Interview With Soprano, Jazz & Musical Theatre Artist ‘Marie-Claire Giraud’

Tell us a little about yourself?

I was born on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, raised in The Bronx, NYC and started operatic training in Rome, Italy. I am a soprano who also sings jazz and musical theater. My mother says I sang before I spoke so singing part of my DNA, it is my passion, my everything. Presently I am solidifying my soprano technique training 6 days a week with Maestro Richard Barrett, to my make operatic debut.

How did you come up with your artist name? 

My artist’s name is the name my mother gave me when I was born not knowing the name already existed, she combined the names of my great aunts.

How long have you been in the music industry? 

I have been on this path for about 10 years.

How did you get started in the music business in the first place? 

I studied classical piano as a child, so my love of classical music was already there, Beethoven being my favorite composer but when I started working at Tower records I was exposed to Ella Fitzgerald (my inspiration), Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Maria Callas, Leontyne Price and more. Ella Fitzgerald is my inspiration and the reason why I am singing because she was singing at a time when it was not easy being a black woman in America, but you never heard sadness, anger or desperation in her singing.

How would you describe your latest single? 

CHASING RAINBOWS is a jazz song written in the style of Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, and Ellington, it’s a 1930’s style jazz tune all about following your dreams and never giving up.

When can fans expect the visuals for the single?

I am currently working on it!

Who are your inspirations in the music industry?

Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Leontyne Price, Nancy Wilson, Ludwig van Beethoven, Judy Garland, Marian Anderson, Maria Callas, Shirley Verrett.

How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?  

It depends sometimes I start with a melody or lyric. In the instance of CHASING RAINBOWS, I was cleaning the house and feeling a little blue and wanted something uplifting and I wrote CHASING RAINBOWS in less than 30 min, but it doesn’t always happen that way.

What is the concept behind your forthcoming project if  working on one? 

I am working on my soprano operatic debut and it’s all about being technically perfect to execute the arias to the best of my ability honouring the composer.

Any plans on touring to promote your latest single?

I am currently performing it at Dante’s in the West Village and have plans to re- record it.

What did you buy with your first check off music?

I bought a Shure state-of-the-art cordless microphone.

What are must haves when your in the studio working?

Room temperature water, fruit, pencils, paper, a blanket.

What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?

Keep moving forward, never give up and mistakes are blessings to be learned from.

Will you be collaborating with any other artists in the future?

I am collaborating with Marco Di Gennaro (jazz pianist) on my original songs. What artist have you had the pleasure of working with and what was it like? I had the pleasure of working with Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Harbison, we collaborated on 4 songs for a song cycle. It was a wonderful experience that someone of his stature worked with me.

Name an artist(s) that you would love to work with?  

Gustavo Duodenal, Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper, Cecilia Bartoli, Andrea Bocelli.

Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats  or for the lyrical flow and content?

I believe both are equally important.

What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc…)

Now that we are out of lockdown the opportunity to perform live.

What’s your all-time favourite song? 

O PATRIA MIA, AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi

What was the last album you listened to?

AIDA

Your favourite artist of all time and why?

Ella Fitzgerald is my inspiration and the reason why I am singing because she was singing at a time when it was not easy being a black woman in America, but you never heard sadness, anger, or desperation in her singing. Her singing is pure joy, and that is what I aspire to!

Whose your favourite five artists right now? 

Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leontyne Price, Marian Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Andrea Bocelli.

In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist  in your genre today and why?

Cecilia Bartoli – is a mezzo soprano whose repertoire includes the soprano, has an infectious sense of humour, doesn’t take herself too seriously and she is Salzburg Whitsun Festival.

Who have been some of your favourite artists that you’ve been  able to work with? 

John Harbison

How do you feel about the current state of music? 

I am hopeful!

Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?

The Oscars

What is your main goal as far as music?

Create, perform, produce, want to bring joy to listeners worldwide, inspire, uplift, and motivate children and help them with my story and bringing opera to a broader diverse audience.

Who would you say your music relates to the most?

My music relates to life’s daily struggles and to keep moving forward and never, ever give up on one’s dreams.

What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you  different?)

The joy I bring to music! I am fortunate enough sing multiple genres Opera, Jazz, and Musical Theater. I am also songwriter, composer, and a playwright. Because of all these multiple disciplines, I believe I bring a unique quality to everything I do.

When your not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?

I love classic cinema, going to the movies, visiting The Met Museum and fashion.

If you could work with any producer who would it be?

Kanye West

What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?

Performing the National Anthem NY Islanders at the Barclays Center after the Paris bombings.

What is your dream venue to perform at?

La Scala and The Met Opera

What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom?

Toby Wilkinson: Lives of the Ancient Egyptians: Pharaohs, Queens, Courtiers, and Commoners – research for the role of AIDA, the opera by Verdi that I am presently studying with Maestro Richard Barrett, former conductor of the Fort Worth Opera Company.

What’s your favourite sports team and why?

NY Yankees, I was raised in The Bronx.

Whose your favourite actor or actress and their best movie?

Roselind Russell Russel in Auntie Mame.

Name someone famous who inspires you and why?

Marilyn Monroe because not only was she gorgeous and talented but she used her fame to support Ella Fitzgerald.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Prepare to be amazed.

Where can the fans check out for your music?

My music can be found here.

Cathedral High School Around the World GalaMay 18, 2022United Nations Delegates Dining Room1 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

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