Clarry Bartha was born in V ästeras (Sweden) to Hungarian-Swedish parents in 1956. At the age of 16, she moved to Rome to study at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia under Maria Teresia Pediconi. She obtained her masterclass diploma under Giorgio Favaretto at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and subsequently pursued further studies in London under Vera Rosza. She won first prizes at the Beniamino Gigli and Vincenzo Bellini international singing competitions in Italy.
Ms. Bartha made her debut at Drottningholm Palace Theater playing Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
From 1987 to 1994, she was a member of the Frankfurt Opera ensemble, parallel to which she gave performances at the world’s leading opera houses and festivals like the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie / Brussels, the Palais Garnier / Paris, the Opera Bastille / Paris, the Teatro dell’Opera / Rome, Covent Garden / London, the Welsh National Opera / Cardiff as well as at other opera houses in Goteborg, Berne, Basel, Zurich, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Palermo, Florence, Marseille, Montpellier, Nancy, Catania, Stockholm, Prague, Bologna, Genoa, Linz, Innsbruck, Berlin, Leipzig, Bonn, Nuremberg and Dusseldorf.
Her repertoire ranged from opera and oratorios through major symphonic works to chamber music.
Ms. Bartha made recordings and films in cooperation with many of the most important European orchestras, for example Les Danaides (Salieri, EMI), Guenter von Schwarzburg (Holzbauer, Naxos), Tchaikovsky’s Women (a film by Christopher Nupen, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy), RAI Italia, the BBC, Radio France, Sveriges Radio, HR, BR, NDR and WDR.
Gary Bertini, Armin Jordan, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Mark Wigglesworth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Neeme J ä rvi, Paavo J ärvi, Oleg Caetani, Manfred Honeck, Gerd Albrecht, Antonio Pappano, J á nos Fürst, J é sus L ó pez Cobos, Imre Pall ó , Arnold Östman, Michael Boder, Jiri Kout and Fabrizio Ventura are among the numerous conductors she worked with.
She also collaborated with directors such as G ö ran J ärvefeldt, Rudolf Noelte, Graham Vick, David Alden, Nicolas Brieger, Stein Winge, Liliana Cavani, Nikolaus Lehnhof, Brigitte Fassbaender, Willy Decker, Herbert Wernicke, Robert Wilson, Bruno Klimek, Ruth Berghaus, Christopher Nel, Vasily Barkhatov and Peter Konwitschny.
From 2011 onward, the focus of her life shifted from a life on stage to a career behind the scenes. Following the death of her husband, Professor Reiner Schmidt, she took over as President of the jointly founded Förderkreis Bronnbacher Klassik - an association to support music and culture in the Bronnbach monastery - and became artistic director of the concert series Bronnbacher Musikfrühling and Masters of Tomorrow.
Her support for, and encouragement of, young musicians is a matter close to Clarry Bartha’s heart. In 2016, she became Artistic Director of DEBUT, the Classical Singing Competition for young singers. In the 2020/21 season she has additionally acted as Casting Director of the famous Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago as well as Chief Coordinator of the Accademia Pucciniana, the Festival’s own opera academy. Alongside these activities, she gives masterclasses and workshops in Germany, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.
Her next masterclasses include: Kloster Michaelstein Music Academy (September 23), Frankfurt Opera (2024), Wilhelm Kempff Academy / Bertelsmann Foundation in Positano/Italy, together with Gerold Huber (October 24).
In 2016, she became the first woman to win the Main-Tauber District’s Cultural Award for her cultural and social commitment. In the following year, together with the team of DEBUT, she received the Gottlob Frick Medal for her commitment to supporting young singers.
In 2022, after a 10-year performing break, she made her comeback at the Bregenzer Festspiele in a celebrated production of Umberto Giordano's "Siberia" in the role of "La Fanciulla / The Old Woman". Highlights of the past season were engagements at the Frankfurt Opera in a revival of "Der ferne Klang" by Franz Schreker and a new edition of the Bregenz production of Siberia at the Bonn Opera.
Clarry Bartha has grown-up two children and lives in the small town of Boxberg in south-west Germany.