The American mezzo-soprano, Clara O’Brien’s, studied at the Eastman School of Music (M.M., Performance Certificate) and the Dana School of Music (B.M., Summa cum laude) and completed her stage training at the Curtis Institute of Music. She was a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded a fellowship to the Münchener Singschul’.
Before coming to Europe, Clara O’Brien had sung in the USA with the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, the Aspen Music Festival and various regional musical organizations. She began her European career with the 1st International Coloratura Competition, Sylvia Geszty when she was awarded the Sonderpreis des Badischen Staatstheaters; a solo contract with the State Theater of Baden, Germany. She has appeared on the stages of many European cities including Berlin, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Dresden and Frankfurt. Her performances have been noted in Opernwelt as Best Performances in both the Emerging and Established Artist categories. Other awards include 1st Prize, Erika Köth Meisterkurs and Finalist in the International Belvedere Competition. Her many roles range from Baroque to contemporary and include Octavian, Komponist, Adalgisa, Mignon, Dorabella, Donna Elvira, Elisabetta (Maria Stuarda), Rosina, Cenerentola, Musetta, Hélène (La Belle Hélène), Fenena (Nabucco) and numerous roles at the International Händel Festspiel.
Clara O’Brien is also a recitalist and has won the Grand Prix Paul Derenne, International Concours de chant de Paris for her interpretation of Impressionist and post-Impressionist French mélodie. She is also a noted interpreter of late-Romantic and Modernist German Lieder. Her recording of Arnold Schoenberg’s Das Buch der hängenden Gärten is planned for released in 2007. Other recordings include releases on the Bella Musica and Albany Records labels and she has been recorded and broadcast on Southwest German Radio and Television.
Clara O’Brien returned to the USA and is currently Assistant Professor for Voice at the University of Oklahoma. She has also taught at the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and gives master-classes throughout the USA. In 2008 she joined the staff of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) School of Music as assistant professor of voice.