Finnish bass Mika Kares made his Royal Opera debut in the 2017/18 Season as Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte). Kares studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and was an ensemble member of Baden State Opera 2005–10. He sings for companies including La Scala, Milan, Finnish National Opera, Dutch National Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Cologne Opera, Theater an der Wien, Vienna State Opera, Zürich Opera House, La Monnaie, Brussels, and for the Savonlinna, Bregenz and Munich festivals. His repertory includes Claudio (Agrippina), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), the Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Sarastro, Oroveso (Norma), Balthazar (La Favorite), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Philip II and the Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlo), Ramfis (Aida), Herrmann (Tannhäuser), King Heinrich (Lohengrin), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin) and Timur (Turandot).
Kares performs widely in concert, in repertory including works by Mozart, Verdi and Mahler. He has recorded for Naïve and Sony. Kares writes for the Finnish Broadcasting Company and is artistic director of a chamber music festival. His awards include a Culture Medal from Western Finland (2013), the Silver Order of Merit (2011), a BBC Music Magazine Award (2017) and a Grammy nomination.