"The challenging role of Abigaille was sung with sterling top notes, dignity and vigour by Claire Rutter."
The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks
"The cast was strong, with Claire Rutter fully in command of Verdi’s notes as the anguished Amelia"
Financial Times, George Hall
"And what a Tosca! Rutter possesses a big, beautiful voice… but her Vissi d’arte was where the full range of colours and elegance really showed, in a performance that was haunting and ravishingly lovely."
Opera Now, Neil Jones
Claire Rutter is well known for the “rich dramatic flair” [The Dallas Examiner] of her performances of the major Italian and Germanic dramatic roles. She has appeared internationally in houses including Opera Australia, Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opéra National de Montpellier, Opéra National du Rhin, Theater Basel, Flemish National Opera, Finnish National Opera and Den Norske Opera.
Recent operatic highlights include the role of Amelia Un Ballo in Maschera and Sieglinde Die Walküre for Grange Park Opera, Tosca for Icelandic Opera and Welsh National Opera, Leonora La Forza del Destino (also for Welsh National Opera), the title role in Vanessa for Wexford Festival Opera, Abigaille Nabucco for Dorset Opera, Fidelia Edgar and Mother L’Enfant Prodigue for Scottish Opera, the title role in La Gioconda for Malmö Opera, and Maddalena Andrea Chénier with Chelsea Opera Group.
On the concert platform in 2022/23, Claire sings Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Barbican, which she performed last season at the Royal Festival Hall, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Oxford Philharmonic, and Verdi's Requiem with the Halle Orchestra, which she also sang last season with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Andrea Chénier (Maddalena), Chelsea Opera Group
QEH (May 2022)
Claire Rutter, an acclaimed Aida and Tosca: all the expected thrills and spills for Maddalena’s music… The soprano introduced herself with a floaty, youthful delicacy, encouraged by the gossamer textures evoked by Marciano's conducting of COG's semi-pro orchestra, but rose to a moving and climactic 'La mamma morta' and, in her big duets with Hughes Jones, nailed the high notes with blade-like precision and intensity.
Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine
This Chénier’s Maddalena di Coigny was soprano Claire Rutter who impressively demonstrated the range of her expression, singing with a wonderfully delicate pianissimo – set against gentle bassoon, clarinet and oboe – as, dressed as a servant, she waited for Chénier in Act 2, while elsewhere producing a lovely ripeness of tone and employing a full chest register. The account of her suffering following her mother’s death, before Chénier’s avowal of love, was touching and tender (‘La mamma morta’). And, in her duets with Jones, as they sought to ward off their woes with passion, she revelled in the opulence that Giordano encourages, both singers absolutely secure and relishing the high-octane music and drama. … Jones and Rutter sang with refulgent radiance of Chénier’s and Maddalena’s longing for a shared death
Claire Seymour, Opera Today
Clare Rutter was a powerful Maddalena di Coigny, taking the spinto soprano part with real power; the final stages of the opera showed how carefully the voices had been chosen, Rutter and Hughes Jones perfectly in sync emotionally. Rutter’s ‘La mamma morta’ was a high point of the evening, dramatic and heartfelt.
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International
The dramatic soprano Claire Rutter, fully deserving of her status as Britain's prima Tosca assoluta, was on imperious form, her voice steady and powerful not just in the big shrieks but across the range. Rutter's assumption of the role this time was even more accomplished than her English-language account at ENO. She sang her star aria 'Vissi d'arte' very directly, immersing herself in its message ('I lived for art and never hurt a soul') and eschewing any temptation to prettify it.
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, Welsh National Opera (Tosca)
The cast was strong, with Claire Rutter fully in command of Verdi’s notes as the anguished Amelia
George Hall, Financial Times, Grange Park Opera (Un Ballo in Maschera)
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...
The Daily Telegraph, English National Opera (Lucrezia Borgia)
The challenging role of Abigaille was sung with sterling top notes, dignity and vigour by Claire Rutter.
The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks, 3 August 2019
Claire Rutter hurls herself at the manifold vocal difficulties accorded his adopted daughter Abigaille both fearlessly and with success.
The Stage, George Hall, 25 July 2019
The role of Abigaille, Nabucco’s adopted daughter, is never easy to cast and I cannot think of a British singer who would be able to do justice to the role other than Claire Rutter. Indeed, it was she who turned up in Dorset. The role is written for that very rare operatic beast: the dramatic coloratura soprano. Rutter has proved on more than one occasion that she is certainly up to the task and in the performance I saw, she even added a high E-flat alternativo at one point.
Daily Express, Martina Bet, 21 August 2019
As his supposed daughter Abigaille, Claire Rutter conveyed her character's burning anger in confident, technically impressive vocalism from the top to the bottom of the range including flouncing expertly through swathes of coloratura
Opera Magazine, George Hall, October 2019
…the fearless Claire Rutter delivered precisely the kind of grand-scale, technically adroit vocalism required.’
Opera Now, George Hall, September 2019
Edgar, Scottish Opera
Claire Rutter excelled in the soprano part, treating it to all the purity and soulfulnesses it deserves.
Opera, Andrew Clark, January 2019
Un Ballo in Maschera, Grange Park Opera
Claire Rutter, last year’s accomplished Sieglinde, is a vibrant and dramatic Amelia.
The Stage, David Gutman, 14 June 2018
His wife and victim Amelia is in the safe hands of Claire Rutter, a fine spinto singer who's often the grande dame but here projects emotional vulnerability with ravishing beauty and superb control.
WhatsOnStage, Mark Valencia, 11 June 2018
The cast was strong, with Claire Rutter fully in command of Verdi’s notes as the anguished Amelia
Financial Times, George Hall, 11 June 2018
Claire Rutter’s Amelia, though, was superb, with attractive steeliness to her voice that is the hallmark of the true dramatic Verdian soprano.
Bachtrack, Matthew Rye, 11 June 2018
Claire Rutter’s Amelia in particular, would be worth struggling through miles of Surrey Hills hedgerows and thickets to hear.
TheArtsDesk, Boyd Tonkin, 11 June 2018
Claire Rutter was in gloriously lustrous voice, rising to the top with both ease and beauty, in Act 2’s ‘Ma dall’arido stelo divulsa’ as she foraged for the curative herbs, and in ‘Morro, ma prima in grazia’, when she pleaded for one last chance to hold her son. Rutter persuasively responded to dramatic situation, altering her tone, which was both pure and powerful.
Opera Today, June 2018
Welsh National Opera, Tosca
Claire Rutter ... sang tonight's title role with conviction, beauty and convincingly passionate drama. The innocent victim of Act 1 elsewhere found more fiery reserve as the tortured opera singer, her voice warmly coloured throughout her range, and her second act “Vissi d'arte” was enormously moving.
Bachtrack, Rohan Shotton, 11 February 2018
Rutter on this occasion, never shirking her high notes or committed acting, creating as good a sung and acted performance as one is likely to see on the international stage!...Rutter’s acting and singing of ‘Vissi d’arte’ was also outstanding as she thwarted Scarpia and then stabbed him to death.
Seen and Heard International, Robert J Farr, 24 April 2018
The dramatic soprano Claire Rutter, fully deserving of her status as Britain’s prima Tosca assoluta, was on imperious form.
Whatsonstage.com, Mark Valencia, 12 February 2018
Icelandic Opera, Tosca
Claire Rutter made a...diva-ish Tosca...The way her face gradually registered the price she would have to pay Scarpia spoke volumes. Rutter has recently sung her first staged Sieglinde and her voice easily rode the climaxes. But she kept a nice amplitude and evenness of phrasing and refined control. 'Vissi d'arte' was quite intimate, with the singer alone on the stage. There was also a real strength of character which allowed her to contemplate making the sacrifice of her virginity to Scarpia.
Planet Hugill, Robert Hugill, 8 November 2017
English soprano Claire Rutter shone in the title role, delivering a subtle performance and a truly touching and masterful “Vissi d’arte.”
Iceland Review, Jelena Ciric, 26 October 2017
And what a Tosca! Rutter possesses a big, beautiful voice that could match Johannsson's full throttle approach; but her Vissi d’arte was where the full range of colours and elegance really showed, in a performance that was haunting and ravishingly lovely - worth a trip to Iceland in itself!
Opera Now, Neil Jones, January 2018
Rutter sailed onto the stage like a Strindberg heroine, ready to whip her men into line.... I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d seized the citadel and declared independence rather than casting herself off the battlements.
Opera, Amanda Holloway, February 2018
Die Walküre, Grange Park Opera
Claire Rutter as Sieglinde and Bryan Register as Siegmund bring conviction to their dawning discovery of their transgressive love.
Express, Clare Colvin, 9 July 2017
The standout performance in Act I is from Claire Rutter as Sieglinde. Her tone is pure and clear, and her German articulation impeccable.
The Arts Desk, Gavin Dixon, 30 June 2017
Clare Rutter was womanly and ardent as Sieglinde culminating in her radiant ‘O hehrstes Wunder’
Seen and Heard International, Jim Pritchard, 3 July 2017
Bryan Register and Claire Rutter sang the pair with rare passion and a full command of Wagner's imposing vocal lines
WhatsOnStage, Mark Valencia, 2 July 2017
Vanessa, Wexford Festival Opera
Claire Rutter as the eponymous heroine displayed a fiery spinto that was capable of keeping its power and tone quality throughout the evening. Her passionate declaration to whom she believes is her returned lover in Act I made a deep impression culminating in the powerfully dramatic moment “Do you still love me?” As Vanessa’s flits between flirtatious happiness with Anatol and her wondering what is up with her niece, Rutter alternated between the two states with great aplomb.
Bachtrack, Andrew Larkin, 28 October 2016
Claire Rutter’s deluded heroine is delivered with forthright tone
The Guardian, George Hall, 28 October 2016
Norma, Grange Park Opera
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.
The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen, June 2009
Claire Rutter's Opera Repertoire
I Puritani (Elvira)
The Turn of the Screw (Miss Jessel and Governess)
Gloriana (Queen Elizabeth I)
Peter Grimes (Ellen Orford)
Lucrezia Borgia (title)
Andrea Chénier (Maddalena)
Don Giovanni (Donna Anna, Donna Elvira)
Così fan tutte (Fiordiligi)
Le Nozze di Figaro (Countess Almaviva)
La Gioconda (title)
La fanciulla del West (Minnie)
Madama Butterfly (title)
Manon Lescaut (title)
La Boheme (Mimi/Musetta)
La Rondine (Magda)
Il Tabarro (Giorgetta)
Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde)
Die Frau ohne Schatten (Die Kaiserin)
Un ballo in maschera (Amelia)
La forza del destino (Leonora)
Il Trovatore (Lenora)
La Traviata (Violetta)
Falstaff (Alice Ford)
Die Walküre/Götterdämmerung (Sieglinde, Brünnhilde)
Tristan und Isolde (title)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Eva)
Claire Rutter's Concert Repertoire
Symphony no. 9 ‘Choral’
Die glorreiche Augenblick
Mass in C Major
A Mass of Life
The Spirit of England
The Mystic Trumpeter
Symphony no.1, 2, 4, 8
Messa di Gloria
Messa di Gloria
Petite messe solennelle
Vier Letzte Lieder
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