Thursday, June 11, 2009

Claire at rehearsal

Claire Barton.
We were delighted to have Claire visit and sing along with the altos on Tuesday. If you don't know yet, Claire will be singing the solo mezzo role in our Anniversary Accolades concert on 4 and 5 July (St Paul's Cathedral).

Claire told me before she left that the Choir is sounding really great!

Here is more about Claire:

Claire Barton is a mezzo soprano born and bred in Dunedin. She has recently completed her Masters of Music in Performance Voice with Isabel Cunningham and Prof. Terence Dennis at the University of Otago. She also has two undergraduate degrees, graduating in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons, 1st class) in English and History and in May 2007 with a MusB (Hons, 1st class) in performance voice. She is a past recipient of the Colin McDonald Memorial Prize (2004), the Muriel Herbert Prize, and the Simon Gibson Memorial Prize (2006) from the Music Department of Otago University and in 2008 received a Postgraduate Award from the University of Otago to continue her performance studies at Masters Level. She was the Dunedin Returned Services Association Vocal Scholar 2004-2006.

In 2006 Claire made her operatic debut with the Dunedin Opera Company, singing the role of Mrs Slender in Salieri's Falstaff. Later in the year, she understudied the title role of Bizet's Carmen in Otago University's professional production.

2007 was a highly successful year for Claire. She won the NZ Opera Society Scholarship at the New Zealand Singing School in Napier in January, was a finalist in the Lexus Song Quest in April, sang the role of Katisha in The Mikado for the Really Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Company in Dunedin in June, and in the space of six weeks in August and September, won the Sealord Aria Contest in Nelson, the Wellington Regional Aria and the Otago Daily Times Aria in her hometown. In November she placed second in the prestigious New Zealand Aria Contest (formerly known as the Lockwood Aria) in Rotorua.

In 2008 she attended the Wanganui Opera School in January. Engagements during the year included Opera on Mokoia Island in Rotorua; Schubert's Mass in A flat major with the City of Dunedin Choir and the Dunedin Youth Orchestra; singing the national anthem of South Africa before a rugby test at Carisbrook; a performance with the St. Kilda Brass Band and performing the role of Mad Margaret in a season of Ruddygore for the Really Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Performance Trust.

Claire also works as a student library assistant at the University of Otago Medical Library, is a consummate cat-lover, and enjoys writing, visiting museums and attending the ballet.

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