Born in South Shields, Claire Rutter studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the National Opera Studio, sponsored by The Friends of English National Opera. She received outstanding reviews for her performance in English National Opera’s new production of Lucrezia Borgia ( “In the title role, Claire Rutter gives a glorious display of bel canto, with elegant legato, supple crescendo and diminuendo, crisply articulated runs, stunning high notes and even a trill. She looks wonderful and moves regally,” wrote The Daily Telegraph) and for ENO she has also sung Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), the title roles in Tosca and Aïda, Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Elvira (Ernani), Gilda (Rigoletto) and Violetta (La traviata).
For three years, she was a company principal with Scottish Opera, where her roles included Maddalena (Andrea Chenier), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Elettra (Idomeneo), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), the title role in (Turandot), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Gilda (Rigoletto) and Violetta (La traviata). Elsewhere in the UK, she has sung Maddalena (Andrea Chenier) and the title roles in Manon Lescaut and Giovanna d’Arco for Chelsea Opera Group, the title roles in La Gioconda and Abigaille (Nabucco) for Opera North, Gilda (Rigoletto) and Violetta (La traviata) for Welsh National Opera and the title role in Aïda for Raymond Gubbay Ltd (“ Claire Rutter – already acclaimed in the title role at ENO – was on gleaming form, soaring to the climaxes of both of her big solos with apparently effortless ease…” wrote Opera). She has also established a close relationship with Grange Park Opera, where she has sung Elvira (I Puritani), the title roles in new productions of Norma and Tosca (“…the only British soprano with all the requisite vocal thrills and spills for Tosca, and she delivers big time…” wrote The Sunday Times) and Violetta La traviata.
She made her US debut as Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) for Dallas Opera, being nominated for the Maria Callas Award, and recently returned as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). Her international engagements have further included Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) for Opéra national de Bordeaux, Opéra national de Montpellier, Opéra national du Rhin, Strasbourg, and Opera Flanders; Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), the title role in Aïda and Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) for Finnish National Opera; Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Tosca for Opéra de Bordeaux; Tosca for Pacific Symphony and Theater Basel; Mimi (La bohème) at the Beijing International Festival; the title role in Aïda for Opera Australia; Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) for Florida Grand Opera; Alice Ford (Falstaff) for Santa Fe Opera; Violetta (La traviata) for Den Norske Opera; and Sieglinde (Die Walküre) at the Opéra de Rennes.
Conductors with whom she has worked include Marin Alsop, Jane Glover, Speranza Scappucci, David Charles Abell, Sir Richard Armstrong, Paolo Arrivabeni, Stephen Barlow, Michael Christie, Carl St. Clair, Francesco Corti, Paul Daniel, Carl Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Michael Güttler, David Hill, Stephen Lord, Gianluca Marcianó, Nicolae Moldoveanu, David Parry, Vassily Petrenko, Stefano Ranzani, Tobias Ringborg, Claude Schnitzler, Andreas Spering and Edo de Waart. In concert, she has sung with orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; the English Chamber Orchestra, the Hallé, the London Mozart Players, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra.
For Chandos, she has recorded Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement and Ruth and for Naxos, Beethoven’s Der glorreiche Augenblick; Holst’s The Mystic Trumpeter, Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi and Carmina Burana. For the RPO’s own label, she has recorded extracts from La bohème and Madama Butterfly and on the Halle’s own label, she can be heard in The Kingdom (Gramophone Award Winner) and Christmas Classics. Her London performances as Lucrezia Borgia and Aïda have been televised by Sky Arts and the later is now available on BBC DVD.
Highlights of 2014 / 2015 included Minnie (La Fanciulla del West) for Minnesota Opera; Leonora (Il trovatore) for Scottish Opera; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; the Verdi Requiem for Finnish National Opera, Orchestra North East, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Southbank Sinfonia and Callas: The Life & Music of Maria Callas at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Her current engagements include Minnie (La Fanciulla del West) for Grange Park Opera; the title role in Tosca for Finnish National Opera; Britten War Requiem at the Helsinki Festival; Elgar The Kingdom at the 2016 Three Choirs Festival; Strauss Four Last Songs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Galas at the Barbican Hall, London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.