As The Forester in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, RCMIOS 2017

Kieran Rayner, singing the Forester, is one to watch. Of all the cast, he drew the most from the text, the manner in which he dispatched his final aria suggesting, with its intimacy, expression and phrasing, that he is a strong Lieder recitalist in the making. Diction was entirely clear, registers were integrated and his shading of the libretto strong.

Dominic Lowe
Bachtrack

 

I hope that Kieran Rayner’s career continues to develop. He’s on commanding form as the Forester, and his baritone becomes more attractive every time I hear it. He easily gives the closing scene, his paean to nature, that sudden, transformational blast.

Peter Reed

Classical Source

As Gustavo in Handel’s Faramondo, RCMIOS 2017

“Kieran Rayner blustered brilliantly as the monomaniacal Gustavo, focused on revenge on his son’s killer”

Robert Hugill
Planet Hugill

 

“Kieran Rayner [was an] imperious Gustavo”

Tim Ashley

The Guardian

As Nardo (Roberto) in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, RCMIOS 2016

“Kieran Rayner and Louise Fuller, as Roberto and Serpetta respectively, gave sparkling and intelligent voice to the servants’ plight”

Amanda-Jane Doran
Classical Source

 

“I really enjoyed the concept, it felt fresh and unforced … The acting ranged from all right to the very funny Rayner as Nardo”

– Opera, Innit?

 

“Kieran Rayner was an ardent and loyal Roberto”

Claire Seymour

Opera Today

As Eisenstein in J. Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus, Royal College of Music International Opera School, 2015

“Following on from his fine Forester in British Youth Opera’ s The Cunning Little Vixen, Kieran Rayner made an excellent, funny Von Eisenstein. His baritone has rounded up considerably … just as accomplished in the broader comedy.”

Peter Reed

Classical Source

As Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Park Opera 2015

“Threaded right through it was Kieran Rayner as Figaro who brought enormous presence, energy and maturity to his central role in the plot …his singing effortless and powerful; diction wonderful. He fully occupied this larger-than-life, supremely confident character with apparent ease, zest and enjoyment, connecting directly with the audience, who responded to him with the most warm, loud and energetic applause all the way through.”

Philip Brew

Audience Member

As Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Days Bay Garden Opera, 2013

“A vivid and mellifluous-toned characterisation was Kieran Rayner’s Guglielmo, with his ardent Act One declarations of love and gently-mocking anatomical self-descriptions, more confident on the surface than his friend, but beneath more vulnerable and volatile. His encompassing of the character’s range of moods brought us great delight, from the irony of his admonition of women for their deceptions, to his anguish and bitterness at his belated betrayal by Fiordiligi.”

Peter Mechen

Middle C

As Melisso in Handel’s Alcina, Days Bay Garden Opera, 2012

“Baritone Kieran Rayner as the hard-bitten soldier Melisso … brought a lighter, more than usually agile and flexible baritonal voice to the part, though he generated plenty of authority when needed. He was thus able to make something both strong and elegant of his aria, Think of her who mourns.”

Peter Mechen

Middle C

As Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the New Zealand School of Music, 2011

“I found so much to admire in the performance, securely sung and characterfully acted. I liked … Kieran Rayner’s worldly Demetrius, [his] voice ever-sonorous and expressive”

Peter Mechen

Middle C

As Lord Sidney in Rossini’s Journey to Rheims, Days Bay Garden Opera, 2010

“Englishman Lord Sidney, sung by baritone Kieran Rayner, is garbed with a Union Jack, caricatured punk-style as an eccentric under-cover agent, delivering cryptic reports into his wrist … Rayner’s performance, vocally and histrionically, was one of the best of the evening.”

Lindis Taylor

Middle C

As Le Mari in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de TirésiasRCMIOS French Double Bill 2017

“In a cast that had no weak links at all Louise Fuller and Kieran Rayner stood out in the leads … [their roles] are technically very demanding, quite apart from the need to coordinate vocal bravura with considerable acting skills. In these respects they were outstanding and full of the required panache.”

Tim Hochstrasser

Live Theatre UK

As Pausanias in Chabrier’s Une Éducation Manquée, RCMIOS French Double Bill 2017

“Kieran Rayner [was a] generously drunken and excellently sung Pausanias”

Peter Reed
Classical Source

 

Kieran Rayner was vocally and dramatically secure as Pausanias.”

Louise Flind
Bachtrack

 

“Kieran Rayner took the role of the hapless tutor, and his tricky patter number with his mentee was deftly delivered.”

Claire Seymour

Opera Today

As Lord Rokeby, Alderman Birch, Lord Rothschild, Dr. Katterfelto, Mr. Worrall, and Étienne in Malcolm Williamson’s English Eccentrics, British Youth Opera, 2016

“Versatile and vocally adept”

Matthew Rye
Bachtrack

 

“Kieran Rayner put his seductive baritone and vigorous acting skills to good use in his six roles”

Peter Reed

Classical Source

As The Forester in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, British Youth Opera, 2015

“Kieran Rayner made an impressive and highly personable Forester. His voice rode the orchestra well … with gravitas and great charm.”

Robert Hugill
Planet Hugill

 

“Stand-out performances … Kieran Rayner, singing with a voice beyond his years, skillfully exposed the Forester’s disquiet.”

Phil Barrett
Phil Barrett Listens

 

“Kieran Rayner had the right brand of rough, kind pragmatism for the Forester … [his] characterisation was skillfully observed.”

Peter Reed

Classical Source

As Vicar Gedge in Britten’s Albert Herring, Royal College of Music, 2015

“Kieran Rayner was gloriously slimy as the trendy vicar.”

Robert Hugill

Planet Hugill

Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Orchestra Wellington, 2014

“Rayner invested each song with its individual character and emotion: full of opportunity for rich and extreme late Romantic passion and grief.”

Lindis Taylor

Middle C

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Wellington Bach Choir, 2013

“The second chorale opened with bass Kieran Rayner in delightful contrast with the women’ s voices … it was good finally to hear Rayner with his solo aria, ‘ Grosser Herr, o starker König’  projecting with clarity and confidence. All his later excursions were admirable.”
Lindis Taylor

Middle C

As the Levite in Handel’s Solomon with Viva Voce, Auckland Town Hall, 2012

“The Levite, Kieran Rayner, had a most attractive oaken tone colour, particularly gorgeous in the higher register. It was a shame that we got only his opening “Praise ye the Lord” and nothing else from him.”

Simon Holden

Bachtrack

Singing Rossini’s Largo al factotum in the Wellington Aria final, 2011

His fluency, diction and characterisation were superb, and his voice vibrant, compelling and euphonious. The great pace of the aria seemingly was not a problem for him. This performance was indeed hard to beat.

Rosemary Collier

Middle C

 As Cawwawwkee in John Gay’s Polly, New Zealand School of Music, 2008

“His voice, projection, singing and stage presence were a revelation … He is a young talent to watch.”

Garth Wilshere

Capital Times