Clare McCaldin
Photo: Ben McKee

Clare McCaldin is a lyric mezzo-soprano whose presence in performance marks her out as a communicator of outstanding quality on the dramatic stage and concert platform. She is a powerful creative influence, as an interpreter of existing repertoire or commissioning and premiering new music.

She enjoys a busy concert schedule, working with pianists such as Libby Burgess, Iain Burnside, Andrew West and Paul Turner. Committed to chamber music collaboration of all kinds, Clare’s work in this area ranges from commissions with the Brodsky Quartet and Walton’s Facade, to baroque works with La Réjouissance and the Le Page Ensemble.

Clare’s discography includes plenty of mezzo-soprano repertoire written especially for her, notably Stephen McNeff’s Madrigali dell’Estate and Vivienne, as well as works by Hugh Wood and Ned Rorem. She has also recorded the role of Miss Tina in Michael Hurd’s The Aspern Papers and Mrs Fairfax/Hannah in John Joubert’s Jane Eyre.

Photo: Ben McKee

Clare is particularly committed to the promotion and performance of contemporary vocal music and through her company McCaldin Arts continues to commission and develop new work. With the pianist Libby Burgess, she has premiered and recorded works by Stephen McNeff. Clare has also devised the narrated entertainments Haydn’s London Ladies and Over My Shoulder, which contextualise existing repertoire in new ways.

Through McCaldin Arts Clare has created three solo shows. Two of these feature music by Stephen McNeff: A Voice of One Delight and the critically-acclaimed Vivienne, (5 stars in the Evening Standard). Her latest one-woman show, Mary’s Hand, examines the reputation and life of Queen Mary I, and also attracted excellent reviews, including 5 stars from the Independent.

Clare was born in Liverpool and studied Modern Languages and History of Art while a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, but began her professional life in advertising and arts administration before becoming a professional singer.

In concert Clare has sung with the Academy of Ancient Music, Philharmonia Orchestra, Die Kölner Akademie, the Northern Sinfonia, the choir of King’s College, The Three Choirs Festival, Barokksolistene, the Orchestra of the Golden Age, English Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Chamber Orchestra. She made her solo debut at the 2012 BBC Proms in Debussy’s Martyrdom of St Sebastian with the BBCSO/Knussen, which also opened the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival.

Clare as Fox,
Ryedale Festival, 2011

In operatic repertoire, Clare has sung Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Meg Page (Falstaff), Oreste (La Belle Helene), Dorabella Örsze (Hary Janos), as well as Dido, Dorabella, Second Lady, Orlovsky, Siebel, Hansel, Véronique (Le Docteur Miracle), Flora and Mrs Peacham. Her contemporary repertoire roles include the Stardust Seller (Stephen McNeff’s The Gentle Giant), the Mezzo Actor (Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera) and Mezzo Cautioner (Errollyn Wallen’s Cautionary Tales), as well as works in development at ROH, Opera North, WNO and Aldeburgh Music.

Among her broader repertoire are movement-based projects including William Tuckett’s The Wind in the Willows and Pinocchio, The Silver Swan with the Clod Ensemble and a devised project through McCaldin Arts supported by Rambert. She has also collaborated with Dr Toby Young at the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and at the Edward Said Business School.