Anglo-German contralto Claudia Huckle, praised as a ‘marvel in Mahler with perfect technique’ (BBC Music Magazine), was a Grand Final Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the first female recipient of Operalia’s Birgit Nilsson Prize for singing Wagner. She has since appeared with opera companies and orchestras across Europe and the USA.
Current season highlights include Dritte Dame Die Zauberflöte at the Edinburgh International Festival; Rossini Stabat Mater with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder; 1st Maid Elektra with the Bergen Philharmonic and Kirill Petrenko; her debut at the Bayerischer Staatsoper as The Innkeeper in Boris Godunov; a leading role for the London Handel Festival; 1st Norn Götterdämmerung with the LPO and Vladimir Jurowski; and Verdi Requiem at Cadogan Hall in London.
Claudia recently appeared as Meg Page in Falstaff at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, under Daniele Gatti; and at the Bregenzer Festspiele as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, a role she has also sung for Zurich Opera and Glyndebourne on Tour. She returned to Opéra de Paris for Blumenmädchen/Stimme von Oben in Parsifal, and sang Erda/ Flosshilde in Das Rheingold for the Bregenzer Festspiele. She has also sung Erda for Oper Leipzig, Grand Théâtre de Genève and Opera North. She made her debut at Teatro alla Scala Milan singing Die allwissende Muschel in Strauss Die Ägyptische Helena, conducted by Franz Welser Möst.Read more
Other roles sung on stage include the title role in The Rape of Lucretia and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Glyndebourne On Tour and Glyndebourne Festival respectively; 1st Norn/Flosshilde The Ring at both Teatro Real Madrid and Opéra de Paris; Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel for Garsington Opera and Oper Leipzig; Olga Eugene Onegin for ENO and WNO; Marfa in Khovanshchina for Birmingham Opera Company; Irene in Tamerlano and Smeton in Anna Bolena for Washington National Opera; and Dalila in Samson et Dalila for the Chelsea Opera Group. For the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden she has sung Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Schwertleite/1st Norn in The Ring and Mérope in Oedipe.
Claudia’s notable concert appearances in Baroque and Classical repertoire include Haydn Paukenmesse at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Zubin Mehta; Mozart Requiem at the 2021 BBC Proms; Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Rouen Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the RPO, LPO and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; Bach St John Passion with the Ulster Orchestra; Bach St Matthew Passion with the Dunedin Consort and on tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She has sung Handel’s Messiah with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Trevor Pinnock, with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC.
Claudia’s performances of Mahler include Symphony No. 2 with the Boston Philharmonic, and under Myung Whun Chung at both the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and at the Festival de Saint-Denis with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Symphony No. 3 with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia; Symphony No. 8 with the RPO and for her 2018 Proms debut with the BBC NOW; Kindertotenlieder with the BBCSSO; and Rückert Lieder with the Britten Sinfonia and the RSNO. Claudia recently recorded Mahler Das Lied von der Erde in the composer’s own arrangement for piano, with the conductor and pianist Justin Brown and tenor Nicky Spence on the Champs Hill Records label.
Claudia’s performances of Elgar include Dream of Gerontius and Sea Pictures with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder; Sea Pictures with the BBC NOW; and The Apostles at Three Choirs Festival.
Claudia has also sung Delius A Mass of Life with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder; (recording due in 2024) Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noel with the Netherlands Radio Philarmonic Orchestra; Mendelssohn Elijah with the BBCSO and Sakari Oramo; Schubert Mass in A flat and Beethoven Choral Fantasy with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester; Verdi Requiem at King’s Chapel, Cambridge; Flosshilde in Götterdämmerung with Sir Andrew Davis at the Edinburgh Festival; Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Brahms Alto Rhapsody with the Northern Sinfonia and Lars Vogt; and Schwertleite in Die Walküre with the Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.
Claudia studied at the Royal College of Music in London, the New England Conservatory in Boston, and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera and was a member of the ensemble at Oper Leipzig for four seasons.
“Most striking of all was the young contralto Claudia Huckle as Marfa, battered between religious and political forces. Mussorgsky gives her a substantial role and Huckle accomplished it magnificently: genuine, graceful and touching- hers is one of the richest, most beautiful contralto voices I’ve heard in years.”
“Behind Claudia Huckle’s compelling Lucretia one really can sense the distant presence of Kathleen Ferrier, the great contralto for whom this role was written; Huckle’s performance is finely judged, with its climax all the more thoughtprovoking for being understated – this Lucretia’s post-rape ‘shame’ is existential.”
“Claudia Huckle’s sensational, dark-burgundy alto was a standout among the women, her spellbinding ‘Erbarme Dich’ seeming to float around Matthew Truscott’s dusky violin line.”
“Stunning new recording”.
“…perfect technique, deep expression and unique vocal personalities combine…”