As Junius in The Rape of Lucretia
Royal Opera House / BPA
Directed by Oliver Mears

November 2022

“Junius – a character as malicious as they come – was given a flawless performance by Kieran Rayner, who conveyed the character’s profoundly negative qualities through his steely baritone.”

George Hall – Opera News


“Kieran Rayner sings particularly well in this strong young cast”

Culture Whisper

“Rayner gives a strong account of the scheming character who wants to use Lucretia’s demise as a vehicle to promote his own power grab”

London Unattached

“Kieran Rayner was a fine, strong Junius”

Seen and Heard International

“Rayner’s Junius is all shifty elegance and duplicitous charm”

Tim Ashley

The Guardian

Aldeburgh Festival

June 2022

Review in major German Newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

“In these opening days of the festival, the curators’ desire to experiment with new concert forms was striking. 

The singing duo Kieran Rayner and Lotte Betts-Dean hit the nail on the head. 

The starting point of their duo-recital on the subject of travel was the song “Wohin?” (“Where To?”) From Franz Schubert’s “Die Schöne Müllerin”. It was however the audience that voted on the itinerary. We were surprised by an exquisite selection of songs, ranging from Schubert to Pauline Viardot-García, Johannes Brahms, Karol Szymanowski and Stephen Sondheim to songs of today. Theatrical interludes created a thread of action between the songs. 

The experiment showed what new forms of performance are possible when musical and acting skills are combined with an enterprising spirit and the joy of communicating with the audience. The song recital is far from dead, as culture sceptics would have us believe.”

Max Nyffeler

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

As The Forester in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Longborough Festival Opera August 2021

“Kieran Rayner gives a finely sung, skilfully rounded portrait of the Forester”
– Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk

“Kieran Rayner (the Forester), is clearly a talent to watch, combining a refined technique with natural musicality.”
– Edward Bhesania,

“Kieran Rayner uses exuberantly energetic baritone outbursts to fulfil his role as the worldly-wise Forester capable of laughing at himself … his performance was a memorable Longborough debut, a very fortunate find.
Clive Peacock, Seen and Heard International

Kieran Rayner drew on his three previous productions in his role to present the Forester with vocal authority and stage presence.”
– Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack

“Kieran Rayner produces a tremendous sound as the Forester”
– Sam Smith, Music OMH

“A production which bustles with energy but which also allows moments of sad reflection … Kieran Rayner [was] a sympathetic Forester”
– Christopher Morley, Midlands Music Reviews

“On great form [was] the New Zealand-born baritone Kieran Rayner as The Forester”
– Gill Sutherland, Stratford-Upon-Avon Herald

“Kieran Rayner brings a degree of warmth and gentleness to the role of the Forester”
Curtis Rogers, Classical Source

“The Forester [was] sung with strong musical and dramatic expression by Kieran Rayner. He has both an appealing, well-modulated voice and a very strong stage presence. Like [the Vixen, Julieth] Lozano, he is a convincing actor.”

Mel Cooper

Plays To See

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 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 The Sorcerer in Dido & Aeneas
Waterperry Festival Opera
August 2023

Kieran Rayner is powerful and sinister as the sorcerer as he directs Dido’s doom, motivated ultimately as a sinister power-grab.”

Robin Burfield –

“Purcell’s startling modernity is underlined with strong singing, not least Kieran Rayner who re-genders the sorceress with commanding presence.”

David Benedict

The Stage

As Escamillo in Carmen
Norwich Into Opera Festival
July 2023

“Perhaps Kieran Rayner, as Escamillo has the most sheerly beautiful voice all around – and he can hold his own with Carmen in terms of charisma.”

Edward Bhesania

The Stage

Aldeburgh Festival
Written and performed by Kieran Rayner, with Lotte Betts-Dean and Bradley Wood

June 2022

Audience Feedback:

“I think the format is absolutely brilliant… the fact that the audience are involved in choosing really brings it to life for them, and the fact that it fits together whichever order choices are made is a lovely twist, which I enjoyed enormously.”

“The show felt very relaxed because we all were invited to be part of it.”

“I thought it was absolutely fabulous… It really did bring tears to my eyes, it was very moving.” (From an audience member in a wheelchair)

“Really interesting! As someone who’s grown up playing pick-a-path books and video games … I loved the moments where it was clear how our choices impacted the story.”

“I’d never been to anything like this before … My favourite moment was when, at the end of the show, you revealed how things might have gone differently. It gives a sense of how the show exists in more ways than we could have possibly seen in one go.”

“It was magical, joyful and had a lovely buzzing atmosphere about it. It was entertaining, it was witty, and really thoughtfully and carefully put together, both in terms of what [music] was programmed, how the choices were put together, and also the dialogue. It showcased so many different things, and was a very rich experience.”

Opera Live @ Home: Lockdown Concert

November 2020

“To begin Kieran literally leapt onto our screens with the Largo from Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, a thrilling opening packed with joie de vivre … Highlights were a masterly Tu sei il cor di questo core from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, featuring a slightly threatening atmosphere with an expressive tour de force, while in Onegin’s aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin he gave full rein to a rich and sonorous sound that superbly embraced the complexity of the Russian language as well as the passions of the human condition.  Bizet’s famous Toreador Song from Carmen, a firm opera favourite, was performed effortlessly. By way of encore, Gershwin’s less well-known Just Another Rhumba, was a showstopper: Kieran’s extravagant toreador tunic (henceforth known as a ‘Strictly jacket’) demonstrated his humour and formidable dancing skills. An exciting evening’s entertainment with a brilliant finish.”

Kate Cleeland

Mark Aspen Reviews

As Sharpless in Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, Eternity Opera 2018

It is later left to the stricken Sharpless, caught in a mangled situation that he had counselled Pinkerton against, to break the devastating news to Butterfly. In this moment Kieran Rayner truly shines, as both a very fine actor and fluidly expressive singer. … The audience watches as Sharpless fumbles and despairs. His face is an agony of expressions.

Pepe Becker


The discourse between Pinkerton and his friend Sharpless, the American Consul (played and sung sensitively and sonorously by Kieran Rayner), flowed easily and naturally throughout. … The opera’s core is found in the exchange between the heroine and Sharpless – Catrin Jones and Rayner exhibited such warmth and flow of feeling towards one another’s characters.

Peter Mechen
Middle C


Boyd Owen and Kieran Rayner brought the benefit of overseas experience to their singing and acting. Their voices were mature and full-bodied and their ensemble work was outstanding. Their characters were absolutely believable … Rayner’s enunciation was spot-on – every word was understandable.
Eternity Opera’s production was first rate – professional, accomplished and earnest. The cast and orchestra were excellent and the four leads were exceptional. It deserved its standing ovation.

Stephen Gibbs

DMS Review

As Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, RCMIOS 2018

I particularly admired the strong melodic lines of the four lovers, Lauren Morris (Hermia), Josephine Goddard (Helena), Joel Williams (Lysander) and Kieran Rayner (Demetrius): the quartet made much of Britten’s predominantly scale-based lines and created dramatic distinctiveness too. All demonstrated superbly clear diction.

Claire Seymour
Opera Today


One would be hard pressed to find a better matched set of Lovers than Lauren Joyanne Morris (Hermia), Josephine Goddard (Helena), Joel Williams (Lysander) and Kieran Rayner (Demetrius).

Mark Valencia


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


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 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


“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


“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


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