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Classical 101

Young Soprano Steps In As Pinch Hitter For 'Twisted 2' Cast, This Weekend

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Meet Claire, the Columbus Children's Choir pinch hitter soloist for this weekend's production of 'Twisted 2' with Opera Columbus, the CSO and BalletMet Columbus.

In baseball, when your team needs a good batter at the last minute— either due to another batter's injury or just strategy— you enlist the help of a pinch hitter.

Last week, when the young male soprano soloist cast in Twisted 2 started to undergo a sudden voice change, the CSO, Opera Columbus, BalletMet and the Columbus Children's Choir needed a pinch hitter to step up to bat. Luckily, they have seasoned soprano, Claire Ferguson.

Although she admitted to being quite the introvert, the pressure didn't show on the face of the newly-appointed  soloist when we sat down for an interview earlier this week. Then again, Claire— and most of the her fellow singers in CCC— have seen their fair share of the spotlight. 

As a local sophomore enrolled in music at her high school and 5-year veteran of the Columbus Children's Choir, Claire has traveled for music both locally and abroad. A recent trip to Spain came up as a highlight in her young career: 

"I liked the food; it was fun to try new things like paella," Claire mentioned.

Her dad, a great supporter of his daughter's vocal talent and discipline, described the 10-day tour and the various stops throughout the Iberian peninsula. Later this year, the choir— and Claire— will tour Austria and Hungary to sing with the Vienna Boys Choir; an opportunity that excites both father and daughter.

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She's had several big vocal engagements in the US as well. Two years ago, Claire competed in Columbus's illustrious Voice of the City competition. When I asked about the competition, she described her fellow competitors as both encouraging and supportive.

Likewise, the family enjoyed the chance to get up close and personal with Broadway during her time at the Destination Broadway experience in New York; a week-long audition-only camp for singers to train with Broadway talent and even feel what it's like to experience a real audition. 

"She finished Destination Broadway, hopped on a plane, and got right back into another week of singing for another camp. They trained (at Destination Broadway) from about 8:00 in the morning to 8:00 at night... sometimes 10:00." Her dad described the weeks of training Claire has put in at various camps and workshops for the past few summers. 

But for now, Claire has a big week ahead of her with rehearsals and performances on top of school as well as a normal teenage activities. Twisted 2 is certainly one of the largest productions any singer could join in Columbus, not to mention a 15-year old.

When I asked this dedicated, young singer about why she sings and what she feels when she's onstage, we ended up both sharing stories of mild stage fright, our introversion, and what helps. Claire described musical theatre and the characters she portrays as outlets for her energy and passion, especially her recent role as Sally Brown in You're A Good Man Charlie Brown:

"When I played Sally, she was more... out there. It sort of brought out the 'loud Claire' side."

Likewise, this lovely young woman talked about the joy of singing— not for the spotlight and attention— but for the simple pleasure of sharing music with others. I couldn't agree more. 

Be sure to catch Claire onstage this weekend in Twisted 2 this weekend, and in other Columbus Children's Choir productions year-round.

Bio courtesy of Columbus Children's Choir: Claire is extremely excited to be part of Twisted II and to represent Columbus Children’s Choir. This is Claire’s fifth year with Columbus Children’s Choir where she is a member of the New World Singers.

In addition to performing with CCC, Claire was a finalist in the 2015 Voice of the City competition and played the role of Sally Brown in her high school's Spring production of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Along with performing, Claire enjoys listening to all types of music and has recently begun learning to play the guitar. Claire would like to thank her parents and her sister Kate for their continued support.