Kate Valentine - Soprano

Scottish Soprano Kate Valentine studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. A Samling Foundation Alumna, her numerous awards include the Glyndebourne Anne Wood/Joanna Peters Award, a Sybil Tutton Award, a Susan Chilcott Scholarship, and Scottish Opera’s John Scott Award.

She has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with English National Opera, where, as part of their prestigious Harewood Artist Scheme, she has performed Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte in a new production by Phelim McDermott (a role she has recently reprised in Italian for the Orchestra of the 18th Century in Amsterdam and Warsaw), Countess Almaviva the Marriage of Figaro (which she has also performed in Italian for Glyndebourne Tour and Scottish Opera), Mimi La Boheme, Cathleen Riders to the Sea, First Lady The Magic Flute, Elisabeth Zimmer in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers (a co-production with the Young Vic), and Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Other roles include Female Chorus The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne on Tour in a new production by Fiona Shaw, Mrs Nordstrom in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music for Théâtre du Châtelet alongside Leslie Caron and Greta Scacchi, Grizel The King’s Conjecture, Maria Gesualdo, Alice Ford (cover) Falstaff, Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, and Karolina in Smetana’s The Two Widows for Scottish Opera, Donna Anna Don Giovanni for Samling Opera, Konstanze The Abduction from the Seraglio and Desdemona (cover) for Opera North, Armgard in Offenbach’s Die Rheinixen in concert performances at London’s Cadogan Hall, and Musetta La Boheme under Carlo Rizzi for Welsh National Opera.

She made her Edinburgh International Festival debut in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music under David Jones with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and appeared again as Second Woman Dido & Aeneas under Nicholas MGegan. Her concert repertory also includes Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall under Sir David Willcocks, Dixit Dominus and Solomon; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Haydn’s Nelson Mass; Poulenc’s Gloria; Rossini’s Petit Messe Solennelle; Rutter’s Magnificat and Requiem; Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Coronation Mass, Solemn Vespers and C Minor Mass. She recently made her debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra singing Brahms Requiem under Lawrence Renes.

Equally at home in lighter repertoire, Kate has appeared at the Cheltenham and Lichfield Festivals singing music by Richard Rodgers, alongside a recent appearance with the BBC Concert Orchestra on Radio 2’s much-loved Friday Night Is Music Night.

Highlights of the last two seasons have included Marenka The Bartered Bride for Opera North and Ortlinde Die Walküre as part of Opera North’s semi-staged Der Ring des Nibelungen.

This autumn, she sings and records the role of The Princess in C.V. Stanford’s The Travelling Companion, with performances at Cadogan Hall, London and Saffron Hall.

“Kate Valentine, Tamara Gura, Allan Clayton and Benedict Nelson are a convincingly youthful quartet of lovers.” – Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

 “…the Lower VI lovers (Allan Clayton, Benedict Nelson, Kate Valentine, Tamara Gura) were topping.”- Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

 “…the four lovers (Tamara Gura, Kate Valentine, Allan Clayton and Benedict Nelson, all excellent)” Richard Morrison, The Times

 “Kate Valentine and Allan Clayton (as Helena and Lysander respectively) are the pick of the lovers…impressively sung“Mike Valencia, Classical Source

Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), English National Opera, London Coliseum (May 2011)

“[Kate Valentine gives a] tender and immensely moving reading…By turns imperious mistress and victim, her “Dove sono”…ran a velvet-gloved finger through an open wound – its masochistic beauty unmatched for thrills during the evening.” – Alexandra Coghlan, New Statesman

Kate Valentine…a beautifully poised Countess” – Ashutosh Khandekar, Opera Now

“Kate Valentine, who, with animation and a fine vocal display, gave a beautifully crafted performance of The Countess.”

– Paul Guest, Huffington Post

Countess Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro), English National Opera (October 2011)

“Nor could we have wished for anything more searingly impressive than the solo pairing of Finley’s and Scots soprano Kate Valentine.” – Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman

“Kate Valentine’s sweet soprano” – Sarah Urwin Jones, The Times

“In Kate Valentine’s beautiful rendition of ‘Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit’…there was absolutely no hint of the short notice suggested by the chance to the programmed soloist” – Alan Coady, Bachtrack

“Kate Valentine’s fifth [movement] – ‘You now have sorrow; but I shall see you again and your heart shall rejoice’ was particularly moving…It was the sort of concert I felt it a privilege to have attended.” – Barnaby Miln, Edinburgh Guide

Brahms’ Requiem, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Lawrence Renes, Usher Hall, Edinburgh (March 2012)

 “Mimi . . . [was] brilliantly offset by Kate Valentine’s extravagant, luscious Musetta.” – Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

“David Kempster and Kate Valentine presented a splendidly boisterous double act as Marcello and Musetta … a sparkling triumph for Welsh National Opera.” – Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“The strongest portrayal comes from David Kempster, whose Marcello makes the volatile relationship with Kate Valentine’s feisty Musetta a strong balance for the lovers Rodolfo and Mimì.” – Rian Evans, The Guardian

“…There are many good performances. David Kempster’s Marcello has an embittered streak that adds a volatile edge to his scenes with Kate Valentine’s actressy Musetta. Both sing strongly…” – Richard Morrison, The Times

“Kate Valentine’s Musetta was a thoroughly engaging presence, which also got beyond the clichés often settled for in this role; vocally … an assured and secure performance.” – Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International

“As his feisty on-off lover, Kate Valentine’s attractively tart, borderline spinto sound was the perfect tonal foil for Hartig’s limpid Mimi, lasering out splendidly brash top Bs at the end of the waltz and never slipping into tired tart-with-a-tart cliche: like pretty much everyone else involved, the sincerity was palpable.” – Katherine Cooper, whatsonstage.com

“But Valentine’s sophisticated, generously voiced Musetta and Allen’s hollow-eyed, dreaming, dangerous Mimi steal the show, making flesh and blood from Murger’s vignettes, sisters under the skin.” – Anna Picard, The Independent

Musetta Welsh National Opera, 2012

“Warmly and expressively sung, especially when Valentine opens out her luscious top notes.” – Richard Morrison, The Times

“The performances are glorious. Valentine has the seeming ability to unleash tremendous depths of emotion with the most restrained means… This is one of the best Bohèmes to be heard in London in recent years.”Tim Ashley, The Guardian (Five Stars)

“Kate Valentine is no simpering young waif, but a tall and dignified Mimì, whose soprano…comes into its own as the tension mounts.” – Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

“Kate Valentine’s Mimì is a genuine innocent and deliciously ardent with it… Mimì feels like a role she may never play betterdramatically.” – Alexander Coghlan, The Arts Desk

“(Rodolpho would) have had to be made of stone not to respond to Kate Valentine’s Mimì, whose half-lit, ghostly first entrance sets the tone of her ethereal naivety with unexpected intensity – in this world but already not quite of it. She didn’t put a foot wrong in the brilliantly staged, harrowing third Act (the prostitutes plying their dreary, frozen trade is a very good touch) – ‘O mia vita’ really hit the spot – and the death scene had a devastating directness. Valentine’s acting has a natural charm, her singing is full of warmth and character, and the top of her voice, notably at the end of Act One, is secure and unpressured.” – Peter Reed, Classical Source

“Kate Valentine (Mimì) soars in the pathos-heavy later scenes.” – Warwick Thompson, Metro

Mimi, English National Opera, The Coliseum, London (April 2013)

“Particular praise… for the heroic elegance (musical and otherwise, both in the face of that torrent of words and their ungainly costumes) of Allan Clayton and Kate Valentine, the Choruses.” – Roger Parker, Opera

“…outstandingly sung by Allan Clayton and Kate Valentine.” – Hilary Finch, The Times

“Shaw draws magnificent performances from a mostly young cast… Kate Valentine is deeply sympathetic as the pious, anxious Female Chorus.” – Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“Soprano Kate Valentine is ideally cast as [Allan Clayton’s] companion, and delivers her lullaby to the sleeping Lucretia over alto lute, bass clarinet, and muted horn with bewitching grace.” – Michael Church, The Independent

“The performances, though, are terrific… Clayton and Valentine are infinitely subtle in their delineation of the Choruses’ moral turpitude.” – Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“Allan Clayton and Kate Valentine sing the chorus parts with uncommon sympathy.” – Andrew Clark, The Financial Times

“…the temporal and dramatic separations of the narrators hits harder than often with this opera. This is partly owing to Allan Clayton astonishing Male Chorus (none of Bostridge’s eerie, otherworldliness here, but a humanity that outstrips it easily for pathos) and Kate Valentine’s Female Chorus – all warmth and fleshy instinct.” – Alexa Coghlan, New Statesman

“Allan Clayton and Kate Valentine, both eloquent and engaged.” – Mark Valencia, whatsonstage.com “Kate Valentine as the Female Chorus, clear of diction and sympathy.” – David Nice, theartsdesk.com

The Rape of Lucretia (Female Chorus), Glyndebourne Opera (October 2013)