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

"Katie Bray brings a bright and burnished mezzo-soprano to Rosina, with good coloratura in Una voce poco fa"

John Allison, Daily Telegraph

"Bray’s smoky mezzo wraps itself happily around Rosina’s indignation"

Neil Fischer, The Times

"Katie Bray’s Rosina, who sets off sparks at the top and bottom of her voice and plays the role as a deliciously skittish “live wire”, a classic screen goddess"

Richard Fairman, Financial Times

"But the most complete vocal performance comes from Katie Bray as a justifiably vicious Juno in gold heels and gleaming voice, singing with thrilling control right through from the bright top down to a deliciously malevolent lower register."

David Benedict, The Stage

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

Roles for Opera North have included 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.

She has also sung with Irish National Opera in the title role, Griselda, English National Opera as Daughter Akhnaten and in The Way Back Home, Scottish Opera as Lucilla La Scala di seta, Welsh National Opera Zerlina, Don Giovanni, Opera Holland Park Mallika Lakmé, English Touring Opera Zenobia Radamisto, Minerva Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Satirino La Calisto, Grimeborn Festival as Charlotte Werther, and with Garsington Opera as Zulma L’Italiana in Algeri, Zaida Il turco in Italia, and most recently Isolier Le Comte Ory, for which she received great acclaim. 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 has 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 Britten Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Chambre de Paris, and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights include concerts at the Oxford Lieder Festival, Viardot200 Festival, and with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Jac van Steen, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Peter Whelan, Messiah for the Hallé Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican and Rosina in The Barber of Seville in Garsington Opera’s 2023 Festival. Future plans include Nancy in Albert Herring for Opera North; a newly written composition by Freya Waley-Cohen's with Manchester Collective and an appearance at Grange Park Opera in 2024.

Katie Bray graduated as a Karaviotis Scholar from the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music, 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.

Semele (Juno)

Blackheath Halls Opera, (September 2023)

Pride of place went to Katie Bray as jealous Juno. Handel’s portrait of the goddess is one of his most vivid in an English work, a gift to an actress of Bray’s imagination. She presented the character as a power-dressing whirlwind, darting around the stage plotting Semele’s downfall with vindictive determination, though leaving time to grab a quick burger with her brightly efficient PA, Iris (Molly Joynson). Bray’s vim and venom compensated for any lack of fruity tone in her arias. If her colleagues weren’t quite on this histrionic level, that’s partly the fault of Handel and his librettists, who expected their audience merely to imagine the action.

Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine

But the most complete vocal performance comes from Katie Bray as a justifiably vicious Juno in gold heels and gleaming voice, singing with thrilling control right through from the bright top down to a deliciously malevolent lower register.

David Benedict, The Stage

Katie Bray discovers a whole new acid as Juno, singing with goddess-like perfection, seemingly limitless in her range and colour.

Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper

And yes, a lot of this was due to a top cast... the brilliant Katie Bray as glacial Juno... 

Robert Thicknesse, Opera News

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Garsington Opera Summer 2023

“Katie Bray’s Rosina, who sets off sparks at the top and bottom of her voice and plays the role as a deliciously skittish “live wire”, a classic screen goddess”

Richard Fairman, Financial Times

“Bray’s smoky mezzo wraps itself happily around Rosina’s indignation”

Neil Fischer, The Times

“Katie Bray brings a bright and burnished mezzo-soprano to Rosina, with good coloratura in Una voce poco fa

John Allison, Daily Telegraph

Le Comte Ory (Isolier)

Garsington Opera, July 2021

Andrea Carroll is most persuasive as the Countess, and Katie Bray perhaps even more so in the trouser role of the page Isolier.

David Mellor, Daily Mail

Bray makes a fine Isolier, knowing and spirited

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

The cast goes for it in a big way, and everyone is so comprehensively on top of their game, vocally, that the technical achievement barely registers...The whole company is equally agile, whether it’s tenor Jack Swanson as Ory or Katie Bray as the amorous pageboy Isolier

Richard Bratby, The Spectator

Katie Bray brought her usual energy to the trouser role of Isolier, showing a graceful line and delicate articulation.

Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack

Boulogne, Handel & Mozart (streamed concert)

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, January 2021

Bray is a superb singing-actress, catching the controlled desperation of the aria, urged on by Maximiliano Martin’s obbligato clarinet, before releasing into the unbounded exhilaration of the Laudamus – an injection of purest musical joy.

Alexandra Coghlan, iNews

Bray made a lovely Sesto, stylish and vibrant, singing with a great sense of line yet intensity too and I am now keen to hear her in the full opera! She followed this with the 'Laudamus Te' from Mozart's Mass in C minor, coping with the music's virtuoso challenges with admirable freedom and elan

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

Hers is a voice that combines the heightened thrills of the soprano with the soulful pungency of the lower tessitura. And where this impassioned aria – Sesto’s blind, reckless love overruling common sense – displays Bray’s range of emotional heat, what follows, the Laudamus Te from Mozart’s Mass in C minor, is a brilliant showpiece for an exceptional singer.

Ken Walton, VoxCarnyx

At Lunch Two with Freya Waley Cohen

Britten Sinfonia, Wigmore Hall (January 2020)

it inspired Waley-Cohen to write music as wild, energised and volatile as her subject matter. There was a folk-dance feel at times, but also a manic freneticism, particularly in the (I think) sardonic final song, Spell for Logic, which recalled Shostakovich at his most unhinged. Not comfortable listening, but striking and superbly put over by the mezzo-soprano Katie Bray and the virtuoso principals of the Britten Sinfonia.

Richard Morrison, The Times


Irish National Opera (October 2019)

Accordingly, one of this production’s three main triumphs is that all six singers – led by the mezzo Katie Bray as Griselda – are virtuosos. Each calmly navigates Vivaldi’s mercilessly instrumental-style high-speed leaps and running figures with jaw-dropping flair and security, simultaneously communicating anger, heartbreak and inner conflict, among other emotions, with great credibility.

Michael Dungan, The Irish Times

Bray’s steely portrayal of the queen is one of the most intriguing aspects of the production. Tough and scrappy, in the pugilistic sense, the audience award winner at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition slices through the Vivaldian vocal runs, such as in ‘Ho il cor gia lacero’, a true expression of the lead character’s rage and frustration.

Toner Quinn, The Journal of Music

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

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)
Ariodante (title role)
Hercules (Dejanira)
Parnesso in Festa (Apollo)


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)
Le Comte Ory (Isolier)


Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Drummer Girl)


Griselda (title role)


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

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