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Laura Beth Clayton is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer, and a native of Malvern, Arkansas.[1]

Education and early career[edit]

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.[2]

Clayton is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Mignon Dunn.[2] She has been an apprentice artist for the Santa Fe Opera and a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

Awards and nominations[edit]

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.[3][4] In 2008 Clayton created multiple roles (Officer/Medical Analyst/Cheevers) at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Howard Shore's opera The Fly.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

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."[6]

Personal life[edit]

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."[2] 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.[7] Clayton and Racette were married in 2005.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1987 Graduates of MHS
  2. ^ a b c Philip Gambone, Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of GLBTQ Americans (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), pp. 60-65
  3. ^ Imgartists.com
  4. ^ Palm Beach Post
  5. ^ "Howard Shore: The Fly — The Opera: The Cast". Los Angeles Opera. 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  6. ^ Pulitzer.org
  7. ^ Eric Myers "cover story", Opera News June 2002
  8. ^ Questia.com

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beth_Clayton — Please support Wikipedia.
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142 news items

 
The Press, York
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 03:46:23 -0800

Bramham also went close twice prior to the interval, heading off target after great play from Beth Clayton and Whitwell before volleying against a post following Duckworth's perfect pass. After the break, Bramham and Shuttleworth were both denied in ...

The Press, York

The Press, York
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 04:45:23 -0800

Bramham hit back straight away following a mazy run down the left wing by Jazz Whitwell and, on 62 minutes, Brown headed in a corner after Beth Clayton's shot had been well blocked. Now on top, York went close when Whitwell drove over from Jess ...

Southwales Evening Post

Southwales Evening Post
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:51:19 -0700

A TEENAGER, who was physically and emotionally abused and became homeless at the age of just 14, has turned her life around with the help of her love of football. Beth Clayton (pictured) was forced to leave home at 14 and now lives in Skewen. She said: ...

WalesOnline

WalesOnline
Sat, 23 Aug 2014 22:30:36 -0700

Living on the streets at the age of 16, you could forgive Beth Clayton if she had wanted to give up on society. Turfed out from her family home, she was left homeless in Newport. But Beth didn't give up – and had found herself a job after taking part ...
 
Wall Street Journal
Thu, 25 Oct 2012 15:26:23 -0700

As an escape from this frenzied life, Ms. Racette and her partner, mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton, who also has to travel for performances, decided to spend their remaining two months each year in a home in the middle of the desert on the outskirts of ...
 
O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da (blog)
Thu, 05 Sep 2013 12:51:15 -0700

Today, a coalition of LGBT activists received a personal statement of support from openly lesbian opera mega-couple, Patricia Racette and Beth Clayton, in support of a letter of solidarity for Russia's LGBT community as well as a vigil to be held at ...
 
New York Times
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:59:26 -0800

They did a Haydn opera about a supposed trip to the moon at the Hayden Planetarium, a rare Baroque piece featuring a decadent Roman emperor at a decadent downtown nightclub, and a Daniel Catán opera set in a poisonous garden at the Brooklyn ...

Windy City Times

Windy City Times
Tue, 31 Dec 2013 19:31:59 -0800

Racette and her fellow opera singer wife, mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton, have made a home together in Santa Fe, so they were bound to have a joyous response when the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalized gay marriage on Dec. 19, 2013.
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