Born in London, Ciara was a keen musician from early childhood, mastering the piano and clarinet before starting to sing. She joined the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and chamber choir, Laudibus, where her passion for music making and singing developed. Ciara went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she was a finalist in the prestigious Gold Medal Competition, and at the opera studio of L’Opéra National du Rhin.
She has since been in constant demand as a soloist both in the UK and throughout Europe, on the concert platform, the operatic stage and as a recording artist.
Specialising in the world of Early Music, Ciara has enjoyed regular collaborations with I Fagiolini, the Dunedin Consort, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and La Nuova Musica. Most recently she has been collaborating with the extraordinary violinist Rachel Podger on programmes exploring the music of the Bach dynasty and a programme celebrating female composers for Kings Place, with music by Francesca Caccini and Jacquet de la Guerre.
Ciara was selected as an Emerging Artist by Christian Curnyn’s Early Music Company, with whom she enjoyed collaborations exploring the Medea Myth in music of the French Baroque, with music by Bernier and Rameau, and sang the lead role in Handel’s Susanna. As one of the Rising Stars of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she sang Ino in Handel’s Semele in the Vienna Musikverein and the Royal Festival Hall and worked with Christophe Rousset, Mark Padmore and Steven Divine. Ciara was also one of Göttingen’s Rising Stars in 2016, where she took the role of Daniel in Handel’s Susanna and worked in residence with talented ensemble, Repicco.
Operatic roles include Fortuna & Valetto in Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea for Opera North with Laurence Cummings, Messaggera in Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Venice and London with I Fagiolini, Dorinda in Handel’s Il Pastor Fido with La Nuova Musica at the London Handel Festival, Nerone in Handel’s Agrippina for Iford opera, Palmira in Handel’s Ormisda and Rosmilda in Handel’s Elpidia, both for the Halle Handel Festival and Venus in Pepusch’s opera Venus and Adonis.
Ciara has performed in all the major European concert halls and further afield, with recent performances including Bach’s St Matthew Passion for the Boston Early Music Festival with Kristian Bezuidenhout, Bach’s B Minor Mass at the Wigmore Hall with John Butt, Bach’s St John Passion at the Barbican with Mark Padmore and the Britten Sinfonia, Monteverdi’s Vespers at Glyndebourne with I Fagiolini, and with Ben Palmer, Tippett’s A Child of our Time at Cadogan Hall, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at Guildford Cathedral and Verdi’s Requiem at Kloster Eberbach.
Equally at home with song repertoire, Ciara has enjoyed long-term collaborations with Sholto Kynoch and Andrew Matthews-Owen. Most memorably Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben, Britten’s Charm of Lullabies and Cabaret Songs for the Oxford Lieder Festival, Schoenberg’s The Book of The Hanging Gardens and music by Zemlinksy and Alma Mahler in collaboration with the National Gallery with Sholto Kynoch and Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles at St John’s, Smith Square and Andrew Matthews-Owen.
Ciara has just finished recording solo cantatas by lesser-known Baroque composer (and violinist in Handel’s orchestra!) Pepusch with fantastic ensemble, Spiritato. This should be ready for release at the end 2020 and hopes to be a fantastic disk, with some wonderful concertos by lesser known Baroque composers writing in London. Recent recordings include Venus in Pepusch’s charming opera, Venus and Adonis, Juno in Daniel Purcell’s The Judgement of Paris, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Dunedin Consort, Daniel in Handel’s Susanna with Laurence Cummings from the Göttingen Festival and Monteverdi’s Other Vespers with I Fagiolini.
Highlights this season include returning to the Wigmore Hall with Rachel Podger playing our Bach Dynasty Programme and two concerts with La Nuova Musica, a programme of works by Purcell ‘Tis Nature’s Voice at Glyndebourne with I Fagiolini and the Academy of Ancient Music, Monteverdi’s Other Vespers in Moscow, Venus and Adonis in Utrecht, Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham and St Martin in the Fields, London and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in Oslo.
Photo credit: Reinhard Wilting