The British soprano Claire Booth has been noted for the combination of contemporary opera and traditional repertory in her concertizing, recordings, and video productions.
Booth was born in the early 1980s in Britain's Yorkshire region and studied at Oxford University, where she won double first-class honors, and then at the Guildhall School of Music. Instinctively drawn to contemporary music, she attracted top composers to write works especially for her from the beginning of her career. The first of these was Oliver Knussen, who wrote the highly personal Requiem: Songs for Sue with Booth in mind in 2006; other premieres in which she has participated came from Harrison Birtwistle, George Benjamin, Elliott Carter, and Pierre Boulez. Yet Booth has also amassed a substantial repertory of traditional operatic works, becoming one of the few singers to excel in both fields. Booth sings the role of Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Elcia in Mosè in Egitto, and several other Rossini roles, as well as the title role in Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen.
Booth's recording career began in 2010 with a Naxos album of works by Alun Hoddinott and has focused on contemporary music, with releases on NMC (Ryan Wigglesworth's Echo and Narcissus) as well as Naxos (song cycles by Jonathan Dove). In 2017 she released a set of Percy Grainger's folk song settings with Christopher Glynn as accompanist. Her concert appearances have included those with top British orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, as well as groups abroad including the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Booth has broken new ground in the video recording of vocal music, collaborating over the years with director Netia Jones. These included, in the 2015-2016 season, a video recording of an unusual multimedia production of Georg Friedrich Haas' Atthis, a setting for soprano and eight instruments of love poems by Sappho. That topped off a season in which Booth also appeared in works by Luigi Rossi, Ryan Wigglesworth, Oliver Knussen, Rossini, and Ravel -- a variety matched by few other contemporary singers.