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Kai Rüütel


  • Since her graduation from the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in 2011, Estonian mezzo-soprano Kai Rüütel has been engaged at Royal Opera House, Dutch National Opera, Teatro Real, Vlaamse Opera, Gran Teatro del Liceu, Scottish Opera, Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, and Dallas Opera. A consummate singer and actress, she has collaborated with directors such as Robert Carsen, Laurent Pelly, Keith Warner and Calixto Beito.

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  • In the 2017/18 season Rüütel can be heard as Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte at Theater an der Wien as well as Meg Page Falstaff and Blanche The Gambler at Opera Vlaanderen. On the concert platform Rüütel performs Das Lied von der Erde with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

    Last season Rüütel made her US operatic debut with Dallas Opera, singing Olga Eugene Onegin. She also returned to Teatro Real to sing Mary Der fliegende Holländer; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Emilia in a new production of Otello; and Opera Vlaanderen for the world premiere of Infinite Now by American-Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin, staged by Australian actor and theatre director Luk Perceval. On the concert platform Rüütel appeared at the Mumbai National Center of Performing Arts in an opera gala concert with the Symphony Orchestra of India.

    Rüütel studied at the Georg Ots Music School in Tallinn and then at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and the Dutch National Opera Academy, graduating from the Masters programme with Special Honours. Whilst studying in the Netherlands she was supported by Eesti Kultuurkapital. Rüütel won First Prize in the National Competition for Young Classical Singers in Estonia three years in a row in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

    In 2009 Rüütel became a member of the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, making her debut as Venerable Lady in The Gambler and covering the role of Blanche. Her roles for the company included Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel, Rosette Manon and Flora La traviata (also performed on tour in Japan), Second Lady Die Zauberflöte conducted by Sir Colin Davis, and Dorothée Cendrillon. She covered Madame Dangeville Adriana Lecouvreur, Charlotte Werther and Dunyasha The Tsar’s Bride.

    Since leaving the programme she has returned to the Royal Opera House as Meg Page Falstaff in a new production by Robert Carsen, Wellgunde Der Ring des Nibelungen and as Marchesa Malibea Il Viaggio a Reims in a special gala performance. She also made her debut with Scottish Opera as Hänsel in a new production of Hänsel und Gretel, Blanche in a new production of The Gambler at De Nederlandse Opera, Sonyetka in a new production by Calixto Bieito of Lady Macbeth from the Mtsensk District at Opera Vlaanderen and Siegrune Die Walküre at Gran Teatre del Liceu. Other recent operatic engagements include Anina in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier at Dutch National Opera, Flowermaiden and Esquire in a new production of Parsifal at Teatro Real, Emilia Otello at Opera Vlaanderen, Kate Julian Owen Wingrave at Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, as Nefertiti in Glass’s Akhnaten at Opera Vlaanderen and as Meg Page Falstaff at Royal Opera House.

    Recent concert and recital performances include her Estonian recital debut, accompanied by Roger Vignoles, her US debut with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra singing Mozart’s Requiem; a hugely acclaimed debut performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius for The Three Choirs Festival; Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the Residentie Orchestra of the Netherlands; Mahler Rückert Lieder at the Cadogan Hall; Beethoven Mass in C with City of Birmingham Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras; Zemlinsky’s Sechs Gasange at Philharmonie Berlin; and gala concerts in Latvi, the Czech Republic and with the RTE Orchestra and John Wilson.

    2017-2018 season / 605 words. Not to be altered without permission


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Season highlights

Meg Page Falstaff
Opera Vlaanderen

Blanche The Gambler
Opera Vlaanderen

Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte
Theater an der Wien

Concert repertoire

Mass in C
Symphony No.9

Les nuits d’été
La mort de Cléopâtre

Dream of Gerontius


Rückert Lieder
Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Other various song cycles
Symphony Nos.3
Symphony No.8



Salve Regina
Mass in G


Frauenliebe und leben

Sechs Gesänge

Opera repertoire

Wardrobe mistress, schoolboy, page Lulu

Title role Carmen*

Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Kate Julian Owen Wingrave
Lucretia Rape of Lucretia*

Title role La tragédie de Carmen

Orfeo Orfeo ed Euridice*

Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel

Prince & Dorothée Cendrillon
Charlotte Werther
Dulcinee Don Quichotte*

Blanche The Gambler

Lyubasha The Tsar’s Bride

Dalila Samson et Dalila*

Sonyetka Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District

Strauss, J.
Prince Orlofsky Die Fledermaus

Strauss, R.
Octavian Der Rosenkavalier*

Olga Eugene Onegin
Joan of Arc Orleanskaja deva*
Polina Pikovaya Dama

Meg Page Falstaff

Wellgunde Das Rheingold & Götterdämmerung
Siegrune Die Walküre
Brangäne Tristan und Isolde*

* in preparation

Kai Rüütel's Meg Page exhibited a warm vocal sensuality

Opera Today, July 2015

Her English was flawless; her voice sounded absolutely gorgeous; she sang with excellent feeling but with a complete absence of histrionics – she simply stood and delivered; and although she carried a score she barely glanced at it, singing directly to her audience with whom she maintained a compelling eye-contact.

Seen and Heard International, January 2014

Throughout her performance she exhibited a marvellous sense of line and her voice was produced not only evenly throughout its compass but also seemingly without effort. Time and again there was a lovely warmth to her singing […]I hope to hear her again in this role to which, I think, she is ideally suited.

Seen and Heard International, January 2014

Intermusica represents Kai Rüütel worldwide

Maria Mot
Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9904

Lottie Gulliver
Assistant to Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9937

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists


Mark Simpson


HK Gruber


Tim Mead

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles