Clare McNamara, mezzo-soprano
Praised for her “lushly evocative” and “otherworldly” performances, Clare McNamara brings her signature vocal quality and sensitive interpretation to a wide variety of repertoire throughout the United States and abroad. Clare has performed at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall, among other prestigious venues. In addition to an active solo career, Clare maintains affiliations with several ensembles including Boston’s Handel+Haydn Society, Lorelei Ensemble, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Cut Circle, the Boston Camerata, Colla Parte, The Thirteen, and Tapestry.
While particularly adept at early and new music, Clare’s unique instrument is suited to many kinds of repertoire and is only growing in versatility. Clare will make her soloist debut at Symphony Hall debut in the Handel and Haydn Society’s 2018 performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor. Other credits range from singing the role of Brangäne in the medieval pastiche “Tristan & Iseult” (The Boston Camerata) to the role of Mother in Stephen Paulus’ modern church opera “The Three Hermits” (Harvard University Choir). She has also performed as an oratorio soloist with organizations such as Coro Allegro, The Boston Cecilia, and the Tufts University Choirs.
Internationally, Clare regularly performs with Cut Circle, an American group dedicated to recapturing the gritty, intense experience of Renaissance vocal repertoire. She has appeared with Cut Circle for their debut performances at many European early music festivals: Musica Sacra (Maastricht, Netherlands), Laus Polyphoniae (Antwerp, Belgium), and Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg, Germany). 2018 European concerts include Cut Circle at the Utrecht Early Music Festival (Netherlands), and Skylark at the 2018 Holy Week Festival hosted by the British ensemble Tenebrae (London).
Routinely in the recording studio, Clare appears as a soloist and ensemble singer on multiple albums. Forthcoming recordings include a compilation of choral works by modern composer Pablo Ortiz with the ensemble Meridionalis (NYC), produced by GRAMMY-winning classical producer Judith Sherman. Clare has contributed to multiple records on the GRAMMY-winning Sono Luminus label: “Crossing Over” with Skylark (2016), “Impermanence” with Lorelei (2017), and a new untitled project with Skylark ensemble (2018). Clare provided solo vocals for “On the Nature of Things,” commissioned by the internationally-recognized modern dance troupe Pilobolus Dance Theatre from composers Michelle DiBucci and Ed Biolous. Pilobolus maintains this work as a regular centerpiece of their performance repertoire.
She holds an A.B. in Music from Princeton University and an M.M. in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. www.claremcnamara.com