Mika Kares has established himself as one of today’s internationally most sought-after basses. His vast repertoire covers all the great Italian and German composers such as Verdi, Wagner and Mozart, in addition to the most important roles of the slavic and Finnish tradition.

Distinguished by his colourful bass voice, Kares regularly guests at the most renowned houses and festivals worldwide and has worked with conductors including Christian Thielemann, Teodor Currentzis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Fabio Luisi, Marc Minkowski, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Franz Welser-Möst, Sebastian Weigle, François-Xavier Roth, Klaus Mäkelä, Kent Nagano, Kirill Petrenko, Marco Armiliato and Thomas Guggeis.

Recent seasons’ opera highlights include i.a. Hagen/Götterdämmerung at the Bayreuth Festival and the Vienna State Opera, Sarastro/Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, Il Commendatore/Don Giovanni at The Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Salzburg Festival, Jacopo Fiesco/Simon Boccanegra at the Opéra National de Paris (staging: Calixto Bieito), King Marke/Tristan und Isolde, Padre Guardiano/La forza del destino and Balthazar/La Favorite at the Bavarian State Opera, Gremin/Eugene Onegin at the Vienna State Opera, Landgraf Hermann/Tannhäuser at Zurich Opera, Zaccaria/Nabucco at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Inquisitor/The Fiery Angel at Teatro Real de Madrid, Great Inquisitor/Don Carlo at Teatro alla Scala, and Ramfis/Aida at Théâtre Royale de La Monnaie in Brussels.

In addition, Mika Kares is very sought after as a concert singer, his broad repertoire including key works such as Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 and Missa Solemnis, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No 8, as well as Shostakovich’s Symphonies No 13 and 14.

Recent concert highlights include concerts with Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta/King René with Kirill Petrenko and the Berliner Philharmoniker and Adriana Lecouvreur/Prince de Bouillon with Anna Netrebko and Marco Armiliato at the Salzburg Festival, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the hr-Sinfonieorchester as well as at the BBC Proms under the baton of Sakari Oramo, Mozart’s Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Riccardo Muti) and the Vienna Philharmonic, Shostakovich’s Symphony no 14 under Klaus Mäkelä with the Oslo Philharmonic, Mahler’s Symphony No 8 with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Hannu Lintu, as well as a concert performance of Bluebeard’s Castle with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki, which was released on CD (BIS Records) and nominated for the 2022 Grammy Award.

In season 2022/23 Mika Kares took on the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle at the Salzburg Festival as well as three roles (Fasolt, Hunding, Hagen) in the new Ring at Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, conducted by Christian Thielemann and Thomas Guggeis, and staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov.
In addition, he returned to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Landgraf Hermann in Tannhäuser, the Bavarian State Opera as Heinrich der Vogler in a new Lohengrin production, and to Vienna State Opera as Hagen in Götterdämmerung.
Engagements in season 2023/24 include his return to Chicago’s Lyric Opera as Daland/Der fliegende Holländer, the Opéra national de Paris as Timur/Turandot and Fiesco/Simon Boccanegra, and Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin for two new productions: Dvorák’s Rusalka/Vodník (Mundruczó/Ticciati) and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina/Ivan (Guth/Young).

In Summer 2024, in addition, he will return to the Bayreuth Festival (Hagen/Götterdämmerung), the Savonlinna Opera Festival (Zaccaria/Nabucco and Commendatore/Don Giovanni) and the Salzburg Festival, where he will be on stage as La Roche in Strauss’ Capriccio under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Furthermore he can be heard singing the bass part in Verdi‘s Messa da Requiem with the Gewandhausorchester under Franz Welser-Möst.
Mika Kares was shortlisted as Male Singer of the Year at the 2023 International Opera Awards.


General Management

Artist Manager
Ingunn Sighvatsdóttir
Artist Manager 
Mobil: +49-173-2 067 821


Repertoire Concert

Bach, J.S. St. Matthew Passion
Beethoven Symphony no. 9
  Missa Solemnis
Berlioz Roméo et Juliette
Brahms Requiem
Donizetti Requiem
Dvorak Biblical Songs Op. 99
  Stabat Mater
Haydn The Creation / Raphael + Adam
Händel Messiah
  Susanna / 2nd Elder
Mahler Symphony no. 8 / Pater Profundus
Mozart Requiem
Mussorgsky Songs and Dances of Death
Rossini Petite Messe solennelle
  Stabat Mater
Shostakovich 13th Symphony "Babi Yar"
  14th Symphony
  Songs of the Forest
Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel
Verdi Requiem

Repertoire Opera

Bartok Bluebeard's Castle Bluebeard
Beethoven Fidelio Rocco*
Bellini Norma Oroveso
Boito Mefistofele Mefistofele
Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur Prince de Bouillon
Donizetti La favorite Balthasar
  Lucia di Lammermoor Raimondo
  Anna Bolena Enrico VIII
Dvorak Rusalka Vodnik
Faccio Amleto Lo Spettro
Händel Acis and Galatea Polyphem
  Agrippina Claudio
  Ariodante il re di Scozia
  Radamisto Farasmane
  Rinaldo Argante
J. Kokkonen The Last Temptations Paavo
Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail Osmin
  Die Zauberflöte Sarastro
  Don Giovanni Il Commendatore
  Le nozze di Figaro Bartolo
Mussorgsky Boris Godunov Boris Godunov*
Prokofiev The Fiery Angel Inquisitor
Puccini Gianni Schicchi Betto di Signa
  La Bohème Colline
  Madama Butterfly Bonze
  Tosca Angelotti
  Turandot Timur
Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin Gremin
  Iolanta King René
  Mazeppa Filipp Orlik
Verdi Aida König
  Attila Attila
  Don Carlo Filippo II
    Il Grande Inquisitore
  La forza del destino Marchese di Calatrava
    Padre Guardiano
  Les vêpres siciliennes Giovanni da Procida*
  Luisa Miller Il Conte di Walter
  Il trovatore Ferrando
  I masnadieri Massimiliano Moor
  Nabucco Zaccaria
  Otello Lodovico
  Rigoletto Sparafucile
  Simon Boccanegra Fiesco
Wagner Das Rheingold Fafner
  Die Walküre Hunding
  Götterdämmerung Hagen
  Der fliegende Holländer Daland
  Tristan und Isolde König Marke
  Lohengrin Heinrich der Vogler
  Parsifal Gurnemanz
  Siegfried Fafner
  Tannhäuser Landgraf Hermann

*in preparation



Lohengrin / Bayerische Staatsoper München /
05.12.22 /

"Mika Kares ist der kraftvollste König Heinrich seit langem. Er meistert auch die exponierten Stellen mit Leichtigkeit." 

Götterdämmerung / Staatsoper Berlin /
09.10.22 /

"Gewinner aller Klassen: Mika Kares als Hagen" 

Götterdämmerung / Staatsoper Berlin /
09.10.22 /

"Mika Kares als Hagen ist, wie erwartet, erneut eine der Stützen des Abends" 

Herzog Blaubarts Burg / Salzburger Festspiele / 27.07.22 /

"Mika Kares ist ein fantastischer Blaubart mit schöner Stimme" 

Iolanta / Philharmonie Berlin / 15.01.22 /

"firmly in the tradition of the great Finnish basses" 

Tristan und Isolde / Bayerische Staatsoper
München / 29.06.21 /

"Mika Kares fällt als berührender König Marke auf" 

Die Zauberflöte / Bayerische Staatsoper München / 01.02.20 /

"überzeugt als Sarastro [...] mit einem würdevollem warmen großflächigen Ton und einer unglaublichen inneren Ruhe" 

Nabucco / Deutsche Oper Berlin / 28.12.19 /

"Den Höhepunkt seiner Kunst setzte er mit einem mächtig georgelten "Oh, chi piange?"" 

Nabucco / Deutsche Oper Berlin / 23.12.19 /

"gefiel durch seine voluminöse und volltönende Stimme" 

Don Giovanni / Lyric Opera of Chicago / 21.11.19 /

"His wonderful artistic and vocal skills shine brightly during the culmination of the opera" 

Don Giovanni / Lyric Opera of Chicago / 18.11.19 /

"Kares, in his debut at the Lyric, comes through with a terrific bass as The Commendatore" 

Don Giovanni / Lyric Opera of Chicago / 15.11.19 /

"offered a suitably stentorian performance the Commendatore" 

Mefistofele / Staatsoper Stuttgart / 17.06.19 /

"auch sängerisch der Höhepunkt des Abends" 

Mefistofele / Staatsoper Stuttgart / 17.06.19 /

"kann als Mefistofele mit voluminösem Ausdruck und klarer Diktion überzeugen" 

Tannhäuser / Opera Zurich / 24.03.19 /

"Eine erfreuliche Begegnung [...] deutliche Diktion bei gutem Legato in der Ansprache" 

Mozart's Requiem / Symphony Center Chicago / 22.02.19 /

"sang with idiomatic point and drama as needed" 

Anna Bolena / Opéra de Lausanne / 05.02.19 /

"his deep, earthy bass well suited to the all-power king" 

Simon Boccanegra / Opéra Bastille / 26.11.18 /

"created a convincing and multifaceted character, both vocally and dramatically" 

Simon Boccanegra / Opéra Bastille / 26.11.18 /

"à l'expressivité du caractère" 

Simon Boccanegra / Opéra Bastille / 21.11.18 /

"showing great experience and vocal nobility throughout" 

Simon Boccanegra / Opéra Bastille / 17.11.18 /

"morphs from creepy psycho to remorseful grandfather in the course of the evening" 

Simon Boccanegra / Opéra Bastille / 15.11.18 /

"Kares a le volume et les couleurs d'un magnifique Fiesco" 

Il trovatore / Opéra Bastille / 01.07.18 /

"fait ainsi une dèmonstration de puissance et d'unité fantastique" 

Il trovatore / Opéra Bastille / 29.06.18 /

"Sein Bass füllte strahlkräftig und volltönend die Höhen des Raumes" 

Il trovatore / Opéra Bastille / 27.06.18 /

"rivelato basso di eccellente qualità" 

Luisa Miller / Opernhaus Zürich / 12.04.18 /

"spiegelt die Noblesse schon im dunklen vollen Bassglanz" 

La Favorite / Bayerische Staatsoper München / 04.03.18 /

"eine prächtige Mittellage [...] eine satte Tiefe und eine glänzende Höhe" 

Die Zauberflöte / Royal Opera House Covent Garden / 13.09.17 /

"rich and resonant, a proper bass for a proper bass aria" 

Rigoletto / Savonlinna Opera Festival / 12.07.17 /

"well-projected and appealingly phrased" 

La Favorite / Bayerische Staatsoper München / 27.06.17 /

"in Gestalt des Ehrfurcht gebietenden Finnen Mika Kares" 

Aida / Théâtre de la Monnaie Brüssel / 21.05.17 /

"robuste voix de basse" 

Eugen Onegin / Wiener Staatsoper / 13.05.17 /

"eine wunderschöne, herrliche Bassstimme" 

Eugen Onegin / Wiener Staatsoper / 07.05.17 /

"eine schöne Stimme mit profunder Tiefe, guter Höhe und feiner dynamischen Phrasierungen" 

Eugen Onegin / Wiener Staatsoper / 06.05.17 /

"genau auf den Punkt" 

La Favorite / Bayerische Staatsoper München / 03.11.16 /

"verlieh dem Prior nahezu diabolische Züge" 

La Favorite / Bayerische Staatsoper München / 25.10.16 /

"Die Entdeckung: Mika Kares als Prior Balthazar" 

La Favorite / Bayerische Staatsoper München / 23.10.16 /

"a privilege to hear his performance" 

Agrippina / Theater an der Wien / 23.03.16 /

"Groß gewachsen und stimmmächtig" 


The Khovansky case 
Mussorgsky's magnificent Chowanschtschina will be performed by a BOM triple cast at the Staatsoper unter den Linden starting on the 2nd of June 2024. Led in the title role by Mika Kares as Prince Ivan Khovansky, other roles will be performed by Marina Prudenskaya as Marfa and Johan Krogius as Streshnev, as well as George Gagnizde as Boyar Shaklovity, Stephan Rügamer as Vasily Golitsyn and Taras Shtonda as Dosifey.
In this production, based on the version by Dmitri Schostakowitsch and Igor Stravinsky, Claus Guth pays particular attention to the different worlds of the individual personalities and thus gives the audience the opportunity to experience history beyond the political events and power games. Together with Simone Young's conducting, this results in an all-encompassing staging of history that represents ‘the past in the present’.

Further performance dates:
06./ 09. / 13. / 16. / 23.06

For more information about the production:
Verdi in Paris and Leipzig
Mika Kares is back as Fiesco in Opéra Bastille's celebrated production of Simon Boccanegra by Calixto Bieito from 2018, where Mika embodied the role as well.
Alongside Ludovic Tézier in the title role, among others, and under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock, he will be on stage in Paris from March 12th, 2024 (revival).

Further performance dates: 16/19/22/25/28/31 March & 03 April, 2024

Immediately after, Mika can be heard in another beloved Verdi piece; his Messa da Requiem. Together with the Gewandhausorchester under Franz Welser-Möst, the monumental piece will be performed on two nights in Leipzig's Gewandhaus: April 11th & 12th, 2024.

For more information on the Simon Boccanegra production: ...


Photo: MIKA-fotografie Berlin
Photo: MIKA-fotografie Berlin
Photo: Saara Salmi

Download available
Photo: Saara Salmi

Download available
Photo: Saara Salmi

Download available
Tannhäuser/Hermann - Opera Zurich

Photo: Toni Suter
Don Giovanni/
Il Commendatore - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Photo: Kyle Flubacker
Don Giovanni/
Il Commendatore - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Photo: Private
Eugene Onegin/Gremin - Wiener Staatsoper

Photo: Michael Pöhn
Agrippina/Claudio - Theater an der Wien
Photo: Werner Kmetitsch (TAW)
Agrippina/Claudio - Theater an der Wien
Photo: Werner Kmetitsch (TAW)
Don Carlo/Grand Inquisitor - Teatro Real de Madrid

Photo: Javier del Real
La Favorite/Balthasar - München

Photo: Wilfried Hösl
Le nozze di Figaro/ Figaro - Tampere Opera
Photo: Petri Nuutinen
I masnadieri/ Massimiliano - Verdi Festival Parma
Photo: Annalisa Andolina
La Bohème/Colline - Teatro Real de Madrid
Photo: Javier del Real

Don Giovanni/

Chicago Lyric Opera
Don Giovanni/

Teodor Currentzis & MusicAeterna
I masnadieri/

Francesco Ivan Ciampa &
Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini

43m08s: Duet; 2h09m40s: Aria; 2h31m30s: Duet
Shostakovitch: Song of the Forests
Orquesta Sinfónica & Coro de Radiotelevisión Española
Rossini: Stabat Mater
Münchner Rundfunkorchester &
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Start: 20m58s
Tchaikovsky's 'Iolanta' in concert with Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko

Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the hr-Sinfonieorchester (2019) (Bass Solo from 1:36:33)

R. Wagner: Die Walküre (1. Akt) in concert
-Hannu Lintu & Radion Sinfoniaorkesteri
(Hunding Monologue: 1h 34min 15s)

Mahler Symphony No 8 under Hannu Lintu in Helsinki 
Mika Kares - Beethoven 9thMika Kares - Shostakovich 14th - Reply of the Zaporozhean Cossacks
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