Award-winning Welsh soprano, Claire Watkins, is a former Head Chorister of St. David’s Cathedral Choir in Pembrokeshire, and graduated in 2007 with a DipRam from the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Beatrice Unsworth and Audrey Hyland. Claire also has a BMus (Hons) from Cardiff University, and a PGDip from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In 2007, she participated in the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto in Tuscany, studying with Leo Nucci and in 2009 become a Samling Artist, where she studied and performed with her current teacher, Yvonne Kenny, as well as Sir Thomas Allen and Malcolm Martineau.
Operatic roles include Leïla The Pearl Fishers (English National Opera); First Lady in The Magic Flute, Gilda Rigoletto and Micäela Carmen (all for Scottish Opera); Amelia Simon Boccanegra (Opera Project Valladolid); Constance in The Sorcerer (Opera della Luna); Donna Anna Don Giovanni (Amersham Music Festival); Lauretta Gianni Schicchi, Venus Dardanus, Almirena Rinaldo, Arminda La finta giardiniera, Manon Manon Lescaut and Yvette La Rondine (all for Royal Academy Opera); Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring and the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama) and creating the role of Elizabeth Barry in the world première of Rochester’s Second Bottle (RWCMD and Music Theatre Wales). Claire also participated in the workshop of Chair in Love in Montreal, composed by John Metcalf, with the Chair in Love Collective in Montreal, Canada.
Roles covered include the title role in Massenet’s Manon and Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore (Scottish Opera); Violetta La traviata and Adina in The Elixir of Love (English National Opera); Bronwyn Jones in Carbon 12 (Welsh National Opera) and Gretchen The Poacher and Alison The Wandering Scholar (Buxton Festival Opera).
Equally at home on the concert platform her oratorio experience includes the B Minor Mass with Trevor Pinnock, Mozart Requiem at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Beethoven Mass in C with Brian Kay, Monteclair’s soprano cantata, Pan et Syrinx with Laurence Cummings and The English Concert at Handel House and performing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.