Layla Claire
Soprano

“A highly individual timbre with lustre and brilliance” (Der Neue Merkur, April 2016)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Georgina Wheatley +44 (0)20 3725 9185

Biography

Canadian soprano Layla Claire received the Prix des Amis d’Aix-en-Provence for best Mozart performance for her European debut as Sandrina (La finta giardiniera) at the 2012 Festival, and has since made debuts at Opernhaus Zürich as the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, at Glyndebourne Festival as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), and as Handel’s Tusnelda (Arminio) at the Karlsruhe Handelfestpiele. In the summer of 2016, Layla Claire debuted at the Salzburger Festspiele as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), conducted by Alain Altinoglu.

Canadian soprano Layla Claire received the Prix des Amis d’Aix-en-Provence for best Mozart performance for her European debut as Sandrina (La finta giardiniera) at the 2012 Festival, and has since made debuts at Opernhaus Zürich as the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, at Glyndebourne Festival as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), and as Handel’s Tusnelda (Arminio) at the Karlsruhe Handelfestpiele. In the summer of 2016, Layla Claire debuted at the Salzburger Festspiele as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), conducted by Alain Altinoglu.

An exciting season lies ahead for Layla Claire including Donna Elvira for Opernhaus Zürich and Opéra de Montréal, and her debut with Opera Philadelphia as Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro). A former member of their young artist programme, Layla Claire enjoys a strong association with New York’s Metropolitan Opera where she has performed a number of roles, most recently Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), and returning this season as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte).

An accomplished and experienced concert singer, Layla has worked with major conductors including Tilson Thomas, Nézet-Séguin and Haitink in an expansive repertoire that includes works by Mahler, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Dvořák.

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Georgina Wheatley +44 (0)20 3725 9185

Reviews

“Layla Claire’s fast vibrato beautifully suited the heartbroken Countess.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2017)

“The most impressive artist is Layla Claire, who sang a vehement Donna Elvira with beautiful roundness” (L’Avant-Scène Opéra, November 2016)

“Canadian soprano Layla Claire as Donna Elvira displayed an arresting stage presence coupled with a solid vocal technique. There was real fury in the B flats in “Ah, chi mi dice mai” and smoothly executed roulades in “Mi tradi”. The proceeding accompanied recitative was particularly moving.” (Bachtrack, August 2016)

“Layla Claire’s fast vibrato beautifully suited the heartbroken Countess.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2017)

“The most impressive artist is Layla Claire, who sang a vehement Donna Elvira with beautiful roundness” (L’Avant-Scène Opéra, November 2016)

“Canadian soprano Layla Claire as Donna Elvira displayed an arresting stage presence coupled with a solid vocal technique. There was real fury in the B flats in “Ah, chi mi dice mai” and smoothly executed roulades in “Mi tradi”. The proceeding accompanied recitative was particularly moving.” (Bachtrack, August 2016)

“Layla Claire as Donna Elvira was a lovely discovery. A luminous, powerful soprano who brings much intensity to Elvira, along with dramatic depth.” (Kronen Zeitung, August 2016)

“Donna Elvira, powerful and sentient, was dramatically and impressively sung by soprano Layla Claire” (BR-Klassik, August 2016)

“Layla Claire was wonderful as Donna Elvira with her blossoming soprano timbre” (Kleine Zeitung, August 2016)

“Layla Claire convinced vocally and dramatically as Donna Elvira, bringing true dramatic passion to the role and successfully soaring over the orchestra in her most moving moments.” (Dreh Punkt Kultur, August 2016)

“Canadian soprano Layla Claire, in her first Handel role on stage. She impressed with powerful, golden tone, smooth fioriture and scintillating high notes.” (Opera Magazine, July 2016)

“Canadian soprano Layla Claire makes her commercial studio recording debut here as Arminio’s wife Tusnelda. It’s a quality, middleweight voice, promising much for the future, with a darkness at the lower end that anchors the brilliance at the top.” (Gramophone, April 2016)

“Layla Claire uses her powerful lyric soprano to create a touching Tusenlda. Between total resignation and internal heroic rebellion, she portrays the full breadth of her character.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 2016)

“Layla Claire impresses as Tusnelda with a splendid top and virtuosic coloratura.” (Esslinger Zeitung, April 2016)

“Layla Claire as Tusnelda brings lyrical polish and a bright soprano tone to her arias as well as soul-stirring expression.” (Rheinpfalz, April 2016)

“Layla Claire as Tusnelda was a wonderful discovery. She has an agile soprano that can cope with all of the pitfalls of the score…a highly individual timbre with luster and brilliance” (Der Neue Merkur, April 2016)

“Claire sings attractively and often ravishingly…Many are the Händel heroines who would benefit from Claire’s singing, but her Tusnelda is a particularly valuable addition to the discography.” (Voix des Arts, April 2016)

And “a highly individual timbre with lustre and brilliance” to be her new hero quote please.

“Layla Claire as Tusnelda brings a radiant, flexible coloratura soprano” (Online Musik Magazin, February 2016)

“Layla Claire as Tusnelda impresses with her splendid top and virtuosic coloratura.” (Musik Heute, February 2016)

“The singing was consistently superb. In particular, the Canadian soprano Layla Claire as Tusnelda” (Die Welt, February 2016)

“Layla Claire is a dignified Tusnelda, masterfully avoiding the many pitfalls that Handel writes for his singers. She gives a delightful, touching and radiant performance.” (Forum Opéra, February 2016)

“Layla Claire’s Blanche de La Force, perhaps the finest embodiment of this elusive character I’ve seen and heard in my four decades of Dialogues...Claire, in her shimmering, pellucid light-lyric soprano, her pale elegance and balletic physical grace, kept reminding me of Duval without seeming in any way a copy. She limned Blanche’s progress from a timid whisper of a girl toward a woman resolutely embracing her “easy death” with exceptional persuasion.” (Opera Canada, May 2015)

“The soprano Layla Claire was sweet-toned and nimble as Anne Trulove, growing in both vocal stature and pathos throughout the evening. Her aria “No Word from Tom” showcased the kaleidoscopic colors of her top notes.” (New York Times, May 2015)

“As Anne, Layla Claire was radiant as she apostrophized the night and the moon in her ‘No word from Tom’, ending with a sustained high C, and she was sweet and caring the ‘Gently, little boat’ lullaby to Tom in Bedlam.” (Classical Source, May 2015)

“Soprano Layla Claire conveys the purity of Anne’s character and also sings angelically.” (Epoch Times, May 2015)

“Claire was powerfully moving as she sang “Gently, little boat” to Tom in the asylum.” (New York Classical Review, May 2015)

“At the end of her act one aria, Claire hit a ringing high C, upon her decision to pursue the wayward Tom.” (The Guardian, May 2015)

“Layla Claire applied her sweet soprano and poignant persona happily to the hapless duties of Anne Trulove.” (Financial Times, May 2015)

“As Blanche, Layla Claire, in her company debut, showed a strong, warm soprano that gave definition to a complicated role.” (Washington Post, February 2015)

“Soprano Layla Claire, as Sister Blanche, has a bright, clear timbre that gives Blanche a sweetly innocent quality as she reacts to the swirl of events around her” (Washington City Paper, February 2015)

“Soprano Layla Claire truly shines with some of the most lyrical material in the score.” (Broadway World, February 2015)

“Layla Claire’s elegant Donna Anna boasts diamante coloratura and is alertly communicative in the recitatives” (John Allison, Daily Telegraph, August 2014)

“Layla Claire’s Donna Anna dominates through the size of her voice and the electric current that runs through it” (Financial Times, July 2014)

“The tall blonde Claire has a ravishing soprano voice of trumpet-like clarity with creamy tragic colourings, and she comports herself with a stillness that gives a real moral intensity to Anna’s ambiguity about her boyfriend Ottavio” (Ismene Brown, Arts Desk, June 2014)

“The stand-out vocal presence was Layla Claire…whose Donna Anna revealed a rich dramatic soprano…oozing with class and possibility” (The Guardian, June 2014)

“Layla Claire was a wonderful Fiordiligi…acting and singing her role with humour when needed, depth when called for. Her second act aria, “Per pieta”, was superb.” (Globe & Mail, January 2014)

“Claire fielding some glorious tones in her upper register that drew bravos from the opening night crowd” (Toronto Star, January 2014)

“Soprano Layla Claire made her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Pamina, and I hope she’ll come back soon…Her voice was big and rich throughout, made all the better by strong acting, pinpoint accuracy and fine control, particularly in her second act aria.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 2013)

“Soprano [Layla] Claire has an exceptionally appealing voice in her middle and upper registers – clean and clear with just the right amount of warmth. She retains tonal luster up to the high B flats and has ample agility.” (TribLIVE.com, November 2013)

“the supreme performance was Layla Claire as the Countess. Her glorious purity of tone was complemented by body language and glances that expressed her feelings to perfection. She seems to have had fine ballet training, and her very few dance moves were excellent. This Canadian singer has been a young artist at the Met in New York and is clearly someone to watch out for.” (Mark Ronan’s Theatre Reviews, October 2012)

“Among the singers, slim, red-haired Layla Claire made the biggest impression as Mařenka, the bartered bride. She is a talented, affecting actress, both flirting and sorrowing, and her voice has a Central European sort of vibrato and a winning, plangent smoothness and rose on occasion to an opulent high C.” John Yohalem, Opera Today, November 2011

Claire, who has also appeared with Levine at Tanglewood, sang with a beautifully resonant, iridescent voice that is sure to destine her for a significant career. She also showed a wonderful grasp of the role’s different facets. For instance, in her duet with the hapless Vasek, she deftly balances a slightly mischievous side in trying to convince him that Mařenka is a shrew and would cheat on him (he thinks she is someone else) with a genuineness that earns his trust. And Claire made an emotional high point of the tender aria near the end, when Mařenka thinks (wrongly) that Jenik has betrayed her, which she followed up with some convincingly assertive singing in confronting him.” (George Loomis, The Classical Review, November 2011)

“Perky and with big, expressive ees, her long red hair commanding attention, she displayed an exciting, bright tone and shimmering piano notes, and her third-act aria of lament was thrilling.” (Ronald Blum, The Associated Press, November 2011)

“Layla Claire was a lovely Mařenka, with a winning presence and a delicately, delectably shimmering voice that more than once called to mind Pilar Lorengar, who was my very first, and still most cherishable, bartered bride.” (Opera Canada, November 2011)

“Layla Claire is clearly meant for great things. The Canadian soprano possesses a rich, luminous instrument and her sensitive, expressive singing consistently illuminated the text, with supremely affecting vocalism” (Chicago Classical Review)

“Soprano Layla Claire was the quintessential Susanna. Her bright soprano rang true and she was perfection in this role. Her last solo in Act IV, “Deh vieni non tardar”, was sung beautifully.” (Rex Hearn, Palm Beach Artspaper, March 2009)

“Canadian Layla Claire’s beautifully balanced soprano, enriched with a seductive depth of tone, served her thoughtful characterization of the more serious, morally-minded [Fiordiligi] well…a truly memorable resonance, and her expressively phrased and probing “Ei parti, sento!” and “Per pietà, ben mio perdona” earned her a warm ovation from the audience. Ms. Claire is an outstanding young singer, and I would be surprised if we don’t see her often on major stages in the future.” (Berkshire Fine Arts, August 2007)

Discography