Mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, who sings "from inside the music with unaffected purity and sincerity" (UK Telegraph), is an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. Hailed for her "rich and radiant voice" (UrbanDial Milwaukee), select opera credits include Ruth, (Pirates of Penzance), Venus (Venus and Adonis), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), and Cavalier Ramiro (La finta giardiniera). She was a 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Upper-Midwest Regional Finalist, the winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition in Milwaukee, runner-up in the 2016 Schubert Club Bruce P. Carlson Scholarship Competition, and most recently in 2017 named the winner of the Houston Saengerbund Competition and placed third in the Madison Handel Aria Competition. Recognized for her excellence in Minnesota, Clara was a recipient of the prestigious 2018-2019 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Musicians administered by MacPhail Center for Music.
In international competition with pianist Tyler Wottrich, in March of 2017, Clara became the first ever American prize winner when she placed second at Thomas Quasthoff's International Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germany. In September, the duo was also one of four to reach the finals in the very prestigious Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition in London, and Clara was awarded the Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder. She recently won the Radio-Canada People’s Choice Award and third place in the song division at the 2018 Concours Musical International de Montréal. Clara received her Bachelor of Musical Arts degree with emphasis in Voice from North Dakota State University in 2008, and Master of Arts Degree in Voice from the University of Iowa in 2010.
Clara’s passion for contemporary music is exhibited in the song-cycles she has premiered by numerous composers with the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa, and her most recent collaborations with Linda Kachelmeier (Stars), Jeremy Walker (Alma Gentil), Linda Tutas Haugen (Gjendine’s Lullaby), Paul Rudoi (Midnight Songs) and James Kallembach (St. John Passion and Songs on Letters of John and Abigail Adams). As a recitalist, she recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, the International Workshop on the songs of Edvard Grieg in Bergen, Norway, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. She was also featured in the 2014 Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, in Berea, Ohio. Numerous festivals have introduced Clara to a number of international artists and art-song coaches, including Graham Johnson, Bernarda Fink, Felicity Lott, Francois Le Roux, Julius Drake, and Richard Stokes.
Performance highlights include her soloist debuts of Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, B Minor Mass with the Galesburg Community Chorus, Easter Oratorio with Bach Society of Minnesota, and St. John Passion with North Dakota State University. Clara is a frequent collaborator of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and with them she has performed Mahler's Symphony No. 2, and Dominick Argento's orchestral song cycles Casa Guidi and A few words about Chekhov.
Active also as an educator, Clara has enjoyed giving masterclasses and convocations at several universities, including Syracuse University, Muhlenberg College, Seattle University, Concordia College (Moorhead), and North Dakota State University. She was also the guest artist in residence at Indiana State University's 50th Contemporary Music Festival celebrating the music of Libby Larsen. Clara will be on faculty at Aspen Music Festival's Professional Choral Institute in partnership with Seraphic Fire in August of 2018. Clara currently studies voice with Emma Small of Minneapolis and aspires to be as kind and as generous as Emma.
2018-2019 season highlights include debuts with the Mid-Columbia Symphony, St. Paul Civic Orchestra, Tulsa Signature Symphony, Winona Symphony Orchestra, Winston Salem Symphony, Back Bay Chorale, and the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. Please visit the Schedule page for a upcoming list of events.
In addition to performing, Clara serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Source Song Festival, a week-long art song festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This festival strives to create and perform new art song, and cultivate an educational environment for students of song, including composers, vocalists, and collaborative pianists. The festival will be in its fifth season August 5-11th, 2018. In addition to her solo work, she participates in a number of ensembles, including Lumina Women’s Ensemble and Seraphic Fire.
Photography by Michael Haug (1,2) and Aleksandr Karjaka (3). Homepage photo by Claire Nieto.