Inside Laura Claycomb (Rated PG)

by Suzanne Calvin

My, what pearly white teeth she has!  With good reason, it turns out.  But I don’t want to take away too much from the CultureMap story below.

(Photo of Laura Claycomb as Gilda in the Dallas Opera’s RIGOLETTO by production photographer Karen Almond)

CULTURE MAP
SOPRANO SPOTLIGHT
5 questions for hometown girl and Dallas Opera diva Laura Claycomb
BY ELAINE LINER
09.30.12 | 12:25 pm

Before her October 7 afternoon recital at Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Auditorium, opera star Laura Claycomb had to see the dentist. She lives in Italy now, but the Highland Park High School and SMU grad still gets her teeth cleaned in Dallas. (She was also visiting her parents.)
Claycomb, who wowed audiences and critics last year in Dallas Opera’s Rigoletto (watch her sing that opera’s “Caro Nome” aria) and was named 2012’s Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year, opened her mouth again to answer five questions for us.
CultureMap: “Recital” sounds so old-fashioned. Why not “concert”?
Laura Claycomb: I should just say “in concert with piano.” The whole word “recital” sounds like I’m going to recite poems or something. But a recital is a great way to introduce yourself to opera. It’s like a mini-opera in every song. Not only do you get this person singing acoustically with no microphones, you’re sitting close to them. You don’t have to look at me with binoculars. It’s just me and the piano. It’s a journey through a lot of songs with your favorite singer.
“Something opera newbies may not know is that there are no microphones. In opera you hear these voices that are powerful enough to be heard over a 60-piece orchestra.”
(Get the bulk of Elaine Liner’s up-close interview with Laura Claycomb right here, ending in the rather surprising “either-or” proposition below.)

CM: When opera singers get together offstage, what do they talk about?
LC: The conversation usually turns to mucous or sex. Or sometimes both, which is not the greatest thing to put together. Those are the big topics.

Soprano Laura Claycomb will star next in Bellini’s La Sonnambula at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet and Opera Theatre.

For her DMA recital (October 7, 2 pm), she’ll be accompanied by pianist Keith Weber. On the program are some of Claycomb’s personal favorites, including Francis Poulenc’s 1939 song cycle “Fiançailles pour rire” with poetry by Louise de Vilmorin; Richard Strauss’ “Brentano Lieder, Op. 68,” a vocal showcase with texts by poet Clemens Brentano; and Olivier Messiaen’s “Chant de terre et de ciel” (“Songs of Earth and Sky”).
Tickets are $25 (which includes admission to the museum) and may be purchased at dallasopera.org or by calling 214-443-1000.

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