Reviews from Wolf Trap Opera’s US Premiere of Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria

“Since I often complain that opera takes itself too seriously, it is delightful to see young artists having fun onstage. Some of them had really fine voices. Clarissa Lyons as Stonatrilla, the slightly over-the-hill prima donna, had an arresting, magisterial voice and presence” – Anne Midgette, The Washington Post July 17, 2016   Click here to read full review 


“Just when you think Wolf Trap Opera can’t keep churning out imaginative and surprising productions, darned if it doesn’t happen again.  Following the heels of an absorbing, provocative staging of The Rape of Lucretia, the company’s 2016 season continued with an exhilarating romp through Florian Leopold Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria that must have had many an audience member wondering how this exceedingly clever work, first heard in Vienna in 1769, was only now receiving its U.S. premiere . . . Inhabiting that world was a young cast that demonstrated remarkably polished comic timing and thorough immersion into character. . . Clarissa Lyons brought a large, luminous, flexible soprano, not to mention abundant temperament, to the role of the diva Stonatrilla.” – Tim Smith, Opera News October 2016 Online Exclusive.  Click her for full review

“Performing tonight were the superb 2016 cohort of Filene Young Artists. As individuals and as a company, they performed with marvelous verve, and a manifest enjoyment of their roles and relationships which was altogether infectious. The intimate barn setting has a generous acoustic, and the singing was excellent, even at times superb.” –  Hilary Stroh, ‘The pleasure of parody: delightful Opera Seria at Wolf Trap’ Bachtrack, July 17, 2016 –  Click here for full review


“Let me say first of all that the talent of these young singers as a group is impressive.  And not only can they sing, but they can act.  I think we will hear much more from many of these people.  Previous comments on these singers can be found in my report on Aria Jukebox.  Here are my favorites from the night’s performance in order:

1.     Clarissa Lyons, who played Stonatrilla (out-of-tune), has a beautiful voice as noted by me before.  She can also act with a deft comic touch, easily provoking laughs with her expressions.  Acting for tv and the movies could be in her career path.” –  OperaGene July 22, 2016  Click here for full review



Reviews from The Met + Juilliard’s coproduction of La Sonnambula:


“The bright-voiced soprano Clarissa Lyons found the right mix of wounded pride and sassiness for Lisa, the innkeeper, who has been jilted by Elvino. ” – Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times,  February 10, 2016  Click here for full review


“The Lisa, Clarissa Lyons, made more expressive use of the Italian language than anyone else onstage. She commands a darkly bright, penetrating sound . . . she made the character a stronger vocal and dramatic counterpoint to Amina than I have ever witnessed.” – David Shengold Opera News, February 2016 – Vol. 80, no. 8    Click here for full review



Review from  Opera on the Avalon Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“The opening-night Hermia and Helena (Marjorie Maltais and Clarissa Lyons) are strong interpretively and vocally, with the former having a gorgeous voice and the latter characterized by nice comic flair.” – Gordon Jones, The Telegraph June 21, 2014

Click here to read full article



Bernstein Songfest, SongFest at Colburn, Grand Performances July 13, 2013:

“The standout was soprano Clarissa Lyons, who delivered “A Julia De Burgos” with angry, burning heat.” – Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times July 15th, 2013

Click here to read full coverage of the concert in the July 15th edition of the Los Angeles Times



Libby Larsen The Magdalene, SongFest at Colburn July 19th, 2013:

Clarissa Lyons’ luxuriant large soprano made much of Mary’s liquid vocal lines full of Middle Eastern melisma, while Leann Osterkamp achieved the desired flashiness for the piano accompaniment. I would have thought that seduction was part of the plan.”

For the full review of this performance, click here



Clarissa Lyons & Bretton Brown in Recital, Carmel CA May 31, 2013

Clarissa Lyons succeeded on several levels in her recital – she put together an excellent program, she demonstrated her mastery of several styles (Lieder, Opera, & Cabaret), and most importantly of all, she managed all of this with considerable charm and charisma.” – Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews June 1, 2013

Follow this link to read the full article



Dido & Aeneas, Mark Morris Dance Group at Mostly Mozart

“Blythe sings the roles of Dido and the Sorceress and is brightly supported by sopranos Yulia Van Doren and Clarissa Lyons” – Lisa Jo Sagolia, August 24, 2012

Dido & Aeneas at Mostly Mozart Festival from


Clarissa was recently featured in her hometown newspaper  The Davis Enterprise.

Click here to read the interview with Jeff Hudson


Review from the Winners Concert at the Carmel Music Society Competition on May 20th, 2012

“After intermission we heard the Grand Prize Winner, Clarissa Lyons. Right from her opening aria from Mendelssohn’s Elijah, we heard a mature, seasoned voice with well-developed dramatic skills and a natural flair for expressive color..” – Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews May 20, 2012

Carmel Music Society Awards Concert from Peninsula Reviews


Clarissa Lyons as Arianna in Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna at the Tanglewood Music Center, July 2011:

“At another pause in the dance action, Clarissa Lyons sang Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna with heartstopping abandon.”- Hilary Somers Deely for Opera News  October 2010

Trois Opera Minutes in Opera News

There were so many excellent performances that you could get dizzy trying to pick one over another. Let’s just mention three singers in Monteverdi selections – Sharin Apostolou and Sharon Harms in two lovers’ duets, Clarissa Lyons as Ariadne in a cantata-length lament – and let them stand for the whole.”

– Andrew L. Pinchus for Berkshire Eagle, July 13 2011


Clarissa Lyons as Mimí in Prelude to Performance’s La Bohème, New York City July 2009

Photo by Claudia Saimbert


Although most interpretations of character and story were markedly traditional –  [. . .] Clarissa Lyons, as Mimì, was as pure of heart as ever a Mimì was – the opera felt radically intimate.” – Abby Rosebrock for Opera News   October 2009

La Boheme Review in Opera News Magazine