Cynthia Clayton has been an audience favorite for her performances of leading lyric soprano roles for over twenty years. She recently enjoyed great critical as well as popular accolades for her first performances in the title role of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas with Utah Opera. Previously with that same company, she sang her first performances of Puccini’s Tosca, a role she repeated the following season with Houston Grand Opera. Ms. Clayton has debuted with a number of prominent opera companies to extraordinary success, including Houston Grand Opera as Mimì in La bohème; New York City Opera as Musetta in La bohème; Dallas Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni; Utah Opera as Mimì; and Central City Opera as Penelope in the North American premiere of Britten's Gloriana. Her New York City Opera credits also include appearances as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Mimì, and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. She achieved great audience and critical acclaim for her performances of Janáček’s Jenůfa with Utah Opera. She appeared with San Diego Opera as Mary Willis in Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree, as well as Musetta and Micaëla (in veteran conductor Richard Bonynge’s first performances of La bohème and Carmen), followed by a triumphant return to Festival Opera in the title role of Floyd's Susannah, appearing most recently with that company as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello. She has appeared both as Micaëla and as Marguerite in Faust with Cleveland Opera. In addition, she has sung Violetta in La traviata in Belgium; Madama Butterfly with Houston Grand Opera, Anchorage Opera, Intermountain Opera and Fort Worth Opera; Liù in Turandot with Knoxville Opera; Nedda in Pagliacci with Opera Delaware and Festival Opera; Countess Almaviva with Orlando Opera; Massenet's Manon with Arizona Opera; Alice Ford (in Verdi’s Falstaff) with Utah Opera; Susannah with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Manon Lescaut with Intermountain Opera; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mimì, and Nedda, all with Festival Opera. She has appeared with Opera Santa Barbara as Mimì; and with the New West Symphony as Violetta.

Ms. Clayton's concert performances have included Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Verdi’s Requiem, Mahler’s Second Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers, Brahms' Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, and Debussy's La Damoiselle Élue, as well as numerous recitals and chamber music performances, including Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Her symphony appearances include credits with the Houston Symphony and San Jose Symphony, among many others.

At the beginning of her career, Ms. Clayton completed a Principal Artist Residency with Opera San Jose, including performances of such roles as Tatyana, Violetta, Fiordiligi, Micaëla, Léïla, Donna Elvira, Gilda, Rosina, Mimì, Pamina, the Countess, Cio-Cio San, the Merry Widow and George Roumanis' Phaedra, the latter of which she performed in the world-premiere stage version as well as in the Emmy-nominated adaptation Ode to Phaedra, broadcast by KTEH. She is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (BA, Music) and the University of Southern California (MM, Vocal Arts).

In 2005, Ms. Clayton joined the faculty of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, and has earned the rank of Associate Professor of Voice.