“The stand-out vocal presence was Layla Claire…a rich dramatic soprano…oozing with class and possibility” (The Guardian)
Frequently praised for her colourful, flexible voice and graceful stage presence, Layla Claire has an exciting season ahead including her Salzburger Festspiele debut as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), her first foray into Handel as Tusnelda (Arminio) at Karlsruhe Handelfestspiele and a recording with Parnassus. She will reprise two of last year’s successfully debuted roles: the Governess (Turn of the Screw) at Opernhaus Zürich and Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) at Pittsburgh Opera.
Canadian-born Claire made her main stage Metropolitan Opera debut while still a member of the Lindemann Program as Tebaldo (Don Carlo) under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and has since returned for several guest appearances including the creation of the role of Helena in the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island under William Christie (available on Virgin Classics DVD), and as Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) under James Levine last season which also offered the opportunity for Claire to further demonstrate her versatility in her Washington National Opera debut as Blanche de la Force (Les dialogues des Carmélites) in a new production by Francesca Zambello, receiving universal critical acclaim.
In summer 2012, Claire’s debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival as Sandrina in Mozart’s early opera La finta giardiniera was broadcast throughout Europe on ARTE and brought her to immediate European attention, leading to a return invitation to Aix last summer in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). Acclaimed for her Mozart interpretations on both sides of the Atlantic, recently Layla has performed at the Canadian Opera Company as Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), at both Pittsburgh and Minnesota Operas as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and at the Tanglewood Festival as both Donna Anna and Fiordiligi under James Levine. She was awarded the Prix des Amis d’Aix-en-Provence for best Mozart performance and the Mozart Prize at the Wilhelm Stenhammar International Competition.
An expressive and experienced concert singer, Claire enjoys an ongoing collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with whom she performed Mahler’s Symphony No.2 under both James Levine and Michael Tilson Thomas and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream under Bernard Haitink. With Yannick Nézet-Séguin, she has performed both Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Symphony No.9 at Festival de Lanaudière as well as Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with L’Orchestre Métropolitain. At Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival she performed Beethoven’s Mass in C with Louis Langree, and at Grant Park Music Festival both Dvořák’s Requiem and Haydn’s Seasons under Carlos Kalmar.