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Musical World

Katie Van Kooten

  • Soprano


 Katie Van Kooten press reviews

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Soprano Katie van Kooten (Helena) in her HGO debut, delivered highly athletic and movingly sung portrayals of love, anger, disgust, incredulity, hopelessness and, by morning's light, blissful relief.”

Gregory Barnett, Opera News, April 2009


“Katie Van Kooten's impetuous and impassioned Helena, more vibrant of voice than ever before”

Hilary Finch, The Times (UK), January 30, 2009



“The rising young soprano Katie Van Kooten, an American who has made her career mainly in London, contributed a highly appealing Marguerite, offering a fluent, securely sung Jewel Song, graced by a good trill, and some nicely floated phrases in the Love Duet. She was also strong in projecting Marguerite's anguish in the Church Scene.”

George Loomis, The New York Times, June 15, 2007


Strauss’ Four Last Songs

“Making her Hallé debut, she brought a rapt beauty to Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs, the perfect vehicle for her lyrical yet dramatic voice. Her full, glowing tone soared remarkably easily over the orchestra and her innate feeling for a long phrase allowed the ecstasy and longing of the first two songs to unfold seamlessly… As for Van Kooten, she sounded unforced, unfettered, even – especially in "Frühling" – while showing no inclination to linger unnaturally over music that is already autumnal enough in its sense of elegiac valediction. Her voice seemed to blossom through each piece, radiating myriad colours, to the work's shimmering end.”

Lynne Walker, The Independent, March 26, 2009


La Boheme

“On the vocal front, Katie Van Kooten makes a good showing as Mimi, injecting strong character into the part.”

Michael Darvell, What’s on in London, November 1, 2006


“The lovely surprise was Katie van Kooten's debut as Mimi. This young American soprano, nurtured for the past couple of years on the Royal Opera's training scheme, looks like a major operatic talent. Her singing has something of the same glow radiated by Te Kanawa or Freni, and her endearing charm and bright smile make her a winning stage personality.”

Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph October 31, 2006


“…Covent Garden's rising-star soprano, Katie van Kooten, who sings Mimi in a substantial soprano with a metallic glint that cuts effortlessly through the orchestra; it's only in duet with Alvarez that the relative youth of her voice shows. She's at her best pouring despair and resolve into her description of her failing love affair.”

Erica Jeal, Guardian Unlimited, October 26, 2006


“Katie Van Kooten's persuasive Mimi combined strength and fragility.”

Fiona Maddocks, The Evening Standard, October 2006

La Rondine

‘Tips for the top in 2005 … Katie Van Kooten (who) shot to attention in November when she replaced Angela Gheorghiu in Puccini’s La Rondine at Covent Garden …’

Fiona Maddocks, Evening Standard, December 12, 2004


‘…Everything depends on Magda – the swallow of the title – and this performance truly belonged to the young American soprano Katie Van Kooten, who was making a heart-warming debut both in the role and with the Royal Opera house.What a way to start: her first aria is tricky, yet Van Kooten (who has just joined the ROH’s Young Artists Programme) was assured right from her entrance, combining spirited stage presence with plenty of tonal body and bloom.Her timbre is distinctive, derived from a fast yet unobtrusive vibrato and her soft singing on the high notes exquisite …’

John Allison, Opera, January 2005


‘…it says much for Van Kooten’s calibre, both personal and professional, that she pulled the evening off.Anyone expecting to hear Gheorghiu would not have been disappointed by her replacement … She tackled the demanding opening aria with confidence and savoir faire, winning a warm round of applause.Thereafter she continued to impress with her lyric vocal quality and ease on stage … A definite success’

George Hall, The Stage, December 2, 2004


‘…Katie Van Kooten(‘s) house debut as Magda was a confident, vocally assured performance …’

Ruth Elleson, Opera Japonica, December 2, 2004


“ ‘We could be seeing the next big thing,’ I whispered to my friend.And I think we did see just that.Van Kooten looked beautiful, her voice was sublime, her acting authentic …”

Noreena Hertz, The Independent, November 28, 2004