Clara Nieman, praised for her “full mezzo” and her "tone, expression, and comic timing", debuts in the 2016-17 season with Kentucky Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, the Lexington Philharmonic in Stephen Paulus' To Be Certain of the Dawn, Opera Fayetteville for their "Opera in Bloom" new works festival, and Crested Butte Music Festival as Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Theodorine in L'ile de Tulipatan. In the 2017-18 season she returns to Kentucky Opera as Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking, and both Berta and Rosina in The Barber of Seville.
In recent seasons Clara has sung Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera Saratoga), Olga in Eugene Onegin (Chautauqua Opera), Flora in La Traviata (Fort Worth Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Opera Naples), The Contralto in The Four Note Opera (Opera Naples), the Mother in Hansel and Gretel (Performance Santa Fe), Meg in The Ballad of Baby Doe (Chautauqua Opera), Madeleine Audebert in Silent Night (Fort Worth Opera), and Sor Rosa in With Blood, With Ink (Fort Worth Opera). Other favorite roles performed include Angelina in La Cenerentola, Vera Boronel in The Consul, Clarina in Il Cambiale di matrimonio, and Grace Ansley in Roman Fever. She also recently covered Gertrude in Hamlet and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte for Fort Worth Opera.
Clara is an avid proponent of new music, and is thrilled that her performance in With Blood, With Ink was recorded for Albany Records. She has also workshopped a number of new pieces, including the role of Mrs Which in Libby Larsen’s A Wrinkle in Time and as a frequent soloist for Fort Worth Opera’s annual “Frontiers” showcase of new works.
Clara was recently awarded Fifth Prize in Opera Birmingham’s Vocal Competition and an Encouragement Award from the Tulsa district of the Met auditions. A frequent concert performer, in recent seasons she has performed with the Opera Saratoga Orchestra, the Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony, the Las Colinas Symphony, the Hall Ensemble, and the Cliburn Foundation.
Clara has been a young artist with Opera Saratoga, Opera Naples, Fort Worth Opera, Chautauqua Opera, the Caramoor Festival, Opera New Jersey, the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and Seagle Music Colony. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University.