At the centre of it all, holding the stage with girlish, flickering fingers and a pitiless thrust of the chin is mezzo-soprano Clare McCaldin… an outstanding singing-actress.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Alexandra Coghlan reviewing Mary’s Hand for The Independent (2018). Click here to read full review
Written specially for the mezzo-soprano performing the role, Clare McCaldin, Mary’s part deftly moves between spoken word and sung passages. It’s a performance that’s somehow both handsomely relaxed and precision-sharp
Adrian Ainsworth reviewing Mary’s Hand for Specs Blog (2018). Click here to read full review
This is a powerful disc, and McCaldin demonstrates the wide range and adaptability of her voice across such a broad range of repertoire, but it is in Vivienne that her dramatic abilities are most impressively in evidence.
Nick Boston on Notes from the Asylum in Classical Notes, August 2016
richly sung, richly imaginative
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Rebecca Franks on Notes from the Asylum in BBC Music Magazine, July 2016 (August edition)
Clare McCaldin shows how she is able to shape and control her voice to draw so much from each song, following the subtle nuances of each text to deliver the most remarkable performances.
Bruce Reader on Notes from the Asylum in The Classical Reviewer, June 2016
Vivienne is a remarkable tour-de-force, in the flesh the piece is highly theatrical but this new disc does really capture the brilliance of McNeff and Rashleigh’s recapturing of Vivienne Eliott’s point of view. The whole recital puts together an interesting sidelong view on madness, combining both fictional characters and real experience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Robert Hugill on Notes from the Asylum in Planet Hugill, June 2016
McNeff delivers an unpredictable yet instantly appealing score… Andy Rashleigh’s libretto is allusive and witty… All is delivered by catty, horny McCaldin, all with a sheen of barmy. It’s a far better performance than we’re entitled to from someone who can also sing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Kieron Quirke on Vivienne for The Evening Standard
Clare McCaldin performed fantastically… It’s rare that a one-woman show can be so clever and funny without dragging towards the end
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Kate Mason on Vivienne for One Stop Arts
This year Tête à Tête has found a treasure in Vivienne – a monologue-opera for mezzo and piano by Stephen McNeff… The work was elegantly performed by Clare McCaldin and pianist Elizabeth Burgess and deserves a rich concert life after this.
Alexandra Coghlan on Vivienne for The New Statesman (Sept 2013 print edition)
the show has great pace and energy… McCaldin Arts have given her a voice
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Wendy Thomson on Vivienne for Female Arts
The work is perhaps lighter than McCaldin and McNeff’s previous collaboration, A Voice of One Delight… But McNeff and McCaldin built the piece into a powerful conclusion as we gradually left popular music behind… McCaldin gave a remarkable performance. Remarkable perhaps because in its complete identification with Vivienne and its intensity she made you forget that this was sung at all and the work became simply drama of the most involving kind.
Robert Hugill of Planet Hugill, on Vivienne
brilliantly backlit cameos of sand and tide, shore and slimy estuary… sung here by with real commitment and imagination.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Hilary Finch on Madrigali dell’Estate for BBC Music Magazine, July 2013
McCaldin is superb with wonderful control and accuracy… (her) upper mezzo range is terrific… superbly accomplished singing.
The Classical Reviewer on Madrigali dell’Estate, June 2013
This is a daring and striking disc, wonderfully enterprising in its repertoire and superb in execution. For anyone interested in modern song-writing, the disc is a must.
Robert Hugill, of Planet Hugill March 2013, on Madrigali dell’Estate
The string trio provide shimmering scene-setting, over which McCaldin’s smooth, sustained vocal lines sail. There is less of the jerky, recitative here, with more expressive and melismatic phrases, giving McCaldin’s full voice more chance to bloom…I really enjoyed this disc, and it provides a great showcase for both singer and composer.
Nick Boston, of Nick’s Classical Notes March 2013, reviewing Madrigali dell’Estate
Clare McCaldin sang with intensity and commitment
Stephen Walsh reviewing the premiere of Beginnings: Three Early Songs by Hugh Wood, at theartsdesk.com
Clare McCaldin’s fine delivery of Hugh Wood’s new song cycle Beginnings
Clare Stevens reviewing the same concert in Classical Music Magazine Riccardo Simonetti’s Janos and Clare McCaldin’s Orsze were the stars
David Cairns reviewing Hary Janos in Opera magazine
From the first moment, Clare McCaldin lived within, and drew us into, the atmosphere, the emotion and the meaning of each song. She was in command of a natural, ringing voice of great range of pitch, tone and dynamics, always at the service of the music. Gesture and expression of a natural actor were integral to the interpretation.
Howard Layfield reviewing Hexham Abbey Festival recital
Clare McCaldin stands out in the dramatic colour offered by her scene
The Stage, reviewing The Gentle Giant