In 2011, Claire founded Thompson Street Opera Company, frustrated by the exploitative working conditions that young singers and composers were forced to accept in the name of building their resumes and getting "opportunities." The company's first performance had a budget of $200 and the artists were paid in home-cooked meals. More than ten years later, Thompson Street Opera Company is a thriving organization with three annual productions, where every artist is paid for their time. The company is based in Chicago IL, and promotes exciting new work by living composers, using exceptional young and local talent to make the works come to life onstage. The company has received support from the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago Together Now Fund, the City of Chicago, Copland House, and the Moritz von Bomhard Fund.
The company persevered during the COVID-19 crisis by commissioning three new short works specifically designed for remote performance, producing an all-virtual mid-season multidiciplinary event which included an opera rehearsed and recorded entirely in isolation, and an operatic film, rehearsed and shot with a fully vaccinated cast and crew, and streamed online. They are cautiously returning to live performance in the 2021-2022 season, with a "stirring" co-premiere of Death of Ivan Ilych (produced in collaboration with Opera Orlando) in fall 2021, and an upcoming double bill in July, 2022.
For more information about the company and to join their email list, please visit www.thompsonstreetopera.org.