Praised in Opera News for her “striking mezzo,” Clara Nieman returns to Kentucky Opera in 2017-18 as Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking, and both Rosina and Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia. She also returns to the Lexington Philharmonic as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and debuts with Bourbon Baroque for a concert of Handel arias.
In 2016-17, Clara performed with Kentucky Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, with Crested Butte Music Festival as Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Théodorine in L’île de Tulipatan, with Opera Fayetteville’s “Opera in Bloom” new works festival, with the Lexington Philharmonic as mezzo-soprano soloist in Stephen Paulus’ “To Be Certain of the Dawn,” and with Writing the Rockies to workshop the title role in the new opera Lottie Silks.
Clara has also 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.
A frequent concert performer, in recent seasons Clara 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 Kentucky Opera, Crested Butte Music Festival, 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.