© Benjamin Ealovega
British mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones is fast becoming one of the most sought-after voices on the operatic stage and the concert platform, after being a Finalist and Winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021. In recent years, highlights include her company debut at the Bayreuther Festspiele as 2nd Norn Götterdämmerung and Waltraute Die Walküre, her French operatic debut as Jezibaba in a new Stefano Poda production of Rusalka at the Théâtre du Capitole, and her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, in a concert performance of Katya Kabanova.
In the 2023-24 season, Claire makes her company debut with Dutch National Opera singing the role of The Government in the world premiere of newly commissioned opera The Shell Trial, joins Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra as 2nd Norn Götterdämmerung, Scottish Opera as Gaea in concert performances of Daphne, and returns to Frankfurt as Mescalina Le Grand Macabre conducted by Oper Frankfurt’s incoming General Music Director, Thomas Guggeis.
Claire Barnett-Jones makes role debut in Frankfurt
Claire Barnett-Jones returns to Oper Frankfurt to make her debut as Mescalina in Ligeti's "anti-anti-opera" Le Grand Macabre, in a production by Vasily Barkhatov.
Conducted by Thomas Guggeis, the cast will include Peter Marsh as Piet the Pot, Eric Jurenas as Prince Go-Go, Anna Nekhames as Venus/Head of the Gepopo, and Alfred Reiter as Astradamors, amongst others. Le Grand Macabre opens on Sunday 5 November, with further performances on 10, 18, 24, 26, 30 October and 2 November.
Following this, Claire joins the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra for a performance of Mahler's Das lied von der Erde at St John's Smith Square, London, and returns to Scotland for further performances of Strauss' Daphne for Scottish Opera at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
For more details on Claire's performance in Le Grand Macabre, visit the Oper Frankfurt website.
Wagner - Hartmut Haenchen | Claire Barnett-Jones - Götterdämmerung - Philharmonie Zuidnederland
The Witch’s Aria - Hansel & Gretel. “Ja Gretelchen...hurr hopp hopp” | Mezzo Claire Barnett-Jones
Mass in B Minor
St Matthew Passion
St John Passion
Charm of Lullabies
Symphony No. 9
L’enfance du Christ
Mass No.3 in F minor
The Dream of Gerontius
The Music Makers
Israel in Egypt
Mass in Time of War
Great Organ Mass
Ethel Smyth DER WALD (recording) / BBC Symphony Orchestra
“Perhaps ironically, the finest voice in this cast is mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones as the villainess Iolanthe. She sounded to me like a mezzo version of Joan Sutherland, but with clearer diction and a more straightforward singing style; her technique, even in the few fast passages she is called upon to sing, is faultless. Even better, Barnett-Jones also acts well with the voice and sings with a great deal of nuance. She is, truly, a first-class singer, so much so that her every vocal utterance dominates the scenes she is in. Curiously, Smyth’s music for the villainess is much more lyrical than one might think or like. This is, I feel, the one weakness in the score…unless, of course, her intention was to make Iolanthe sound like a reasonable woman so that she might hold sway over Heinrich.”
Lynn René Bayley, The Art Music Lounge (August 2023)
Dvořák RUSALKA / Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse
“As the witch Jezibaba, Claire Barnett-Jones plays with intensity and sings admirably. The voice is dark and disturbing and the singer is aided by a spectacular costume.”
Hubert Stoecklin, Classicalnews.com (October 2022)
Wagner THE VALKYRIE / English National Opera
"Suffering from a cold, Susan Bickley acted Fricka while the mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones — one of the Valkyries — sang it, with articulate power, from the side of the stage.”
Zachary Woolfe, New York Times (November 2021)
"having two Frickas reminded us what a superb singer Barnett-Jones is becoming”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian (November 2021)
"Fricka – played by the indisposed Susan Bickley in a regal white trouser suit, but sung superbly from a side box by Claire Barnett-Jones, doubling as the Valkyrie Rossweisse"
Barry Milligton, Evening Standard (November 2021)
"Claire Barnett-Jones’ luscious mezzo made for an outstanding, incisive Fricka, sung from a box while the ailing Susan Bickley acted the role waspishly."
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack (November 2021)
"Belting out Fricka from a box stage right, Claire Barnett Jones enjoyed a triumph on opening night in a role you could easily imagine her tackling for real. Her rich, burgundy mezzo has terrific body, and the top should gain in power with a little more experience."
Clive Paget, Limelight (November 2021)
"it was the third vocal treat of the evening, after Spence and Sherratt, to hear Claire Barnett-Jones – later singing Valkyrie Rossweise – bring lustrous Wagner-mezzo tones to the role from a box at the side."
David Nice, The Arts Desk (November 2021)
Tippett THE MIDSUMMER MARRIAGE / London Philharmonic Orchestra
"Claire Barnett-Jones as Sosostris has a challenging aria but showed clarity and drama in her rendition alongside the soaring brass crescendos”
Aliye Al-Hassan, Broadway World (September 2021)
"it was a treat to have recent Cardiff Singer alumnus Claire Barnett-Jones as an Erda-like Madame Sosostris"
Matthew Rye, Bachtrack (September 2021)
CARDIFF SINGER OF THE WORLD
"mezzo Claire Barnett-Jones showed in the earlier round where she’s heading with an impressive Waltraute’s narrative from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. There was more of that in her most successful choice for the final, the stormy third song from Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, “Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer”.
David Nice, The Arts Desk (June 2021)
"reflecting her remarkable feat in stepping in at the eleventh hour as the official reserve and winning her round. She betrayed no nerves then – no time for that – and, in this final, her Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer from Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen showed the same fearsome immediacy."
Rian Evans, The Guardian (June 2021)
DAS RHEINGOLD / Grimeborn Festival
"Barnett-Jones’ Fricka exudes emotional intelligence, yet remains vulnerable in her permanent suspicion of Wotan"
Charlotte Valori, Operissima (August 2019)