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performer

CLAIRE DIVIZIO (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist, administrator, and educator whose body of work includes stage direction, theatrical design, performance, poetry and prose, visual art, and music composition, along with administrative leadership and arts education. As a performer, Claire has been seen onstage across the US in opera, concert, recital, musical theatre, and drag. As an opera singer, they've made appearances with companies including Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Fringe OperaDes Moines Metro Opera, St. Petersburg Opera (FL), Detroit Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Crested Butte Festival Opera, and the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago. Since 2016, they have held a coveted position in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Claire’s return to the CSO chorus in 2023 makes them the first trans singer in the US to successfully return to a union classical ensemble in a different voice part following HRT.

Claire's most committed musical passion is working with living composers.  Claire has created seven solo roles in new operas, performed in the ensemble of two additional operatic premieres, and premiered more than twenty concert works for voice.  In recent years they have premiered works by Dan Shore, Jaz Thomasian, Christopher Cerrone, Philip WhiteErmir BejoLincoln Hanks, Ezra Donner, Yvonne Freckmann, Chris Kincaid, José Julio Díaz Infante, Andrey Komanetksy, and Yshani Perinpanayagam.



 

In recent years, a large part of Claire's artistic work has been with Thompson Street Opera CompanyClaire founded the company in 2011 with the desire to create a space where singers, composers, and production personnel could take risks on truly new operas in a safe, supportive, joyful environment. Since relocating to Chicago in 2016, the company has blossomed, boasting sold out-performances, an Honorable Mention in Chicago Classical Review’s “Best of 2019”, grant support from the Illinois Arts Council, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Saints, and the Puffin Foundation, and an ever-expanding roster of exceptional and diverse artists.

Since 2022, Claire has been a member of the faculty of Northeastern Illinois University’s Department of Music, where they empower students to take ownership of their performing and make the kind of art that fulfills them as individuals. In the fall of 2024, Claire will lead a full studio of applied Voice students and Opera Workshop, as well as teaching a course of their own design about the political history of censorship of music. 

Claire’s writing has been set to music in both art song and opera, and their long history with contemporary vocal music has expanded in the last few years to include music composition. Their first complete opera (Requiem for Five: a comedy), co-written with composer Jaz Thomasian, was premiered at Chicago Opera On Tap’s Halloween Spooktacular in 2021. Outside of music, Claire can usually be found in the kitchen covered in flour.

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