Clare McNamara, mezzo-soprano
Praised for her “lushly evocative mezzo” and “attentive and precise” musicianship, Clare McNamara is a soloist and ensemble musician with a passion for early and new music.
Clare began the 2014-2015 season with the Apollo Master Chorale (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN), the newly-minted professional extension of the Twin Cities’ historic Apollo Club. She then made her European debut with the acclaimed Renaissance vocal ensemble Cut Circle, performing Brumel’s “Earthquake Mass” at the Musica Sacra Festival in Maastricht, The Netherlands. This season also marks Clare’s first as an ensemble member with Boston’s prestigious Handel and Haydn Society.
Clare is a core member of Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble, a unique all-female vocal octet dedicated to performing early and new music for women’s voices, ranging from chant to commissioned world premieres. This season she joins Lorelei in professional residencies at Pittsburg State University and Mt. Holyoke College, in addition to several concerts and recordings. This January, Lorelei joins Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) for “Magyar Madness,” a concert and recording project dedicated to the work of Hungarian composers. Clare will be a featured soloist in a world premiere by contemporary composer Kati Agócs. Clare also sings as a core member in Skylark Vocal Ensemble (Atlanta, GA), Vox Humana (Dallas, TX), and Ensemble Origo (Hartford, CT).
This December, Clare appears as alto soloist with the New England Classical Singers in Zelenka's Dixit Dominus and Handel’s Messiah (Part 1). Recent solo engagements include a critically-acclaimed Jordan Hall debut with Boston Cecilia in J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and featured alto for both Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien with Newton Choral Society and for Boston Cecilia’s recent winter concert “The Miraculous Rose.” On the baroque opera stage, Clare has sung Antippo in Telemann’s Der Geduldige Socrates with Amherst Early Music Festival, and Athamas in John Eccles’ Semele with Harvard Early Music Society, among others.
In the recording studio, Clare most recently 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 Bilous. Pilobolus maintains this work as a regular centerpeice of their active performance repertoire. Clare also sang the title character on a demo recording of Michelle DiBucci’s opera Charlotte, based on the life of the German-Jewish artist Charlotte Solomon. Clare can also be heard on “live.know.love”, (Lorelei Ensemble), “forgotten dreams” (Skylark Vocal Ensemble), “I Wonder as I Wander” (The Copley Singers), and composer Emily Lau’s “The Isle of Lucidity.”
Clare earned her Masters of Music in Early Music (Vocal Performance) from Longy School of Music and her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Princeton University. She currently resides in Boston.