Cynthia Clarey, a graduate of Howard University and The Juilliard School, was born in Smithfield, VA and raised in Rocky Mount, NC. She performed most of her early roles with the Tri-Cities Opera Company in Binghamton, NY. Her reputation as a consummate singing actress has led to engagements throughout the world. In the United States, she has sung leading roles with major companies in New York, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis. Her work extends to performances in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Spain, Austria, and South Africa.
Highlights of her repertoire include Handel’s Ariodante, Thomas’ Mignon, and Bellini’s La Straniera at the Wexford Festival; Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Glyndebourne Festival; Berg’s Lulu at the Chatelet in Paris and Offenbach’s Robinson Crusoe at the Opera Comique. She sang leading roles in several premieres, including Thea Musgrave’s Voice of Ariadne, which was her New York City Opera debut, Anthony Davis’ Under the Double Moon, Minoru Miki’s Actor’s Revenge, and Myron Fink’s Chinchilla. The role of Carmen has been the cornerstone of her career, and she has sung the role in Houston, Toronto, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Innsbruck, Budapest and Australia. She toured in seven countries with Peter Brook’s innovative La tragedie de Carmen.
Her concert career has included performances with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Houston Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the Jerusalem Symphony.
Cynthia’s recordings include Duffy’s A Time for Remembrance, Berg’s Lulu, Tippett’s The Ice Break and A Child of Our Time, Weill’s Lost in the Stars, and the Grammy nominated Porgy and Bess conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The films of Porgy and Bess and L’incoronazione di Poppea are available on DVD.