Native Texan LAURA CLAYCOMB excels in adventurous repertoire, ranging from Baroque music and bel canto masterpieces to 20th-century and contemporary compositions at major opera and concert venues. Her delicacy, refinement, and theatricality in high-flying repertoire make her one of the foremost lyric coloraturas of her generation. Her signature roles have taken her around the world to the major opera houses and orchestras. She made her debut at La Scala in 1998 singing the title role in Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix and at the Salzburg Festival in 1997 as Amanda in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Peter Sellars. She recorded Le Grand Macabre with Salonen on Sony; Sir John in Love of Vaughan Williams with Richard Hickox on Chandos; Handel’s Arcadian duets with French Baroque conductor Emmanuelle Haïm on EMI/Virgin; and La Partenza, featuring Laura in bel canto chamber songs, duets, and ensembles with pianist David Harper and various artists on the Opera Rara label. She also recorded as soloist in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Laura Claycomb also has a busy concert schedule with premier orchestras and conductors, as well as a burgeoning recital career. She sang the world premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images after Sappho, with Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at the Ojai Festival, with the London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and at Carnegie Hall with Ensemble Sospeso. She also sang the Angel in Debussy’s Le Martyre de St. Sebastien with Salonen and with the Stockholm Radio Orchestra in Stockholm, under Richard Hickox. She has sung in concert with the Ensemble Modern in Japan and with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis in Moscow.
Laura Claycomb made her debut at the Blossom Festival with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst in Carmina Burana and most recently performed with the same orchestra Bach’s Lutheran Mass in F again under Welser-Möst. Laura also sang in Carmina Burana at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Frühbeck de Burgos and in Cincinnati with the Cincinnati Symphony under Paavo Järvi. With the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas – after very successful concerts in repertoire by Schoenberg, Wagner, and Toch – she has sung Mahler’s Second, Fourth, and Eighth Symphonies (Nos. 4 & 8 issued on CD on the orchestra’s own label), Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and Strauss’ Brentano Lieder, and the Brahms Requiem, and she sang French repertoire with the New York Philharmonic under Bramwell Tovey. With the London Symphony Orchestra she sang Mahler’s Second Symphony under Andrew Davis; Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini under Sir Colin Davis, released on CD on the LSO Live label; Mahler’s Fourth Symphony under Valery Gergiev, also released on the LSO Live label; Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel under Richard Hickox; and Carmina Burana, which was released on CD by Chandos.
Laura Claycomb’s recordings for Opera Rara include Offenbach arias; Pacini’s Alessandro Nell’Indie, which she also sang in concert in London at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane; and La Comtesse in Ambroise Thomas’ La Cour de Celimène.
Operatic engagements in the 2011/12 season included a revival of Medée in the role of Dircé at La Monnaie under Christophe Rousset, directed by Krysztof Warlikowski, and in Switzerland the role of Constanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Grand Théâtre de Geneva under Jonathan Darlington. A busy concert season included a performance of Carmina Burana with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and numerous concert performances under Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Laura Claycomb lives in Europe. She trained at Southern Methodist University, where she received two bachelor’s degrees in Music and Foreign Languages, and at the San Francisco Opera Center, where she was an Adler Fellow from 1991 to 1994. Early recognition included a silver medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1994 and the operetta prize at the Belvedere Competition in Vienna in 1992.