Laura Beth Clayton is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer, and a native of Malvern, Arkansas.
Education and early career
Clayton's father was a Methodist minister. She sang in church and then in musical productions in church camp and in high school. Her first exposure to live opera, a Little Rock production of Dido and Aeneas, made her an instant fan.
Clayton is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Mignon Dunn. She has been an apprentice artist for the Santa Fe Opera and a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Awards and nominations
2007 Grammy nominated album, The Mines of Sulphur
Clayton's awards include a William Matheus Sullivan Award. She was a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
In the summer of 2003, Clayton sang the role of Rosalind in the first performances of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's opera The Mines of Sulphur in 30 years. A recording was issued on the Chandos label and nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award. In 2008 Clayton created multiple roles (Officer/Medical Analyst/Cheevers) at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Howard Shore's opera The Fly.
Justin Davidson, Pulitzer prize winner for criticism, said of Clayton's performance in the premiere of Deborah Drattell's Lilith at the New York State Theater in 2001: "Beth Clayton, making her debut with the company, slinked memorably through the title role, armed with a cloak of long, brown, shampoo-commercial hair, a fierce and glistening soprano and a shiny nightie."
Clayton is an out lesbian. She lives in Santa Fe and New York City with her long-time partner, opera soprano Patricia Racette. The couple met in 1997. That year they sang together in La traviata at the Santa Fe Opera. Clayton has expressed gratitude to Racette for not speaking publicly of their sexuality for several years: "My career was just getting started, and I thought, Gosh, I don't need that adjective. It felt like extra baggage just when I was establishing myself. But now I'm very proud to embrace it. It doesn't define my career by any means. It's validating. We're living our truth." In June 2002, when Patricia Racette was featured on the cover of Opera News, Racette requested that the magazine include her public coming-out statement. She stated that her sexuality and long-term relationship with Clayton were a very important part of her identity as an artist. Clayton participated in the interview as well. Clayton and Racette were married in 2005.
- ^ 1987 Graduates of MHS
- ^ a b c Philip Gambone, Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of GLBTQ Americans (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), pp. 60-65
- ^ Imgartists.com
- ^ Palm Beach Post
- ^ "Howard Shore: The Fly — The Opera: The Cast". Los Angeles Opera. 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
- ^ Pulitzer.org
- ^ Eric Myers "cover story", Opera News June 2002
- ^ Questia.com
Arizona Opera's Carmen
Nov. 13 & 14, 19-21, 2010 - Go behind the scenes with the director, choreographer and female lead of Arizona's upcoming production of Carmen! Learn about the...
Beth Clayton | Florencia en el Amazonas
Beth Clayton discusses her role of Paula in Opera Colorado's upcoming production of Florencia en el Amazonas, which opens Saturday, March 24. TICKETS: 303.46...
Francis Poulenc: Dialogues de Carmelites /Ozawa-Racette-Palmer-Goerke/
Beth Clayton Patricia Racette Christine Goerke Felicity Palmer Maris Devellereau conductor: Seiji Ozawa.
It Gets Better - Patricia Racette and Beth Clayton
Metropolitan Opera star Patricia Racette and her partner, mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton, share their coming-out story for the "It Gets Better" Project. See Patr...
Alabama College Democrats President Beth Clayton
Alabama College Democrats President Beth Clayton urges more students and young people to get involved in politics, especially with the Alabama Democratic Par...
me and beth clayton dancing to im not myself tonight
I must say, it's not the best dance video ever, just practising it out for dance show.
I'm In- Beth from Alabama
Mitt Romney has been quoted saying that he doesn't see how a young American can vote for a Democrat. The College Democrats of America stand beside President ...
Grand Floridian view from Royal Palm Club lounge
View of lobby with piano player from 4th floor club level lounge in the Grand Floridian main building.
La Traviata - A Finger Puppet Opera
Please enjoy my latest finger puppet movie! It's based on the wonderfully romantic story of Opera stars Patricia Racette and Beth Clayton, and how they met a...
New York Times
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:59:26 -0800
Craig Verm and Beth Clayton in the Gotham Chamber Opera's production of “I Have No Stories to Tell You,” in the Met's Medieval Sculpture Hall. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times. Continue reading the main story. Continue reading the main story.
New York Times
Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:13:59 -0800
Operas Unfolding at a Different Met. Gotham Chamber Opera Performs at a Museum. By VIVIEN SCHWEITZER FEB. 27, 2014. Inside. Photo. Gotham Chamber Opera Beth Clayton and Craig Verm at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Credit Stephanie Berger.
Thu, 06 Mar 2014 05:52:30 -0800
League members who assisted committee chair Sandra Novatny with the task of tracking down of changes in names, telephone numbers and emails that occur in the course of a year include Beth Babich, R.J. Bicking, Beth Clayton, Karen McCleary, Rosemary ...
New York Observer
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:03:45 -0800
I Have No Stories is a psychological study of Sorrel, a former army medic haunted by combat memories. Mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton was vocally and dramatically gripping in the lead role, scoring particularly with low, soft singing that bordered on speech.
Wall Street Journal
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:18:45 -0800
Director Robin Guarino and choreographer Bradon McDonald had the two combatants (Beth Clayton and Craig Verm) practically wrestling in slow motion; Gabriel Berry's costumes used fabric to suggest chain mail. The warring pair were physically expressive ...
Tue, 04 Mar 2014 09:37:30 -0800
The Artistic Advisory Board also includes Bill Burden, Amy Burton, Joyce Castle, Beth Clayton, Sarah Coburn, Dwayne Croft, David Daniels, Michelle DeYoung, Rod Gilfry, Christine Goerke, Anthony Dean Griffey, Julie and Nathan Gunn, Joe Kaiser, Michael ...
New York Times
Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:06:44 -0800
Singers include the mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton and the baritone Craig Verm. At 7 p.m., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 212-570-3949, metmuseum.org; sold out. (Woolfe). Continue reading the main story. ☆ 'Prince Igor' (Friday and Monday) Every production ...
The Press, York
The Press, York
Wed, 12 Feb 2014 04:24:28 -0800
YORK City Ladies enjoyed a 3-2 North-East Women's Regional League win over Whitley Bay thanks to goals from Lisa Bjornstad, Lauren Shuttleworth and Beth Clayton. The success was their third in the league on the spin, taking them to second in the table, ...
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