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Claire Caldwell

Pianist / Assistant Director of Music

Claire was for many years the Performing Arts Manager and Director of Choral Music at Dilworth School where she curated the next generation of musical talent. She is now expanding that kaupapa in a newly created role at New Zealand Opera as Artist and Chorus Development Manager, alongside her role as Chorus Director in Auckland and Christchurch, and after stints as both Principal Répétiteur and Vocal Coach. She has been privileged to work with the country’s finest operatic talent both in the rehearsal room and on the concert platform. 


Her work at the University of Auckland, Dame Kiri te Kanawa Foundation, Auckland Opera Studio, New Zealand Aria Competition, and her private coaching studio at home led to her making her mark as one of the country’s most sought-after accompanists, exclusively in collaboration with singers. 

Diverse career highlights include:

  • Chorus Director at NZ Opera for the 2022 season including performances of Il Trovatore and Macbeth.

  • Sourcing and training a youth choir for the Aroha Nui concerts in both Auckland and Christchurch in 2019 which raised over $3 million for those affected by the Christchurch tragedy.

  • Training the choir for Sol3 Mio’s arena concert in March 2021, as well as accompanying them as part of their orchestra. Her collaboration with Sol3 Mio goes back to their inception, and she features as Musical Director on their acclaimed DVD “Ladies and Gentlemen, Sol3 Mio Live” released in 2014 by Universal Music.

  • Having her students make their mark on international stages including winning the Lexus Song Quest and being selected for prestigious Young Artists programs in London and New York, and recently making their debuts at the Royal Opera House in London and the Metropolitan Opera House 

  • Providing the choir for Six60’s record-breaking stadium concert at Western Springs in 2019

  • Dilworth’s auditioned choir Fortissimo gaining a place at the Choral Federation’s Big Sing National Finale every year since 2013. 

  • Training the choir for the Andrea Bocelli concert at Spark Arena in 2008

Her real passion is working with those who feel that singing is out of their reach and helping them find their voice.  This year her focus is on musical collaboration and ensuring that the next generation of singers in Aotearoa have access to the best musical experiences and training available.

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