Baritone Christopher Clayton is quickly establishing himself as a rising talent on the operatic stage. He has appeared with companies such as Portland Opera, Sacramento Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Skylight Opera, and Stockton Opera. Recent engagements have included Alfio/Tonio in Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Count di Luna in Il trovatore with St. Petersburg Opera; Tonio in Pagliacci with Opera Birmingham; Falke in Die Fledermaus, Germont in La traviata, and Count Danilo in The Merry Widow with Imperial Symphony Orchestra; Alvaro in Florencia en el Amazonas, and Fredrich Bhaer in Adamo’s Little Women with Utah Opera; Falke in Die Fledermaus with Opera Theatre of the Rockies; Marcello in La bohème with Opera Idaho; roles in L’enfant et les sortilèges, and Polydorus in Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with the Utah Symphony. Current engagements include Carmina Burana with Ballet West and Cincinnati Ballet.
Mr. Clayton is a versatile singer praised for his “golden baritone” and “dynamic” stage presence. He has had success in musical styles varying from the title role in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria to Sharpless in Madama Butterfly to Mr. Gedge in Britten’s Albert Herring. He has appeared in Madama Butterfly with Utah Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Stockton Opera; in La bohème with Sacramento Opera and Skylight Opera; in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Albert Herring, Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, and Faust with Portland Opera; and in Gianni Schicchi with Chautauqua Opera. He has covered Escamillo in Carmen, Dandini in La cenerentola, Gianni Schicchi, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and the Doctor in Vanessa. He has appeared as a soloist in Bernstein’s Mass and in Händel’s Messiah with the Utah Symphony, and as the soloist in Cimarosa’s Il maestro di cappella with the Walla Walla Symphony.
Mr. Clayton was a Portland Opera Studio Artist and returned to Portland Opera in 2010 for Trouble in Tahiti. He was a young artist with the Chautauqua Opera in both the apprentice and studio programs and received a Professional Studies Certificate and master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. At Manhattan School he studied with Maitland Peters and worked closely with Warren Jones and Dona Vaughn. Prior to his studies in New York, he received bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and mechanical engineering from the University of Utah. He has received prizes and grants from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Violetta Pollara DuPont Vocal Competition, the Marian Anderson Vocal Competition, the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition, the Chautauqua Opera Guild and the Oratorio Society of New York.
DIE FLEDERMAUS, Opera Theatre of the Rockies
“Equally pleasing was Christopher Clayton. As the operetta’s protagonist Dr. Falke, his rich and finely textured baritone was matched by a witty stage presence.”
– Colorado Springs Gazette
LITTLE WOMEN, Utah Opera
“Adamo stacks the deck in Bhaer’s favor, as does Utah Opera’s casting of baritone Christopher Clayton, who brings charisma and warmth to the role of the professor.”
– Salt Lake Tribune
“Baritones Chad Sloane as John Brooke and Christopher Clayton as Professor Bhaer were exceptional, especially Clayton. He sang “Kennst du das Land,” Adamo’s magically Schubertian setting of Goethe’s text, with beautifully crafted lyricism and expressiveness.”
– Reichel Recommends
“The recognition scene between Ulysses—sung with great intensity by the wonderful baritone Christopher Clayton—and his son Telemaco wrenched our hearts.”
– David Stabler, The Oregonian
“Christopher Clayton created a memorable Mr. Gedge, with a golden baritone that any vicar would display proudly.”
– James Bash, Northwest Reverb
“As the vicar, Christopher Clayton sang in a rich, firm baritone..”
– James McQuillen, The Oregonian
“Christopher Clayton, as Schicchi, delivered a funny and dynamic performance, while maintaining vocal excellence.”
– Rebecca Cline, Deseret News