Kate Royal


Born in London, Kate Royal studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. Awards include the 2004 Kathleen Ferrier Award, the 2004 John Christie Award, and the 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award.

In concert she has appeared with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Sir Simon Rattle (BBC Proms and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden), the Bach Akademie Stuttgart and Helmuth Rilling, at the Edinburgh Festival with Sir Charles Mackerras, the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington with Rilling, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Vassily Petrenko, the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala Milan with Myung-Whun Chung, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra with Pablo Heras-Casado, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Adès, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra with Alan Gilbert, Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser-Möst, Le Concert d’Astree with Emanuelle Haïm, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Robin Ticciati, the Philharmonia Orchestra with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Jiri Belohlavek, the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Jurowski and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding at the Baltic Sea Festival and the BBC Proms, and both the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Sir Simon Rattle. She has appeared in recital throughout Europe and North America.

In opera she has sung Marschallin (Strauss Der Rosenkavalier), Pamina (Mozart Die Zauberflöte), Micaela (Bizet Carmen), Female Chorus (Britten The Rape of Lucretia) and Donna Elvira (Mozart Don Giovanni) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Pamina for the Baden-Baden Festival with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Rattle, the Lucerne Festival with Harding, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Countess (Mozart Le nozze di Figaro) and Governess (Britten The Turn of the Screw) for Glyndebourne on Tour; Helena (Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for both the Teatro Real, Madrid and the Glyndebourne Festival; Poppea (Monteverdi L'Incoronazione di Poppea) for English National Opera; Miranda (Ades The Tempest) for the Royal Opera; Handel L’Allegro for the Opéra National de Paris and Countess Almaviva for the Aix-en-Provence Festival. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Euridice (Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice) returning for Micaela (Bizet Carmen).

She has recorded Mahler Symphony No. 4 with the Manchester Camerata, and Schumann Liederkreis with Graham Johnson for Hyperion.  In October 2006 she signed an exclusive contract with EMI Classics for whom her first solo recording was a musical portrait with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Edward Gardner, followed by 20th century arias (Midsummer Night) with the Orchestra of English National Opera and Gardner, and a solo recital disc with Malcolm Martineau (A Lesson in Love).

Please contact Mary Donald for an updated biography and for performance details.

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News & Features



The Tempest Miranda

Carmen Micaela

A Midsummer Night's Dream Helena
Peter Grimes Ellen Orford
The Turn of the Screw Governess

Orfeo ed Euridice Euridice

L'incoronazione di Poppea Poppea

Idomeneo Ilia
Le nozze di Figaro Countess
Così fan tutte Fiordiligi
Die Zauberflöte Pamina

Der Rosenkavalier Marschallin


Please contact Mary Donald for full concert repertoire.

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Media Player


    Das Paradies und die Peri



Kings Place, LONDON

VILLA-LOBOS: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1
BERIO: Korot
PÄRT: L'Abbé Agathon (with soprano)
ANDERSON: Round Dance (two cellos)
Edward NESBIT: To Dance On Sands
SOLLIMA: Violoncelles, vibrez!
VILLA-LOBOS: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (with soprano)



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A Midsummer Night's Dream


The quartet of befuddled lovers– Kate Royal and Elizabeth DeShong as Helena and Hermia, Benjamin Hulett and Duncan Rock as Lysander and Demetrius – were perfectly matched and a delight. 

(The Telegraph/ Rupert Christiansen)

Kate Royal... played up the humour of Helena's indignant rage nicely. 

(Bachtrack/ Mark Pullinger)


Facing the Music: Kate Royal

The Guardian

The soprano on the pleasures of reading sleeve notes, waking up to music, training as an athlete, and listening to Tony Bennett with the Queen
The Guardian, 1 August 2016


The Rape of Lucretia

Glyndebourne Festival 2015

"Allan Clayton and Kate Royal make the dilemmas of the Chorus vivid through eloquent declamatory singing – every syllable lucid, every phrase etched"
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 6 July 2015
"Allan Clayton and Kate Royal have the measure of the Male and Female Chorus, articulating their concerns with direct engagement."
George Hall, The Guardian, 7 July 2015


Q&A: Kate Royal

Interview for Music OMH ahead of The Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne 2015

Clink on the link below to read full interview Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 24 June 2014


La damoiselle élue/L'enfant et les sortilèges

Chicago Symphony Center

"Debussy’s meandering vocal part for the title damozel is difficult to shape, yet soprano Kate Royal was strongly anchored by the apt match of her timbre to the character. The bright tone quality of her voice captured the girl’s youth and solation from her beloved and the world."
John Y Lawrence, Chicago Classical Review, 8 May 2015


Symphony No. 2: 29 August 2014

BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall / Daniel Harding, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

"Kate Royal was the sumptuous-sounding soprano." The Guardian, Tim Ashley, 31 August 2014


Der Rosenkavalier at the BBC Proms

Royal Albert Hall, London

"One of the benefits of a concert performance – with the lights up – is the chance to follow Hugo von Hofmannstahl's text closely. Kate Royal's Marschallin was a revelation in this and other respects. Over the Glyndebourne run, she has grown into the great role, delivering the Marschallin's idiomatic German with a fresh, creamy tone and a Straussian poise that mark this as a signature role for her career. The wry final-act confession of prejudice against men was a moment to treasure."
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 23 July 2014
"Kate Royal made her journey from saucy to imperious as the Marschallin, anchoring the bittersweet centre of the piece" Kimon Daltas, The Arts Desk, 23 July


Der Rosenkavalier

Glyndebourne Festival

Financial Times Interview: soprano Kate Royal in ‘Der Rosenkavalier’
Click here to read interview
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 25th April 2014
"the most graceful of Marschallins: in silk-smooth voice, she sang with tender attention to the text and a mixture of warmth and dignity that made the final renunciation sharply moving: her wryly regretful and slightly cross “Ja, ja” spoke volumes and brought a lump to my throat."
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 18 May 2014
"Kate Royal, an unusually slim, young Marie-Thérèse, copes bravely and convincingly with the production’s unconventional demands"
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 18 May 2014
"Kate Royal truly held her own, vocally (she’s sounding lovely) and dramatically, at the centre of things, asserting her sexuality and projecting an intelligent “knowingness” through her words. Her reasoning and philosophising rang so true in the latter part of the first act where the march of time and the inherent loneliness of her marriage once more begin to darken her mood. When she and Octavian are at opposite ends of the elongated sofa it is Siberia between them, a passing fancy, no future; on that same sofa the Marschallin curls up in the foetal position alone at the close of the act. A beautiful and moving moment."
Edward Seckerson, The Review, 18th May 2014
Kate Royal: ‘I could sing Act I, put my children to bed, and be back in time for Act III’
Richard Morrison meets Kate Royal at Glyndebourne Richard Morrison, The Times, 8 May 2014
"one of the show’s wonders is Royal’s transformation into powdered, duty-bound grande dame — and, though her voice is light for Act III, she sings touchingly, pensively and with real musicality too."
Richard Morrison, The Times, 19 May 2014
"Kate Royal, on the other hand, is set fair to become the Marschallin of our time. Her regal physical presence is extraordinary, her great first-act aria was spellbinding."
Mark Valencia, Whats On Stage, 19 May 2014
"Kate Royal was singing her first Marschallin (and she will probably never again be asked to articulate 'Beklagt er sich?' in quite the same costume and attitude!) Act One lies low for any Marschallin, and her voice took time to warm up and become expressive, but by the middle of Act One I had decided: she has it in her to become one of the great Marschallins of our time. She looks magnificent —regal, disdainfully amused, totally in control of her body movement and her effect on others —and she began to sound in wonderful voice, never afraid to sing quietly in the key passages that demand it, but with instant variation in tone and dynamic to complement Strauss's ever-changing orchestral textures. Her appearance and demeanour in Act Three, and her vocal line in the trio, were all wonderfully expressive and totally believable: she has the physique du role and as she sings her way into the remaining performances of the run, she will become ever more confident and commanding."
Michael Reynolds, Musical Criticism, 23 May 2014
"Royal is restrained rather than voluptuous in the role, but she is poised, accurate and always a rewarding performer."
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 25th May 2014
"Kate Royal’s Marschallin unites fabulous beauty, dignity and elegant singing to provide a characterization at once admirable and affecting; she could not fail to bring tears to the most curmudgeonly of eyes at ‘Euer Liebden Kavalier vorfahren…’"
Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 25 May 2014
"Kate Royal’s Marschallin is magnificent. A quiet stillness and the depth of emotion in her voice lend her a remarkable stage presence and create a huge musical impact."
Howard Shepherdson, Limelight, 26 May 2014

A Lesson in Love - a story through Song - Recital / April 2012

Alte Oper Frankfurt

"Ihre Interpretation hat die Essenz aus den Liedern gelockt. Sehr eindrücklich war, wie Royal am Anfang als Neugierige, Freudig-Naive das Lied "Waitin" von William Bolcom sang, und wie sie es am Schluss noch einmal sang: schmerzlich, gezeichnet von der Liebes- und Verlusterfahrung." Martha Schmidt, 13. April 2013
"Mit virtuoser Leichtigkeit gelingt Kate Royal und ihrem Begleiter Malcolm Martineau das Kunststück, die in Stil und Ton höchst unterschiedlichen Miniaturen klanglich zu entfalten und ihren intensiven Gefühlswerten Ausdruck zu verleihen. Dabei steht die klangschöne, höhensichere und modulationsreiche Stimme der Sängerin stets im Dienst der Werke. Die hohe Artikulationskunst, in der sie sehr unterschiedliche Texte geschmeidig mit ihrem Gesang verbindet, macht aus ihrem Vortrag ein dramatisches Geschehen." Eche Feuilleton, Rotraut Fischer, 13. April 2012
"Bolcoms "Waitin" aus seinen "Carbaret Songs" hatte auch den Abend eröffnet: eine zarte, etwas sentimentale Eloge des Wartens, für die sich Kate Royals runder, sublim artikulierender Sopran besonders gut eignet. Alles, was in einer gleitenden, gefassten und ruhigen Art sich klanglich entwickelt, wie etwa in Henri Duparcs "Extase", schien wie geschaffen für Royals Intonation. Der Satz "Auf einer blassen Lilie schläft mein Herz" konnte als verbale Marke dieses Stimmcharakters gelten. 
Ohne Registerbruch wurden aber auch heftige Bewegungszüge leichthändig bewältigt im Verein mit treffenden mimischen Korrespondenzen, denen das höchst aufmerksame Klavierspiel Malcolm Martineaus wie angegossen war." Frankfurter Rundschau, 12 April 2012, Bernard Ukse
"Dass sich Lieder wie Claude Debussys "Erscheinung" ("Apparition") und Hugo Wolfs "O wär' ich Dein Haus" bruchlos aneinanderfügten, war der großen stilistischen Flexibilität und der starken Wandlungsfähigkeit zu verdanken. [...] Kate Royals exakte Diktion, ihr feines, sauberes Legato prägten Lieder von Ravel, Fauve und Duparc. Kokett-pointiert sang sie vom Verrat in Schuberts "Die Männer sind méchant", noch im Fahlen farbig bei Jean Sibelius: "Wär es ein Traum?" Die Spannung ließ keinen Augenblick nach." Offenbach Post, 12 April 2012
"Sie sprühte [...] voller positiver Energie und wirkte in der Tat wie ein verliebtes junges Mädchen, das seine Gefühle nur schwer unter Kontrolle halten kann, weil alles nach draußen drängt. So gab es manches Highlight zu erleben, allen voran Claude Debussys "Apparition" und Aaron Coplands "Pastorale". [...] Wobei sie sämtliche Lieder ohne vor sich liegendes Notenmaterial vortrug und nonstop von einem zum nächsten lied wechselte. Dieses schnelle Wechseln zwischen den Stimmungen, zwischen intimen, tief im Innern berührenden Liedern (wie das zu Beginn und Ende stehende "Waiting" von William Bolcom oder Maurice Ravels "Chanson de la mariée") und ariosen Liedern mit nahezu dramatischen Ausbrüchen (wie "Hugo Wolfs "Erstes Liebeslied eines Mädchens" und Amy Beachs "Ah, Love, but a day!"), muss man ihr in dieser Form erst einmal nachmachen. Ihr heiteres Talent zeigte sie bei dem mit charmantem Witz vorgetragenen "Tchut, tchut" von Joseph Chanteloube. [...] esonders berührend gestaltete sie vom Gesanglichen und vom Ausdruck her Schuberts "Du liebst mich nicht", aber auch Reynaldo Hahns "Infidélté" und Aaron Coplands "Heart, we will forget him!".  Kulturfreak.de, Markus Gründig, 10 April 2012



ELGAR Enigma Variations

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins
Kate Royal, soprano
Two much-loved orchestral favourites representing the summit of Elgar’s maturity are coupled with three of the lesser-known wartime works, here receiving their first recordings with the original French texts. Kate Royal is the soprano soloist in Une voix dans le désert.

Schumann: Das Paradies und die Peri

Sir Simon Rattle
London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus 
Soloists: Sally Matthews, Mark Padmore, Kate Royal, Bernarda Fink, Andrew Staples, Florian Boesch 

Recorded live at the Barbican, 11th January 2015
LSO Live

MOZART: Die Zauberflöte

Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle
Pavol Breslik (Tamino), Kate Royal (Pamina), Dimitry Ivashchenko (Sarastro), Ana Durlovski (Queen of the Night), Michael Nagy (Papageno), Regula Mühlemann (Papagena), Annick Massis (First Lady), Magdalena Kožená (Second Lady), Nathalie Stutzmann (Third Lady), José van Dam (Speaker), James Elliott (Monostatos), Benjamin Hulett (First Priest), Jonathan Lemalu (Second Priest), Andreas Schager (First Armoured Man), David Jerusalem (Second Armoured Man)
Berliner Philharmoniker