Soprano Suzannah Clarke Will Focus on Politics, Not Opera

Classic Arts News   Soprano Suzannah Clarke Will Focus on Politics, Not Opera
Soprano Suzannah Clarke has announced her intention to run for Parliament in the U.K, and will put her opera career on hold to do so, Darlington's Northern Echo reports.

Clarke said at the Labour Party spring conference at the Sage, Gateshead, that she would like to run for the Bishop Auckland seat, which will be free next year, as a Labour candidate. She has been approved by the party.

"Somewhere like Bishop Auckland would be very good," she said, "although anywhere in the North-East would be very comfortable: I know the culture, appreciate the people, and have lived here all my life."

According to the Echo, Clarke has turned down the lead role in Donizetti's La Fille du regiment to focus on her political career.

"I have made an absolute decision," she said. "I won't stop my voluntary work or doing the odd concert, but politics is to come first and foremost. My constituents have to be the main center of my life, and opera has to go backward."

Even if she does not find a seat to run for, she said, she won't be going back to opera. "I will be looking for a by-election," she said, "fighting seats that aren't winnable, and I'll go off and do a lot of in-depth study."

Clarke told the paper that her career switch was inspired by her role in the "Yes for the North-East" campaign last year, the goal of which was to move power from London to the regional assembly.

Clarke, who was in 2003 the first British singer to perform in North Korea, has performed with such companies as La Scala, the English National Opera, the Welsh National Opera, and the Scottish Opera. In 2004, she formed Heavy Metal Opera with workers at British Steel, where she was employed after she finished her university studies.

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