ika Kares is one of the most internationally sought-after basses performing today. In addition to Mozart and the great Verdi and Wagner roles, his wide-ranging repertoire encompasses important Slavic and Finnish works. He performs at leading opera houses, concert halls and festivals and has collaborated with conductors such as Teodor Currentzis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Fabio Luisi, Marc Minkowski, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Klaus Mäkelä, Kent Nagano and Kirill Petrenko.
Recent operatic highlights include Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Bavarian State Opera, the Commendatore (Don Giovanni) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the 2016 and 2021 Salzburg Festivals, Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra) at the Paris Opéra, King Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Padre Guardiano (La forza del destino) and Balthazar (La Favorite) at the Bavarian State Opera, Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin) at the Vienna State Opera, Landgrave Hermann (Tannhäuser) at the Zurich Opera House, Zaccaria (Nabucco) at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Inquisitor (The Fiery Angel) at the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlo) for La Scala, Milan, and Ramfis (Aida) at La Monnaie in Brussels. In operatic concert performances he has sung King René (Iolanta) with the Berlin Philharmonic under Kirill Petrenko, the Prince of Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur) with Anna Netrebko and under Marco Armiliato at the 2019 Salzburg Festival, and the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under Susanna Mälkki; the CD recording of this performance (BIS Records) was nominated for a Grammy in 2021.
A much sought-after concert singer, Mika Kares recently had great success in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and at the BBC Proms under Sakari Oramo, in Mozart’s Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Riccardo Muti and with the Vienna Philharmonic, in Shostakovich’s Fourteenth Symphony with the Oslo Philharmonic under Klaus Mäkelä and in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu.
Following his return to the Salzburg Festival as Bartók’s Bluebeard, Mika Kares’s engagements for 2022/23 include Fasolt, Hunding and Hagen in a new production of the Ring at the Berlin State Opera, conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov. He will also return to Covent Garden as Landgrave Hermann and sing Heinrich der Vogler in a new production of Lohengrin at the Bavarian State Opera.