Clara Rottsolk, Soprano

“Pure and shining” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) soprano Clara Rottsolk has been lauded by The New York Times for her “clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction” and by The Philadelphia Inquirer for the “opulent tone [with which] every phrase has such a communicative emotional presence.” In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances with orchestras and chamber ensembles have taken her across the United States and on to Japan and South America. She specializes in historically informed performance practice, and has been engaged by ensembles such as Tempesta di Mare, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Philadelphia Bach Collegium, Trinity Wall Street Choir, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Bach Sinfonia, Piffaro—The Renaissance Wind Band, Les Délices, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Clarion Music Socitey, The Masterwork Chorus (Carnegie Hall debut) and Ensemble Florilège under the direction of conductors including Joshua Rifkin, Bruno Weil, Paul Goodwin, John Scott, David Effron, and Andrew Megill.

She has performed at the Carmel Bach Festival, Whidbey Island Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, and the Festival de Música Barroca de Barichara (Colombia). In collaboration with fortepianist Sylvia Berry and guitarist-lutenist Daniel Swenberg, Ms. Rottsolk has given recitals of 18th and 19th century song in venues including the Goethe-Institut Boston, St. Mark’s Church Philadelphia and Swarthmore College. Among her stage roles are Micaëla (Carmen), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Arminda (La finta giardiniera) and Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief).

Her “supple and stylish… and unflaggingly attractive” (Gramophone Magazine) recording of Scarlatti Cantatas with Tempesta di Mare is available on the Chandos-Chaconne label. Highlights of her current season include her Lincoln Center solo debut with Clarion Music Society, Charpentier’s Orphée with Magnificat Baroque Ensemble, Handel’s Semele in Baltimore, and a mid-western tour of French baroque cantatas with Les Délices.

A native of Seattle, Ms. Rottsolk earned her music degrees at Rice University and Westminster Choir College, and was awarded for musical excellence by the Metropolitan Opera National Council (Northwest Region). Currently she is based in Philadelphia and teaches voice at Swarthmore College and the Lawrenceville School.

Concert Reviews:

Philadelphia Inquirer“suave and composed…considerable coloristic resources…an essential ingredient…”pdf

The New York Times“clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction”

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland“The music came across as fresh, delightful and affecting, especially when Nagy and company were joined by a marvelous young soprano, Clara Rottsolk, who should soon be a star in the early-music world. Rottsolk’s voice is pure and shining, and she sings dead-center on pitch. What’s more, Rottsolk treats words with special care, enunciating the French texts to make sure the narratives receive nuanced treatment. Rottsolk conveyed the action and emotions with urgent beauty.”

Indianapolis StarIn a strikingly emotional yet beautifully controlled performance of the solo part, soprano Clara Rottsolk ran the gamut from bitter accusation and name-calling to pleading rhetorical questions meant to soften a stony heart… Rottsolk gave superb voice as the accompaniment just flowed.”

Philadelphia Inquirer“…every phrase has such a communicative emotional presence”

Baltimore Sun“vocal refinement and eloquence of line”

Classical Voice of North Carolina“pure soprano voice, clear and breathtaking”

Chestnut Hill Local“…Rottsolk sang with both fierce determination and eloquent lyricism”