Claire Lees

Soprano, Samling Artist Programme: 2017

I’d always heard about how amazing Samling is, but now I’ve experienced it first-hand I can honestly say I feel honoured and incredibly humbled to have taken part. I returned to London with a refreshed mind and a new exciting spirit for singing, and can’t wait to shout about how amazing Samling is.


Photo: Claire Lees at Samling Artist Programme Masterclass, December 2017. Photo credit: Mark Pinder

Claire Lees is the winner of the 2019 Wil Keune Mozart Prize at the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. She recently sang the role of Adina at Iford Arts in their production of L’elisir d’amore and also made her Opera Holland Park debut singing the role of Oscar in the Young Artist performance of Un ballo in maschera. She is a Samling Artist and is a recipient of an Independent Opera Voice Scholarship and Fellowship.

In 2018, Claire sang her first season in the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus where she covered the role of Yniold in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and sang chorus in the revivals of Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Saul and in a new production of Barber’s Vanessa. On Glyndebourne on Tour’s 50th anniversary tour, she covered a Spirit in Massenet’s Cendrillon and sang chorus in Verdi’s La traviata.

Operatic roles include Yniold (cover) Pelléas et Mélisande (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Lauretta Gianni Schicchi (Barbican Hall); Soeur Constance Dialogues des Carmélites and Foreign Woman The Consul (Guildhall School of Music & Drama); Pamina The Magic Flute (Iford Arts); Papagena Die Zauberflöte and Drusilla L’incoronazione di Poppea (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire).

Claire has performed at Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, St James’s Church Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Peterborough Cathedral. She collaborated with Iain Burnside on ‘Drums and Guns’, a joint project between the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the Juilliard School and Royal Irish Academy of Music, presented in Dublin, London and New York.

Claire graduated from the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2018. She continues to study with Yvonne Kenny.

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Samling Institute for Young Artists—through performance and learning opportunities—nurtures young classical singers and piano accompanists. From students to emerging professionals, hundreds of young artists have benefited since the charity was founded in 1996. They see their time with Samling Institute as a springboard and inspiration. 

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