Critics have been widely praising Claire Coolen’s “powerful stage presence”, “gorgeous voice with impressive control”, and her “beyond superb”, “chill inducing” performances. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, Claire is currently based in New York City and Milan, Italy. She has worked with Renata Scotto, Martina Arroyo, Placido Domingo and Richard Bonynge, among others.
Claire was awarded the 2018 2nd Prize (1st not assigned) and Public Prize at the International competition “Cappuccilli-Patané-Respighi” in Alessandria, Italy.
Recently she sang the role of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Violetta in La Traviata with the National Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia. Other notable roles include: Gilda in Rigoletto, Musetta in La Bohème, Soeur Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Dorinda in Orlando, and the Governess in Turn of the Screw, for which she received the Royal Bank of Canada Award in Excellence in 2010. Also, she was Hannah in Martin Bresnik’s new opera My Friends Story and Mrs. Winemiller in Lee Hobby’s first ever recording of Summer and Smoke, which was one of Opera News 2011 CD’s of the year. To see the complete list of the roles she has performed, as well as her upcoming commitments, please visit her Calendar page.
Claire has been entertaining audiences from a very young age. While enrolled in dance, piano and voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax, she won numerous competitions, awards and scholarships. She sang as a soloist with the Big Band Jazz Orchestra at Saint Patrick's High School, as well as lead roles in all her high school musical theatre productions. Her first professional Opera role was at age thirteen, when she sang the title role in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Opera Nova Scotia. She moved to New York City to attend the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, where she graduated with a Bachelor and Masters Degree of Music in Vocal Performance, and was the recipient of the Margaret Hoswell van Der Mark Scholarship Award in opera for four consecutive years. She is fluent in French and in Italian, spending many summers immersed in the birthplace of opera.
Claire has been a guest and performed live on Radio Shows in New York City, USA (WQXR) and in Rome, Italy (RAI 3). She filmed and sang the role of Musetta in the motion picture film The Bohemians, a modern adaptation of Puccini's La Bohème due to be released soon. (www.thebohemiansmovie.com).