a year on an opera stage

David Karlin - bachtrack

Hugo Wolf: Italian Songbook (with Roderick Williams)

Milton Court Concert Hall (February 2019)

Bray and Pierce's contrasting voices - the mezzo grave and resonant...enhanced the dramatic textures.

Neil Fisher, The Times

Bray herself has a powerful instrument with a lot of character to it, intensely dramatic but also very sensual, and she brought astonishing emotional depth and directness to her numbers. She was hilarious delivering Sams's texts for XII, "My lover is so small", with all its references to insects, bugs and other pests.

Alexander Campbell, Classical Source


English Touring Opera (October 2018)

Katie Bray's Zenobia delivers turbo-charged coloratura while being well-nigh throttled.

Michael Church, The Independent

Katie Bray flaunts an unusually wide vocal range to good effect as his loyal wife Zenobia

Richard Fairman, Financial Times

Katie Bray's ferociously combative portrayal of the wife, Zenobia — her resistance hurled out in a series of spitfire arias… really impresses

Richard Morrison, The Times

Katie Bray brings tonal clarity and sensitive style

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Effigies of Wickedness

The Gate Theatre/English National Opera (May 2018)

Four characterful and accomplished singers – the classically trained baritone Peter Brathwaite (who originated the show’s concept) and mezzo-soprano Katie Bray…Bray is splendid too in The Ballad of Marie Sanders

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

They’re prodigious talents, and when the four attack a song together they fill the space thrillingly with mordant, subversive verse that burrows into you from all angles…Bray vaulting through the heavens above. It is particularly thrilling to hear the two opera singers up close, and also to see the pair let their hair down a bit and hold their own against the gargantuan personalities they’ve been paired with

Andrezej Lukowski, Time Out

incisive vocals come from the rising operatic stars Katie Bray and Peter Brathwaite. Together they convey not just the songs’ mordant wit, but the growing desperation, verging on dread, that their original performers must have felt.

Richard Morrison, The Times

The mezzo-soprano Katie Bray is in soul-searing form in her climactic delivery of “The Ballad of Marie Sanders” written by Brecht and Eisler in response to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 which forbade sexual relations between Jews and “Aryans”

Paul Taylor, The Independent

Mezzo soprano Katie Bray is magnetic

Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard

Don Giovanni

Welsh National Opera (February 2018)

Katie Bray's Zerlina signalled that she is a singer to watch

Rian Evans, Opera Magazine

Katie Bray chirpy and assertive as a far from naive Zerlina

Richard Morrison, The Times

Katie Bray’s Zerlina was sweet-voiced and secure, and was nobody’s fool

Benjamin Poore, Bachtrack

Cavalleria Rusticana / L'enfant et les sortilèges

Opera North - Little Greats Season (Autumn 2017)

There are sharp cameos from Rosalind Plowright as the cynically watchful Mamma Lucia and Katie Bray as Lola.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Mezzo Katie Bray’s lovely dark tones fitted the part of Lola.

Richard Wilcocks, Bachtrack

vividly characterised multitasking performances from John Graham-Hall, Ann Taylor, Fflur Wyn and Katie Bray.

Richard Morrison, The Times

Quirijn de Lang and Katie Bray make a stunning pair of cats.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

Il Turco in Italia

Garsington Opera (July 2017)

Katie Bray sings the role of Zaida with style and warmth, a perfect foil to Tynan

Anna Picard, The Times

I’d defy anyone to name a more complete singing actress than Sarah Tynan, except perhaps Katie Bray. Here we get them both…as the gypsy Zaida, the every-changing Bray – who never ceases to astonish – lent her irresistible stage presence along with her rich, penetrating mezzo to a performance of scene-stealing delight

Mark Valencia, What's on Stage

Katie Bray, as Selim's former lover Zaida, had perhaps an easier job to make her character sympathetic as the wronged innocent, but Bray really made Zaida count. She combined a vivacity with warmth of tone, and created a real sense of character.

Robert Hugill, Opera Today

Hansel and Gretel

Opera North (Spring 2017)

Katie Bray and Fflur Wyn could scarcely be bettered as the eponymous brats.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Katie Bray’s Hansel and Fflur Wyn’s Gretel sing with a light, spontaneous ease that overcomes the disconnect of a pair of pre-teens expressing themselves with mature, adult voices. The famous duet in which they sing themselves to sleep is breathtaking.

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

Katie Bray as Hansel is ideal in all respects, having clearly studied how young boys move and what expressions they adopt. She has a lovely voice, too, and the opening scene for the two is ravishing musically.

Michael Tanner, The Spectator

...in Bray’s case, as good an impersonation of a boy as you’ll ever see from a young woman. Only her floridly gorgeous mezzo gives her away.

Mark Valencia, What's on Stage

Ulysses’s Homecoming / La Calisto

English Touring Opera (Autumn 2016)

Katie Bray declaims Minerva's injunctions with irresistible authority and panache

Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph

Katie Bray - the performer of the season - once again shows her quality as Minerva

Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator

Katie Bray's Satirino bubbled with dynamics, colour and unstoppable comic energy

Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine

Katie Bray repeated her tremendously spirited performance of the previous evening, surmounting the high-lying line with panache as a commanding Minerva whose rulings and instructions must be obeyed

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

L'Italiana in Algeri

Garsington Opera (July 2016)

Her attendant, Zulma, was the vivacious and vibrant Katie Bray.

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

Barber of Seville

Opera North (October 2015)

Katie Bray is a delightfully sparky and sympathetic Rosina; when it was revealed that her penniless admirer was actually a count, Bray beamed as if all her Navidads had come at once.

Neil Fisher – The Times

Yet it is the bright young mezzo Katie Bray who really impresses here, showing both the emotion and colour of voice to support Rosina’s challenging range. The finest Rosinas must alternately resemble both a flute and a clarinet: Bray’s voice has scope to develop further, but she’s not far off that scale.

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

Zemlinsky’s Sechs Gesänge

Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble (Linn CKD481)

Katie Bray’s mezzo is richly spiced and colourful in potent performances of the Zemlinsky.

Hugo Shirley, Gramophone


Opera Holland Park (July 2015)

Bray and Dickinson excel in their company debuts.

Anna Picard, The Times


Garsington Opera (June 2014)

Naughty girlie chums Katie Bray (a super mezzo) and Raphaella Papadakis are scrumptious in their opening pranks.

Roderic Dunnett, The Arts Desk


New Sussex Opera (November 2013)

Lazuli was sung with panache by Katie Bray.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph ****

The character who might be said to have been born under a lucky star, Lazuli, was personified with great charm by Katie Bray, who delivered her solos in a firmly rounded mezzo-soprano and her dialogue in clear-cut tones.

Margaret Davies, Opera Magazine

The magnetic Katie Bray was an itinerant beautician Lazuli.

Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now


Grimeborn Festival

The most strikingly successful element of the evening was Katie Bray’s fresh-faced and ingenuous Charlotte. Her olive-toned mezzo projects cleanly... Here is a name to remember.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Emperor of Atlantis

English Touring Opera

Musically it's terrific, with not a weak performance anywhere, though Katie Bray’s warmongering Drummer and Callum Thorpe as the multiple voices of reason and technology that Ullmann simply calls Loudspeaker, are particularly outstanding.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

Katie Bray’s mezzo was outstanding. Her punch performance as the thigh-bone wielding Drummer combined vocal athleticism with physical vigour on stage.

John-Pierre Joyce, Music OMH

Katie Bray was outstanding.

Opera Now

World Premiere of Kommilitonen, Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies

Royal Academy of Music

Wu is sung with the luxurious mezzo-soprano of Katie Bray, a sound of compassion, plangeant but not abject or begging. This is the most convincingly operatic performance, Bray characterising Wu with the quality of sound. Consequently it’s, for me, the most gripping account of a maligned individual of the evening.

Royal Academy of Music

Die Dreigroschenoper

Royal Academy of Music

Vocally, the undisputed star was Katie Bray as Polly. Bray gave us wonderful feel for Weill's melodic lines and for every mood, whether lyrical in her Farewell Song, waywardly self-willed in the Song of Yes and No or rapid-fire in her Jealousy duet with Runette Botha's Lucy

David Karlin, Bachtrack

Béatrice et Bénédict

Royal Academy Opera

Katie Bray’s Béatrice is sparkily acted and warmly sung

Richard Morrison, The Times

The Béatrice of Katie Bray was stunningly brilliant

Michael Tanner, The Spectator

Katie Bray Opera Repertoire


Béatrice et Bénédict (Béatrice)


Carmen (Carmen)


Albert Herring (Nancy)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hermia)
The Rape of Lucretia (Lucretia)


La Calisto (Satirino)


L'Etoile (Lazuli)


L'Issipile (Eurinome)


Lakmé (Mallika)


Faust (Siebel)


Radamisto (Zenobia)
Xerxes (title role)


Hansel and Gretel (Hansel)


Katya Kabanova (Varvara)


Cavalleria Rusticana (Lola)


Werther (Charlotte)


Kommilitonen! (Wu)


Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (Minerva)
L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Poppea)


Cosi fan tutte (Dorabella)
Don Giovanni (Zerlina)
La Clemenza di Tito (Sesto / Annio)
Le nozze di Figaro (Cherubino)
Die Zauberflöte (Second Lady)


Dido and Aeneas (Dido)


L'enfant et les sortilèges (L’enfant; La bergère Louis XV; La chatte; La


Barber of Seville (Rosina)
Il Turco in Italia (Zaida)
La Cenerentola (Angelina)
L'Italiana in Algeri (Zulma)
La Scala di seta (Lucilla)


Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Drummer Girl)


Griselda (title role)


Die Dreigroschenoper (Polly Peachum)
Die Sieben Todsünden (Anna)

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