Born in Manchester into a family of musicians, mezzo-soprano Clare Wilkinson read Classics with a choral scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. She subsequently took up a scholarship to study with Hazel Wood at Trinity College of Music, London, where she won the Early Music, Lieder, English Song and Oratorio/Cantata Prizes.
Now established as a soloist specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music, Clare is in demand with many distinguished conductors and ensembles. In particular, she has performed in many of the world’s major concert venues, from the Hong Kong Philharmonic to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, with The English Baroque Soloists and Sir John Eliot Gardiner (including her recent debuts at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House). With Gardiner she has sung Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Magnificat and B Minor Mass around Europe, Handel’s Dixit Dominus in the USA and Purcell’s The Tempest in the Far East. She has recently returned from a European tour with the group, performing two Bach programmes including the solo lament Ach, daß ich Wassers gnug hätte by J C Bach, and J S Bach’s Actus Tragicus BWV 106 and Trauer-Ode BWV 198.
Also a passionate vocal consort singer, Clare is a member of I Fagiolini (winners of The Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble Award 2006) with whom she enjoys a busy schedule of concerts and tours. Recent projects include the highly critically acclaimed secret theatre piece The Full Monteverdi, soon to be released on DVD (trailer now at youtube.com), newly commissioned opera The Birds by Ed Hughes, and the group’s trademark staged madrigal comedies. The group recently released Flaming Heart (Chandos), the first in a series of Monteverdi CDs. Clare is also a member of Alamire, Ensemble Plus Ultra, Trinity Baroque and The Dunedin Consort.
Clare features on numerous recordings, notably the Gramophone Award-winning Messiah with the Dunedin Consort/John Butt for which she won wide critical acclaim, and Fire and Ice and A Songbook for Isabella, both with Musica Antiqua of London. Recordings due for release in 2007-8 include Cruel Amour (airs by Sebastien le Camus) with the Maresienne Consort, lute songs by Verdelot on Alamire’s debut disk Madrigals for a Tudor King, Four Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal (consort songs by Tallis, Byrd, Tye and Tomkins) with The Rose Consort of Viols, the St Matthew Passion with The Dunedin Consort/John Butt, and a mixed recital disk with Fretwork.