Mezzo-Soprano Claire Filer was born in Auckland, New Zealand, where she began a career that has involved studying and performing in the US, the UK and Europe. Claire holds a Master of Arts with Distinction from the Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff, a Master of Music from The Boston Conservatory in the US and a Bachelor of Music with first class honours from The University of Auckland in New Zealand. While at the University of Auckland, Claire was awarded the Kathleen Mary Reardon Scholarship and Postgraduate Scholarship, and upon graduation from The Boston Conservatory, Claire accepted a place in the Gamma Psi chapter of the prestigious American music honours society Pi Kappa Lambda. Claire has also attended the Intermezzo Young Artist Program in Portland, Maine, the Franco-American Vocal Academy in Périgueux, France, and New Zealand Opera School in Wanganui, New Zealand.
Claire made her UK Opera debut as Dido Dido and Aeneas followed by Dorabella Così fan tutte, both with West Sussex Opera in Chichester and West Wittering. Claire has since performed with Opera Holloway at the 2013 Edinburgh fringe festival as Mother Hansel and Gretel, the roles of Suor Dolcina Suor Angelica (Talent Unlimited), Second Witch Dido and Aeneas (Opera Alumnus) and Sorceress Dido & Aeneas (Ursula’s Arrow), and was a finalist in the 2013 Croydon Symphony Orchestra concerto competition. Other operatic roles include the roles of Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte and Lola Cavalleria Rusticana at the 2014 Woodhouse Opera Festival in Surrey, title roles in La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein (Franco-American Vocal Academy), Dido and Aeneas and Serse (both The Boston Conservatory); Cathleen Riders to the Sea (Cantata Singers); Florence Pike Albert Herring (Intermezzo Young Artist Program); Suzy La Rondine (The Boston Conservatory); Zita Gianni Schicchi and Maid Amelia Goes to the Ball (both Opera Factory, New Zealand). In 2015, Claire performed the role of Annina in an abridged version of Verdi La Traviata for London Festival Opera and the Counsel in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta Trial by Jury for Eastwood Chorale. More recently, Claire sang the title role in Rossini La Cenerentola at the 2015 Woodhouse Opera Festival, and performed at the first ever Opera Sark Festival on the Isle of Sark.
Oratorio and concert engagements include Bach Magnificat (Village Voices), Handel Messiah (The Maidstone Singers and The South Circular Orchestra), Schumann Requiem (Genesis Chorale), Duruflé Requiem (Grange Choral Society), Mozart Requiem (Bridgend Tabernacl Choir) and Grand Mass in C Minor (The Boston Conservatory); Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle (Aberystwyth Choral Society); Vaughan Williams Mass in G Minor (Cantata Singers); Gounod Messe Solennelle (Pakuranga Choral Society); Schubert Mass in C Major; Faure Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria (Auckland Youth Choir); Haydn Mass in Time of War (South Auckland Choral Society), Lord Nelson Mass (Masterworks Chorale), Missa Cellensis in Honorem (Collegium Musicum Costa del Sol) and Missa Sancti Nicolai (Blackheath Centre for Singing); Handel Jephtha (The Handel Consort and Quire); Orff Carmina Burana (Sing Waiheke); Hansel in Act II of Hansel and Gretel (The Metrowest Symphony Orchestra); and Irving Fine The Choral New Yorker (Cantata Singers). In the US, Claire has performed with a range of organisations such as Boston New Music Initiative, Metrowest Symphony Orchestra, New England Light Opera, Masterworks Chorale, and Cantata Singers, and was selected to perform the role of Bobachino in an excerpt from Musto The Inspector at the 2011 Opera America conference. Claire has also performed selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with Croydon Symphony Orchestra at Fairfield Halls and then with Guildford Symphony Orchestra at G Live.
In early 2016, Claire sang the role of the Sorceress Dido & Aeneas with The Helen Astrid Singing Academy in the Waldegrave Drawing Room at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, as part of the Richmond-upon-Thames Music and Drama Festival. In the summer, Claire sang 2nd Witch/Ensemble in Verdi Macbeth with Opera at Iford, chorus in La Traviata with West Green House Opera and reprised the role of Dorabella Così fan tutte with The Black Cat Opera Company at the Birgitta Festival in Tallinn, Estonia, after successful performances in Guildford in December 2015. Most recently, Claire performed the role of Maurya Riders to the Sea in a touring production with Piccalilli Opera, followed by chorus in the Opera Holland Park summer production of Káťa Kabanová.
Claire is currently involved in productions of two contemporary operas with Gestalt Arts – Cameron Dodd’s Unsung Heroes of the Planet and Sarah Dacey’s Liquid History, performed at the Green Man Festival and the Totally Thames Festival respectively. Upcoming projects include Saint-Saëns Messe de Requiem and Dvořák Stabat Mater.