Kieran Rayner is a London-based New Zealand operatic baritone. He is a Britten Pears Young Artist 2021-22, and was an an Independent Opera Fellow 2019-20, a Garsington Opera Alvarez Young Artist 2018-19 and 2021, a Verbier Festival Atélier Lyrique Artist 2018, a Samling Artist, an Internationale Meistersinger Akademie Artist, and was a 2012-13 Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera.
Since arriving in Britain in late 2014, Kieran has been engaged by Garsington Opera, English Touring Opera, Scottish Opera, Longborough Festival Opera, British Youth Opera, Devon Opera, Euphonia Opera, Riverside Opera, Park Opera, and Saffron Hall, among others. He has sung oratorio solos across the UK, and has performed concerts and opera productions in venues from the Royal Albert Hall, to Buckingham Palace, to theatres in Singapore, New Zealand, and New Caledonia.
His operatic engagements include core roles such as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Guglielmo in Così Fan Tutte, roles in verismo opera (Silvio in I Pagliacci, Sharpless in Madam Butterfly), baroque opera (Gustavo in Faramondo, Valens in Theodora), operetta (Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Prince of Mantua in Fantasio), and contemporary works like new commissions Dare to Dream at the Royal Albert Hall for Garsington Opera, and Philip Sunderland’s The Glass Knight (world premieres). He has a flair for the comedic (Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Vicar Gedge in Albert Herring), and dramatic (The Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, Pierre Lafitte in Amy Beach’s Cabildo). Concert highlights include Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music with John Wilson at Buckingham Palace, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Vladimir Jurowsky, Handel’s Messiah and Coronation Anthems, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Snape Maltings, Bach’s Matthäus-Passion at Southwark Cathedral, Haydn’s Creation at Chichester Cathedral, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen at the Wellington Opera House NZ.
He is a London Handel Festival Competition Semifinalist 2021, and was a Wigmore Hall International Song Competition semifinalist 2019, won the Garsington Opera Simon Sandbach Award 2019, the Royal Over-Seas League Philip Crawshaw Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Musician from Overseas 2018, the Emmy Destinn Czech song prize 2017, and 2nd prize in both the 2017 Brooks Van-der-Pump and 2016 AESS Patricia Routledge English Song competitions.
He graduated with an Artist Diploma and a Masters of Performance (Distinction) in 2018 from the Royal College of Music International Opera School studying with Russell Smythe, where he played eight principal roles in RCMIOS productions. Prior to this, he graduated from the New Zealand School of Music in 2011 with Distinction in a Postgraduate Diploma of Music and a BA in English Literature. He has been kindly supported by Independent Opera, the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, Help Musicians UK, and the Hunn Education Trust.
He has an eclectic range of other skills, from period dance to Shakespearean theatre and modern tap dance, and also has training in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. In 2014 he narrated several stories for ‘Shortz: Stories from Kapiti’, an audio collection of New Zealand writing for children.
For Kieran’s current CV and biographies for programmes, please email him here.