Music & Dance
Clara Rottsolk, soprano
Focused on an integration of technique, musicianship, and artistry, I aim to help my students develop the tools to realize their potential as a performer in a wide variety of styles. Singing is an acquired physical skill, and as such, body awareness and practice are key to progress. During lessons, we explore the technical aspects of vocal production, the musical skill required by repertoire, and the expressive potential of the artist. Through this process, we develop specific intentions for each week's practice to work towards becoming a well-rounded singer.
“Resplendent” (San Diego Story) 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 have taken her across the United States, the Middle East, Japan, and South America. She specializes in historically informed performance practice, singing with orchestras and chamber ensembles including American Bach Soloists, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Les Délices, Pacific MusicWorks, the American Classical Orchestra, St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, Bach Collegium San Diego, Virginia Symphony, Richmond Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Atlanta Baroque, Piffaro—The Renaissance Wind Band, Trinity Wall Street, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Folger Consort, and ARTEK under the direction of conductors including Joshua Rifkin, Bruno Weil, Paul Goodwin, Jeffrey Thomas, John Scott, Stephen Stubbs, Daniel Hyde, David Effron, and Andrew Megill.
In the 2019-2020 season, Rottsolk will join the Virginia Symphony for a program of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Mozart arias, the Vermont Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem, and Cantata Collective for Bach’s B minor mass. She will return as soloist with Santa Fe Pro Musica for Haydn’s The Creation and for their Baroque Christmas programs, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park for performances of Haydn’s The Creation, Bach Collegium San Diego for programs of Bach’s Wedding Cantata and the St. Matthew Passion, American Bach Soloists for Schütz cantatas, Princeton Pro Musica for Mozart’s Mass in c minor, American Classical Orchestra for Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42, and will tour the midwest with Les Délices.
Last season, Ms. Rottsolk made appearances as the soprano soloist in concert with the Richmond Symphony for their Messiah, Santa Fe Pro Musica for their productions of Baroque Christmas and the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, American Bach Soloists for Vivaldi and Bach, L’harmonie des saisons for Handel’s Acis and Galatea, and Bach Collegium San Diego for Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and Purcell’s King Arthur. In the 2017-2018 season, the soprano joined Les Délices for several tours of French Baroque programs in Texas, the Northwest, and the Northeast, the Pacific Symphony and Bach Collegium San Diego for Handel’s Messiah, the American Classical Orchestra for Mozart’s Mass in c minor, the Minot Symphony for Orff’s Carmina Burana, as well as the role of Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orphée. She returned to St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue with the orchestra of St. Luke’s for Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, to Atlanta Baroque Orchestra for the Bach St. John Passion, to the Colorado Bach Ensemble for Bach’s B Minor Mass and to the Carmel Bach Festival as soloist.
During the 2016-2017 season Ms. Rottsolk joined Bucks County Choral Society for performances of Mozart’s Requiem and Sametz’s Child’s Requiem, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park for Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, San Francisco Early Music Society for programs alongside Archetti Baroque Strings and ARTEK, New Mexico Philharmonic for performances of Messiah, and Pro Musica Rara for Bach Cantatas. She performed with Peter Conte at the Longwood Gardens for Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder and returned to the Colorado Bach Ensemble for Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and to Cleveland with Les Délices. Highlights of her 2015-2016 season include operatic debuts as Eurydice in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with Opera Grand Rapids and as Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo with the Carmel Bach Festival, as well as concerts of Bach's Easter and Ascension Oratorios with American Bach Soloists, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. John Passion with Colorado Bach Ensemble, Handel's Messiah with Spire Ensemble, recitals of 19th and 20th century mélodies with Byron Schenkman, and a new staged biographic exploration of Torquato Tasso with ARTEK.
She has performed at the Carmel Bach Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Festival Montréal Baroque, Philadelphia Bach Festival, Whidbey Island Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and the Festival de Música Barroca de Barichara (Colombia) as well as on myriad concert series across the country. In collaboration with pianists Sylvia Berry and Byron Schenkman, and guitarist-lutenist Daniel Swenberg, Ms. Rottsolk has given recitals of song from the 17th to 21st centuries in venues including the Goethe-Institut Boston, Town Hall Seattle, Carmel Bach Festival, St. Mark's Church Philadelphia, and Swarthmore College. Among her stage roles are Eurydice (Orphée et Eurydice and Orphée aux Enfers), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Ilia (Idomeneo), Micaëla (Carmen), Semele (Semele), Galatea (Acis and Galatea), Dafne (Apollo e Dafne), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Arminda (La finta giardiniera), Johanna (Sweeney Todd), and Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief).
Her recordings are Myths and Allegories, French Baroque cantatas with Les Délices and “supple and stylish… and unflaggingly attractive” (Gramophone Magazine) Scarlatti Cantatas with Tempesta di Mare on the Chandos-Chaconne label. Due out are recordings of new compositions by Rachel Matthews, and Monteverdi Madrigals with ARTEK.
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, Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges.