Claire Stadtmueller, Soprano
Claire Stadtmueller will sing with the Opera Company of Brooklyn as Vitellia in La Clemenza Di Tito on November 12, 2016. She has previously sang the role of Tosca in Central Park with New York Grand Opera under Maestro Vincent La Selva. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and returned to sing seven other works of Mozart, Bach, Mendelssohn and Haydn. She has sung the roles of Fiordiligi, Countess, Pamina; Rosario in Granados’ Goyescas; the Mother in Amahl. She has performed concerts with the Richard Tucker Foundation, the American Wagner Society in Chicago, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, and on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion and WGBH Boston’s Classics in the Morning. Read below as she shares her experience with us.
How did you get into Opera?
I was the Chosen Soloist starting in 3rd grade. When high school chorus didn’t meet my perfectionist standard, I didn’t re-enlist for sophomore year, but registered for wood shop! My choir director marched me down to the guidance counselor to change that and found me my first voice teacher. I was quite the academician, so applied to universities where I’d have majored in science, (I’d have made a really good naturopath, which is still my hobby), and conservatories. When NEC accepted me, that was it.
What, in your opinion, makes OCB unique?
I’ve never worked with a read-through sort of opera company before, so that is unique.
How do you relax when not on stage?
I have a daily meditation and exercise practice. In the summer I swim, and I make use out of our snow by country skiing in my neck of the woods in Connecticut. I grew up on a horse farm, and need to be in nature a lot.
Do you have any advice for other singers?
Finding the right teacher is the biggest issue. After having tried so many techniques, I am grateful to have found Dimitri Kavrakos, the fabulous bass.
What are your dream roles?
“Norma” is the pinnacle, so I am very happy that I’ll do that with OCB in the future!
Which colleagues do you admire?
I am impressed by plenty of my peers. As for the Great Ones, Gundula Janowitz is my heroine. And for Italian rep, Anita Cerqueti.
Strauss and Verdi are my “desert island” composers. Strauss because I love how those swooping lines feel in my body, and because he can make beauty out of the depravity and violence of Salome and Elektra. And Salome is one of my dream roles.
Which character (not in your voice range) would you most like sing and why?
Simon Boccanegra, because of the great music and complex character. Sure, Otello is both those things, but I wouldn’t want to be that destroyed.
What other music do you listen to?
With frequency, none but classical. But I love to dance, and that would be to Motown, Big Band, and JAMES BROWN. I appreciate Ute Lemper. I’ve sung some jazz, because my eldest sister is a fabulous jazz composer.
Do you read books/watch movies to prepare for a role?
Of course. I read about the composer, the history of that time period. I watched various treatments of the character of Salome, such as Rita Hayworth’s.
How do you balance a career with a life offstage?
Ha, it’s more like “how don’t I balance the two.” I don’t go to loud places, and when I do, I say, as I speak directly into someone’s ear, “I’m not hitting on you, but I am not going to yell above this noise.”
How do you unwind after singing?
The dreaded question: Have you ever appeared in Phantom of the Opera?
No, but Phantom was significant in a different way. The penultimate sentence my late boyfriend uttered to me before his death (in my arms in very operatic style) was while watching Phantom: “I hate Andrew Lloyd Webber.”
Opera Company of Brooklyn Presents: La Clemenza Di Tito on Saturday, November 12 from 7 PM to 9:45 PM at 600 W 218th Street, 1 G, NY, NY 10034. Tickets are a suggested donation of $20 in advance, $40 day of and can be reserved online here. For more information about the production and cast, click here.