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Award-winning soprano Laura Claycomb has firmly established herself as one of America’s finest lyric coloraturas, best known for her ethereal high notes, impeccable musicianship and dramatic stage presence.  Ms. Claycomb has appeared frequently with the Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Geneva Opera, Théâtre de la Monnaie, Pittsburgh Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Le Concert d'Astrée, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Further highlights of her varied career range from engagements at the Salzburg Festival in Austria and the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, to English National Opera and the BBC Proms in London and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.  Laura Claycomb's recent schedule had her return to two of her signature roles, Gilda in Rigoletto (winning her the Dallas Opera’s Maria Callas Debut Artist Award) and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (with the Houston Grand Opera); performances as Romilda in Handel's Serse, also with Houston Grand Opera; an appearance in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Pittsburgh Opera; two tours of Mahler symphonic performances with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson-Thomas in the US

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Award-winning soprano Laura Claycomb has firmly established herself as one of America’s finest lyric coloraturas, best known for her ethereal high notes, impeccable musicianship and dramatic stage presence.  Ms. Claycomb has appeared frequently with the Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Geneva Opera, Théâtre de la Monnaie, Pittsburgh Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Le Concert d'Astrée, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Further highlights of her varied career range from engagements at the Salzburg Festival in Austria and the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, to English National Opera and the BBC Proms in London and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. 

Laura Claycomb's recent schedule had her return to two of her signature roles, Gilda in Rigoletto (winning her the Dallas Opera’s Maria Callas Debut Artist Award) and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (with the Houston Grand Opera); performances as Romilda in Handel's Serse, also with Houston Grand Opera; an appearance in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Pittsburgh Opera; two tours of Mahler symphonic performances with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson-Thomas in the US and Europe, as well performances in Carmina Burana with the National Symphony, LA Philharmonic and Danish Radio Symphony with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. She also took on the combination of all the heroines in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Moscow in 2011, for which she drew on her experience in the role of Olympia in David McVicar's 2000 production.  While in Moscow, she also performed an ambitious chamber music concert and Glière's challenging "Concerto for Coloratura soprano" with the Russian National Orchestra.

This year, she performed Strauss’ Brentano Lieder with the Israel Philharmonic and belcanto selections with the San Francisco Symphony, both with Michael Tilson-Thomas and returned to Tel Aviv to sing the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Daniel Oren conducting.  She debuted at Florence’s Maggio Musicale in Mahler’s 4th Symphony with Pietari Inkinin, and debuts at the Bolshoi Opera as Bellini’s La Sonnambula in a Pier Luigi Pizzi production with Enrique Mazzola conducting.  In future seasons, she returns to San Francisco to sing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Symphony, adds the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Bregenz Festival with Patrick Summers in a David Pountney production, and sings Adele in Die Fledermaus at Houston Grand Opera.

Laura Claycomb has emerged as a concert repertoire powerhouse, performing with world-renowned  orchestras and conductors.  In addition to the forementioned orchestras, she has sung recently with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Les Arts Florissants in Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Mozart arias.  Other recent concert repertoire include Orff's Carmina burana, Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem, Faure’s Requiem and Copland’s Knoxville, Summer of 1910.  Ms. Claycomb is among today’s foremost Mahler sopranos, having sung solos in the composer’s Symphonies Nos. 2, 4, and 8 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Michael Tilson-Thomas), London Symphony Orchestra (Sir Andrew Davis, Valery Gergiev), and Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (Claudio Abbado/Diego Mattheuz).  She appeared to great acclaim in Mahler’s Second Symphony at Carnegie Hall (with Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFSO) and on tour in Europe.  She has been featured on San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas albums of Mahler’s Fourth and Eighth Symphonies; the latter won three Grammy® awards in 2009. She also recorded Mahler's Fourth Symphony with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra for LSO Live.

Laura Claycomb has appeared in several such high-profile productions that led to live recordings. In 2008, she took part in the daring creation and year-long tournée of Pitié, Alan Platel and Fabrizio Cassol’s dance theater piece based on Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Les Ballets C de la B, recorded for Cypres Records.  She appeared at London’s Barbican Theatre, playing the role of Teresa in Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini  with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Colin Davis; that performance was released on the LSO Live label in 2008. (Ms. Claycomb had previously played—and recorded—Teresa on a 2003 European tour with Sir Roger Norrington and the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR.) Also in 2007, Ms. Claycomb portrayed Anne Trulove in Robert LePage's production of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress in performances in Lyon and Brussels; she solidified this part as one of her signature roles in Olivier Py's 2008 production of the opera at the Garnier Opera in Paris. The Brussels performances were released on DVD in 2008. 
 
Laura Claycomb's extensive studio recording catalog includes Handel's Arcadian Duets with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert D'Astrée, Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the London Sinfonietta and a 2007 Carmina burana with the London Symphony Orchestra and Richard Hickox (Chandos).  Laura Claycomb has also recorded numerous albums of bel canto chamber music and operas with Britain’s Opera Rara label, including Meyerbeer’s L’Esule di Granata, Pacini’s Allessandro nell’Indie, and Thomas’ La Cour de Célimène.  

Laura Claycomb began her career as an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, where she has played over a dozen roles, including Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Marie in La fille du régiment. She first captured international attention when, on short notice, she assumed the role of Giulietta in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Geneva Opera; Ms. Claycomb has since sung that part with the Bastille Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester in Munich. Since her meteoric rise to prominence, Ms. Claycomb has proven herself to be an exceptionally versatile soprano, performing more than 75 roles in dozens of works by composers from Monteverdi to Messiaen.  Her repertoire spans from Drusilla in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, to the great Handel roles (Cleopatra, Morgana, Ginevra, Semele) to Mozart (Königen der Nacht, Konstanze, Ilia), Italian belcanto heroines (Lucia, Marie, Linda di Chamounix, Norina, Adina, Giulietta, Amina, Comtesse Adèle de Formoutiers), French belcanto heroines (Ophélie, Philine, Célimène, the heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffman), 20th-Century repertoire (Anne Trulove, Rossignol, Zerbinetta, Sophie, Gretel) and contemporary composers like Ligeti, Salonen, Susa, Goldenthal, Messiaen, Smirnov and Firsova.
 
Laura Claycomb has collaborated with renowned conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Patrick Summers, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Daniel Oren, Richard Hickox, Franz Welser-Möst, Bruno Campanella, Evalino Pidò, Ulf Schirmer, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Christophe Rousset, Kazushi Ono, Harry Bicket, Emmanuel Villaume, Theodor Currentsis, Jonathan Darlington, Pinchas Steinberg, Paavo Järvi, Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Andrew Davis; and has originated many new productions with high-profile stage directors including Peter Sellars, Julie Taymor, David MacVicar, Keith Warner, William Friedkin, James Robinson, Luca Ronconi, David Pountney and David Alden. She recently won Dallas Opera’s Maria Callas Debut Artist Award, adding to earlier awards such as the Silver Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Pegasus Prize at Spoleto Festival in Italy, the Operetta Prize at the Belvedere Competition in Vienna, and First Prize in the National Opera Association Competition in the U.S. Laura Claycomb has developed a strong interest in the training and nurturing of the next generation of operatic artists and currently serves as consultant for the Bolshoi Young Artist Program and the Centre for Operatic Studies in Sulmona, Italy.  A native of Dallas, Texas and a frequent performer across four continents, Ms. Claycomb lives with her husband in Italy.

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Reviews

"Claycomb projected attractively, her lithe, crystalline soprano audible in even the densest thickets of sound."

San Francisco Classical Voice

"Laura Claycomb sings Zerbinetta with sparkling vivacity and technical virtuosity, making her showpiece aria a dazzling showstopper. Claycomb anchors Zerbinetta’s teasing flirtatiousness with underpinnings of womanly warmth and understanding, all projected with irrepressible zest."

Houston Chronicle

"Claycomb’s love-struck meditations and Gavenelli’s vengeful cries of anguish are breathtaking, but what is even more moving is how well their voices blend in their duets. "

The Daily Campus