10.23.14San Francisco Examiner: IL TROVATORE

"Well-known from local performances, soprano Cynthia Clayton and mezzo Patrice Houston shine in the leading roles of Leonora and Azucena, respectively."

10.22.14Los Altos Town Crier: IL TROVATORE

"Soprano Cynthia Clayton sings the role of Leonora, the object of the brothers’ affections. Clayton was equally able to project jewel-like bel canto trills and flourishes and the long, lyrical lines of Verdi’s mature writing of dark, emotional music. She excelled in several marvelously melodic arias, especially the elegant “D’amor sull’ali rosee" (“On rosy wings of love")."

10.19.14San Francisco Classical Voice: IL TROVATORE

"The object of the troubadour's affection, Leonora, is soprano Cynthia Clayton, who has made a name for herself locally with such acclaimed appearances as the title role of Susanna with Festival Opera. I have never heard her in a more modulated, shaded, appealing performance than in arias and duets on Sunday."

07.01.13San Francisco Chronicle: OTELLO

"Completing the trio of leads was soprano Cynthia Clayton as a hauntingly sympathetic Desdemona, bringing luminous tone and a degree of pathos to the Willow Song and Prayer in Act 4."

06.20.13San Jose Mercury News: OTELLO

"Soprano Cynthia Clayton was a graceful, fragile Desdemona. She projected well, had no trouble with the high-lying reaches of the role and sounded fresh throughout. Her "Willow" song was one of the production's high points."

05.24.13San Francisco Classical Voice: OTELLO

"Clayton...came into her own as the evening progressed. After proving herself a superb lyrico spinto with thrilling thrust and glorious high notes, her softer “Willow Song/Ave Maria" established her, first and foremost, as an artist. Singing with supreme grace, she paced unaccompanied passages beautifully, with a touching command that drove the poignancy of her final prayer straight into the heart. Brava."

01.21.13Salt Lake Tribune: FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS

"Soprano Cynthia Clayton scored another Utah Opera success Saturday with her performance as Florencia Grimaldi, a beloved but enigmatic opera superstar who harbors a secret hope of being reunited with a long-lost lover when she returns to her homeland to sing. Clayton struck the right vocal and dramatic balance of dignity, self-possession and vulnerability....Baritone Hector Vasquez provided a firm anchor in reality as the Capitan, Riolobo's counterpart in the tangible realm."

01.21.13Opera Warhorses: FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS

"Of the Salt Lake City cast, the “Florencia" veteran is Hector Vasquez, who created the role at Houston Grand Opera and has been associated with the part ever since. With his large, secure baritone an authoritative performance of the role was assured.... Cynthia Clayton’s Florencia displayed a spinto voice of power, yet one at its most effective in the softer, lyrical scenes, such as the final duet with Rosalba mentioned above. Clayton displayed – through its range of emotions, its mix of spinto and lyric moments, and its melodramatic core – the role’s potential to become a favorite for dramatic sopranos among the lead roles of late 20th century American operas."

01.20.13Reichel Recommends: FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS

"Soprano Cynthia Clayton, in the title role, gives a strong performance of the aging opera star returning home to give a concert and be reunited with her former lover. Clayton’s voice has depth and a lyrical flow that is well suited to the Puccini-esque vocal writing.... Baritone Hector Vásquez, who created the role of Álvaro at the world premiere of Florencia at Houston Grand Opera 17 years ago, brought depth and sensitivity to his portrayal of the ship’s captain. Vásquez’s voice is richly vibrant and round and he sang with conviction at the opening night performance."

10.29.11Grand Rapids Press: IL TROVATORE

"Verdi handed Leonora the opera's biggest range and longest stretch of singing. Debuting in the role, Cynthia Clayton brought along a seasoned soprano, dark at the bottom with glints of steel at the top, plenty agile enough for the coloratura, switching emotional and technical gears masterfully. Applause grew louder with each passing aria she sang."

01.21.08Salt Lake Tribune: TOSCA

"Clayton's performance in the title role skillfully wedded vulnerability and fire. She had believable chemistry with both the male leads, especially in her soaring final duet with [Scott] Piper. Her technical security and poignant expressiveness made her major aria, 'Vissi d'arte,' a show-stopper. "

01.21.08Deseret Morning News: TOSCA

"Also remarkable among the leads was soprano Cynthia Clayton in the title role. She has a powerful and dramatic voice that can also be exquisitely lyrical. She was wonderfully convincing as Cavaradossi's jealous lover. She also brought infinite sweetness to her characterization in her tender duets with him."

05.07.07Dallas Morning News: CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN

"The star of the show is Hector Vásquez's Forester, his baritone finely focused and flexible and carrying well out into the Brown Theater. The cast in general, mostly drawn from HGO's superb apprentice program, seems really to work at projecting words, Mr. Vásquez especially so."

05.04.07Houston Chronicle: CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN

"Hector Vásquez sings with robust force and acts with relaxed naturalness as the Forester, especially strong in his later reflections on aging, time and such."

03.07.06Anchorage Daily News: MADAMA BUTTERFLY

"Cynthia Clayton delivers the title role with a solid voice, energetic yet supple, hall-filling without ever becoming strident, fabulously on pitch even in the murderous high notes.... When the music hit a bull's-eye -- as with Clayton's 'Un bel di, vedremo' -- the listener felt transported..."

01.25.05Deseret Morning News: JENUFA

"Utah Opera has assembled a strong cast for this production. Soprano Cynthia Clayton is spectacular in the title role. Her lyrical, expressive voice, which can also be forceful, allows her to bring a multidimensional level to her character. Jenufa is a sweetly innocent country girl who loves blindly, but she becomes hardened and resigned by everything life has thrown at her, and Clayton convincingly brings all this to glorious life.

08.12.02San Francisco Chronicle: SUSANNAH

“In the title role, Cynthia Clayton gave a performance of heart-breaking tenderness and vitality, using her full-bodied soprano to depict Susannah's harrowing downfall at the hands of mass righteousness. The
melodic phrases of her famous Act 1 aria, "Ain't it a pretty night," arched dreamily with the joy of being alive, while the mournful ballad of Act 2… drew a devastating emotional contrast."

"As the lust-ridden preacher Olin Blitch, baritone Hector Vasquez gave the most dynamic performance I've heard from him in years -- energetic, forceful, rich in vocal color and tinged with just enough spiritual nuance to keep Blitch from being a complete caricature villain."

10.19.99New York Times: LA BOHEME

“The American soprano Cynthia Clayton was a becoming Mimi, by turns shy, sweet and flirtatious…Ms. Clayton has a warm, affecting voice…she phrased with lyrical suppleness, and this was overall a lovely
performance.

08.15.97Contra Costa Times: "Couple Gives Opera House New Meaning"

05.03.97San Diego Magazine: CARMEN

"As for Micaela, the "other" woman in the SDO production, we had Cynthia Clayton, a soprano in whom physical and vocal beauty found an ideal match."

03.01.97OPERA Magazine: FAUST

“Cynthia Clayton sang one of the best Marguerites I have ever encountered. Vocal clarity with beauty of tone made the Jewel Song into a lyric extravaganza. A feeling of totally elegant charm and control
made her performance riveting, a tragic heroine rather than simple village maiden."

01.20.97Los Angeles Times: CARMEN

"Cynthia Clayton made her debut with the opera as a sweet and secure-voiced Micaela."