Frequently praised for a colourful, flexible voice and graceful stage presence, Canadian soprano Layla Claire has recently expanded her repertoire with a highly successful role debut as Handel’s Alcina at Karlsruhe Händel-Festspiele, conducted by Andreas Spering. This marked Claire’s return to Karlsruhe after her first foray into Handel there in 2015, as Tusnelda (Arminio), which brought her universal acclaim as “a wonderful discovery” (Der Neue Merkur), and now released commercially by Decca Classics.
Her 2019/20 season continued Layla’s Handel theme with the new production of Belshazzar at Opernhaus Zürich, conducted by Laurence Cummings, followed by a return to the title role of Alcina with Staatsoper Hamburg. She will also make her debut as Rodelinda with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in July 2020.
Highlights of past opera seasons include a debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Sandrina in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera broadcast throughout Europe on ARTE, bringing the soprano immediate European attention, and leading to a re-engagement with the Festival for a production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and, most recently a role debut as Cathering Earnshaw in Opéra National de Lorraine’s production of Wuthering Heights by Herrmann.
Layla Claire was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Program, making her debut there as Tebaldo (Don Carlo) under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She has since returned to The Met’s stage 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 in The Rake’s Progress. Layla released her solo album, ‘Songbird’, in 2017; Opera News, in review, described her soprano as “one of the most heartwarmingly beautiful around”.
“The stand-out vocal presence was Layla Claire… a rich dramatic soprano oozing with class and possibility.”
“Claire fielding some glorious tones in her upper register that drew bravos from the opening night crowd.”