Claire Booth

Claire Booth


Representation: General Management

Photo: Sven Arnstein


British Soprano Claire Booth is known internationally for her commitment to an astonishing breadth of repertoire, together with the vitality and musicianship she brings to performance. A graduate of the University of Oxford, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio, Claire has performed with Welsh National Opera, Garsington Opera, English National Opera and with the Royal Opera. She enjoys a busy concert schedule, having delivered numerous world premieres by composers including Elliot Carter, Oliver Knussen, George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle and Ryan Wigglesworth, and performed with the Boston Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Hallé, Mahler Chamber, City of Birmingham Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras. In recital Claire has appeared at Wigmore Hall, and at the Holland, Lucerne, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals.


Full Biography

British soprano Claire Booth has become internationally renowned both for her commitment to an extraordinary breadth of repertoire, and for the vitality and musicianship that she brings to the operatic stage and concert platform. A regular contributor to the Aldeburgh Festival, Claire enjoyed a close collaboration with the late Oliver Knussen, and was the soprano soloist for many of his works, including the world premiere of ‘O Hototogisu’.  With a growing reputation in contemporary repertoire and the performance of new works, in her 16/17 season Claire returned to the Aldeburgh Festival for a revival of David Pountney’s production of La voix humaine, which won critical acclaim when performed with WNO in conjunction with Cardiff’s Festival of The Voice in 2016.

Operatic highlights include Rosina in Welsh National Opera’s new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Elcia in Rossini’s Mose in Egitto and Pakati in Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream (Welsh National Opera), the title role in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen (Garsington Opera), which met with widespread critical acclaim, George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s  Into the Little Hill in a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and The Opera Group, Rosina in The Barber of Seville and Dorinda in Handel’s Orlando (Scottish Opera); Nora in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea (English National Opera), La Comtesse in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory (Chelsea Opera Group) and a concert performance of Handel’s Serse with the Early Opera Company at St John’s Smith Square.

Her numerous concert appearances have resulted in close associations with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Proms, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Aldeburgh and Holland Festivals. Further highlights and debut appearances include with the Berlin Deutsche Symphonie, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. For more than a decade she has collaborated with video director Netia Jones to produce a series of critically acclaimed productions. These include her performances of Georg Friedrich Haas’ Atthis (ROH), Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments (ROH), Max in Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are and Rhoda in Higglety, Pigglety, Pop, which toured from the Aldeburgh Festival, via the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a further debut under Gustavo Dudamel, to the Barbican’s own 60th birthday celebrations for the composer.  Further appearances include Birtwistle’s Chorales from a Toy Shop, with the Birmingham Contemporary Music, Luigi Rossi’s Oratorio per la Settimana Santa with Christian Curnyn, works by Wigglesworth and Knussen with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ravel chamber works with the Nash Ensemble at London’s Wigmore Hall, Britten’s On this Island in the opening concert of New Paths Music Festival in Beverley and a recital with Christopher Glynn at the Bath International Festival.

Claire’s most recent CD release features folk songs by Percy Grainger, accompanied by Christopher Glynn (Avie Records). She has also recorded diverse works by Ryan Wigglesworth and the Hallé Orchestra, including his Augenlieder of which she sang the world premiere. Others recordings include Lucia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia (EMI), Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream, John Eccles’ The Judgement of Paris and works by Oliver Knussen, Jonathan Dove and Charlotte Bray.

In the 2017/18 season Claire performed the London premiere of Oliver Knussen’s O Hototogisu! with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in a programme curated and conducted by Oliver Knussen, as part of London Symphony Orchestra’s ‘This is Rattle’ series celebrating Sir Simon Rattle’s inaugural season as Musical Director of the LSO. Claire also sang both Oliver Knussen’s Songs for Sue and Ryan Wigglesworth Augenlieder with the Remix Ensemble and Orquestra Sinfónica in Porto, Portugal, conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. Furthering her work with the BBC orchestras, last season Claire made recordings of Drei Bruchstücke from Wozzeck with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Australian conductor Simone Young, and sang Les Illuminations with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for a tour across Scotland. She also appeared on BBC Radio 3 as part of their ongoing ‘Inside Music’ series.

Appearances in 2018-19 so far have included Mrs Foran in a concert performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, O Hototogisu! with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, concerts with pianist Julius Drake and Music Network Ireland in Dublin, Wexford and Sligo. Upcoming performances include the title role in Handel’s Berenice, a co-production between the Royal Opera House and the London Handel Festival, Nitocris Belshazzar at The Grange Festival, as well as performances with NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, and the Nash Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall. Claire will also work with composers and a chamber group of young professionals in a composition course as part of the Britten-Pears Young Artist programme at Snape Maltings.

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Tom Wood



WW1 Centenary

November 8th, 2018

Claire Booth and Mark Le Brocq perform Turnage’s pacifist opera ‘The Silver Tassie’ to mark Armistice Day

Read More

Claire Booth sings Les Illuminations

April 18th, 2018

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra perform Britten

Read More

Claire Booth and Christopher Glynn

April 11th, 2017

New recording of the folk music of Percy Grainger

Read More

Claire Booth – In the recording Studio

March 3rd, 2017

Percy Grainger: Folk Music, Avie Records – due for release in April 2017. Claire Booth (soprano) and Christopher Glynn explore Grainger’s folk music output.  Claire’s and Christopher’s survey, one of the most comprehensive available on the market today, offers a variety of transcriptions of songs found in collections from the British Isles as well asRead more ›

Read More

Wales Theatre Awards Shortlist

February 16th, 2017

Two Hazard Chase sopranos shortlisted for the 2017 awards

Read More


Benjamin A MIND OF WINTER (BBC Philharmonic)

“Another early musical landscape — the chilly Wallace Stevens setting A Mind of Winter — displayed Benjamin’s punctilious command of intricate texures on a smaller scale. It also showed that in 1981 he hadn’t yet learnt how to write vocal lines that allow every word to be heard. Even with the super-skilled Claire Booth singing, the text of Stevens’s poem stayed a beautiful blur.”
Geoff Brown, The Times, 24th January 2019

Birtwistle THREE SONGS FOR THE HOLY FOREST (Aldeburgh Festival)
“the unfailingly eloquent and precise Claire Booth”

Debussy arr. Boulez CHANSONS DE BILITIS (Aldeburgh Festival)
“ravishing aphorisms wrapped sensuously around Booth’s equally beguiling recitations.”
Andrew Clements, The Guardian (June 2018)

Read More

Britten LES ILLUMINATION – BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
“Britten’s Rimbaud settings, Les Illuminations, a pivotal work in his personal life as well as his catalogue, concluded that first half, with soprano Claire Booth – a singer often heard tackling the most challenging contemporary music – on fine form”
Keith Bruce, The Herald Scotland (April 2018)

“Booth gave a radiant, rapturous, wonderfully nuanced performance, adjusting her sound from piercing purity through to luscious richness to respond to Rimbaud’s hallucinatory texts – and there was always a delicious sense of danger behind her unsettling declamations.”
David Kettle, The Scotsman (April 2018)

Read More

Percy Grainger FOLK MUSIC (Avie)

“This joyous collection from soprano Claire Booth and pianist Christopher Glynn explores Grainger’s stunning folk song output with great verve and passion, revealing English folk music as an incredibly alluring, multifaceted genre. One of the most comprehensive surveys available on the market today, it’s a perfect album for seasoned Grainger enthusiasts and curious newcomers alike.”
Eva Mackevic, Reader’s Digest (Apr 2017)

Rossini LE COMTE ORY – Chelsea Opera Group

“[Claire Booth] despatched Rossini’s fiendishly difficult vocal parts with panache and elegance…  Her coloratura was agile and precise.”
Claire Seymour, Opera Magazine (Sept 2016)

Read More

Poulenc LA VOIX HUMAINE Elle – Welsh National Opera at Beachcliffe Apartments, June 2016

“Claire Booth sang L with overwhelming emotional conviction… Booth was volatile, raw and brave… The power of Booth’s performance made L’s plight feel uncomfortably real; the rules of theatre left us powerless to help.”
Rebecca Franks, The Times

“La Voix Humaine is one of the hardest tests for a soprano and in this new production Claire Booth makes it wholly unforgettable… With Booth’s expressiveness so intense, the colours of the voice so beautiful, this doesn’t feel virtual but all too real.”
Rian Evans, The Guardian

“Soprano extraordinaire Claire Booth… enacts with wringing plausibility a transition from gracious hostess to desperate would-be suicide.”
Steph Power, The Independent

“Claire Booth’s virtuoso portrayal of the betrayed woman at the heart of Poulenc’s one act opera will linger long in the consciousness”
Rian Evans, Opera Magazine (August 2016)

Rossini THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Rosina – Welsh National Opera, February 2016

“But the star turn is Claire Booth, very much a soprano Rosina, supremely happy and precise in Rossini’s high-lying alternatim coloratura[…] always personable, easy on the eye, and above all clever at suggesting a certain vulnerability behind her quick-witted, minxish exterior.”
The Arts Desk

“With a mostly male cast, Claire Booth in the female role of Rosina carries much on her back in a part that can make or break any performance of this opera.  Booth has a soaring soprano that copes seemingly effortlessly with Rosina’s difficult arias but she aces in what must have been a most difficult task.  I refer to the fact that she sang the part in WNO’s 2011 production of the opera, which was a different ball game altogether.  The multi-talented Booth is possibly one of the few operatic stars in today’s firmament who can pull it off.”
The Reviews Hub

“Sparky coloratura”
The Guardian

“Nico Darmanin fairly skipped around the stage trilling with coloratura cheekiness… matched by Claire Booth’s sparkling soprano Rosina.”
Wales Online

“[Booth] navigates Rossini’s fioritura with shivery precision and citrus-sharp applications of messa di voce”
The Spectator

Concert with Aurora Orchestra / Nicholas Collon at Wigmore Hall, London, July  2015

“Claire Booth…display[ed] her intense yet beguiling soprano, which is always so very comfortable with the ‘new’.”
Kenneth Carter, Classical Source

“Booth’s easily expressive voice”
Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Concert with Nash Ensemble at Wigmore Hall, March 2015

“Claire Booth’s radiant soprano and impeccable avant-garde musicianship was displayed to good effect.”
Richard Morrison, The Times

Georg Friedrich Haas ATTHIS – Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio, April 2015

“Booth is an intensely watchable performer, responsible for translating so many contemporary works into emotional language an audience can understand. Here she tackled Haas’s extreme vocal writing with complete conviction.”
Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk

Janacek CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN – Garsington Opera, June 2014

“Booth’s Vixen is so vibrantly sung, and her own love affair with her Fox so charmingly staged (a first date where you forget your table manners — we’ve all done it) that one of opera’s most multifaceted heroines is still allowed to bewitch us.”
Neil Fisher, The Times

“Claire Booth is a marvellously vital Vixen, singing and playing with an energy that makes her the life-force of the opera.”
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

“Claire Booth heads up a fabulous cast with a knockout performance in the title role. Her voice is well suited to choppy writing, but her command of the role’s irrepressible passion exceeds even high expectations, and the scene in which she reflects on having found a true mate is almost unbearably moving.”

Guy Dammann, The Guardian

“Claire Booth is a riveting revelation in the title role, her spirited Czech inflections ringing out at every turn. We can’t take our eyes off her captivating personage from the minute she sits down wistfully in the first scene. As she explodes into life, her tongue-in-cheek feminism goes vivaciously hand in glove with killer instincts.”
David Nice, The Arts Desk

“Claire Booth’s Vixen is beyond compare, both in the way she moves and acts, and in the soaring beauty of her sound.”
Michael Church, The Independent

Gyorgy Kurtag KAFTA FRAGMENTS – Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio, April 2013

“An epoch-making performance…Her voice blazes with energy and subsides in exhausted despair. It’s a real tour de force. She has done nothing finer.” *****
Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“…when your director is a video artist as resourceful and inventive as Netia Jones, and when your soprano has the charisma and versatility of Claire Booth, you get a very heady brew.”
Michael Church, The Independent

Craig Armstrong / Zoë Strachan THE LADY FROM THE SEA – Scottish Opera, August 2012

“Claire Booth is glowingly eloquent in the title role…”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Read More

Discography & Repertoire

Ryan Wigglesworth ECHO AND NARCISSUS

Hallé Orchestra / Ryan Wigglesworth; Claire Booth, Pamela Helen Stephen, Mark Padmore, Barnabás Kelemen



Aldeburgh World Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Sir Mark Elder, Oliver Knussen; Claire Booth, Lucy Schaufer, Alexandra Wood, Huw Watkins, Andrew Matthews-Owen (piano)



Claire Booth, Nicky Spence, Patricia Bardon, Andrew Matthews-Owen (piano)


Artist Manager

Sue Nicholls (Cambridge)
01223 706023

Associate Artist Manager

Tom Wood (London)
020 7084 6951