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Clayton Brainerd - Don Fernando
Bass-BaritoneClayton Brainerd has amassed an impressive list of accolades and successes in performances with major orchestras and opera companies under the batons of such conductors as Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Zdenek Macal, Seiji Ozawa, Micheal Tilson Thomas, and Jeffery Tate, among many others.
In the 2007-2008 season, he will perform the Mozart Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony as well as the St. Matthew Passion at the University of Nebraska. In the spring, he returns to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for several concert performances of the role of Pantheus in Berlioz’ Les Troyens under the baton of James Levine. In the 2006-2007 season, Mr. Brainerd made his debut at the Washington Opera in the US premiere of Nicholas Maw’s Sophie’s Choice. Additionally he performed Brotan’s Stabat Mater with the Portland Symphonic Choir, as well as the Missa Solemnis with Seattle Symphony. He also sang the Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Grand Rapids Opera.
Other notable recent engagements include performances with Seattle Symphony and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has sung Elijah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the War Requiem in Anchorage, Alaska, and Messiah with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Additionally, Mr. Brainerd sang Wotan in Siegfried with New Orleans Opera, and covered Wotan in five complete Ring Cycles with Scottish Opera. In the spring and summer of 2005, he performed the role of Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Berkeley Opera. Of these performances, San Francisco Classical Voice wrote, “His baritone is beautiful, firm, resonant, well-controlled at all dynamic levels, smoothly-produced and expressive, as is his stage manner. He brought out all of Sachs’s nobility, wisdom and experience in his scenes with the guild and Walther. He was touching and vulnerable with Eva and sly as he trapped Beckmesser.”
In the 2003-2004 season, Mr. Brainerd sang the role of Amonasro with the Scottish Opera, and covered all performances of Gunther in Götterdämmerung at the MET. The 2001/2002-season Mr. Brainerd sang Wotan in Die Walküre at the Scottish Opera’s second installment of their internationally acclaimed Ring Cycle. In fact, he was awarded the coveted “Herald Angel Award” from the Edinburgh Festival, naming him as one of the most outstanding performers at the festival. “Clayton Brainerd joined the cast during the run to take over as Wotan. He was magnificent. Mr. Brainerd, with his soft vocal textures, strong but gentle demeanor and expressive intelligence, sang of wisdom being gained through uncertainty and defeat.” (The New York Times September 4, 2001.)
In the fall of 2002, he resumed work on the Ring in Scotland with Siegfried, which culminated in a complete Ring Cycle in the summer of 2003. In June 2001, Mr. Brainerd made his debut at the Paris Opera (Bastille) singing performances of La Damnation de Faust with Seiji Ozawa on the podium. In October 2001 in Madrid, Mr. Brainerd sang the title role in performances of a newly discovered opera Merlin by Isaac Albéniz. The season ended with another production of Die Walküre with the New Orleans Opera and performances of Messiah at Carnegie Hall.
Highlights from the last few seasons for Clayton Brainerd included replacing James Morris as Wotan in Die Walküre performances at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, performances and the recording of excerpts from Mussorgsky's The Dream of the Peasant Grishko with the New Jersey Symphony under the baton of Zdenek Macal. Mr. Brainerd also sang Kurvenal in a performance and recording of Tristan und Isolde at Carnegie Hall with the Opera Orchestra of New York and Scarpia in Tosca with Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, Spain. He also made his debut with the New Zealand Symphony as Wotan in five concert performances of Wagner's Das Rheingold -- a role in which he won critical acclaim in June 97 with the Arizona Opera Ring Cycle. Mr. Brainerd sang Walküre excerpts with the Cincinnati Symphony, Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande in Japan with the New Japan Philharmonic under the auspices of Seiji Ozawa. Also with Ozawa, were performances of Madama Butterfly and the Boston Symphony and Damnation of Faust with Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.
Mr. Brainerd's versatility encompasses not only the Wagnerian repertoire of Wotan, The Wanderer, and Gunther in The Ring and the title role of Flying Dutchman, but also many roles in the Italian and French operatic repertoire, including Scarpia in Tosca, Villains in Hoffman, Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande and Mephistopheles in The Damnation of Faust. Mr. Brainerd is also in great demand as a concert artist throughout the world singing a vast repertoire from the Baroque to Modern.