Rodney Earl Clarke
Hailed by Gramophone as a “singer to be watched”, Rodney Earl Clarke is recognised for his versatility in performance. Born in South East London, Rodney enjoyed performing at an early age. Encouraged by his Jamaican parents and surrounded by three brothers and a sister, Rodney knew from early on that his singing voice was to be a huge part of his life.
From his days as a choir boy at St. George’s Cathedral in Southwark to being a baritone at home with the music of 1930-1960 Broadway, Rodney has appeared in many shows including Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall, London, Jude Kelly’s award winning production of Bernstein’s On the Town, Kenneth Branagh’s epic film version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Sondheim’s 80th Birthday Celebration Prom, The Broadway Sound BBC Prom with the John Wilson Orchestra, Jake in Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and Crown in Porgy & Bess under the direction of John Doyle with the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. He starred in Raymond Gubbay’s popular show Crazy for Gershwin which regularly toured the UK and also performed many times on BBC Radio 2 Friday Night is Music Night, notably in the David Jacobs Tribute Concert alongside Michael Ball, Gary Williams and Hannah Waddingham and recently the Bishop of Digne in London’s West End production of Les Misérables.
Rodney has performed all around the world including Australia in 2014 where he performed songs from the Gershwin Songbook alongside Australian soprano Julie Lea Goodwin and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Boston Pops Orchestra conductor Keith Lockhart. Earlier that year he joined the BBC team of TV presenters for the Proms, alongside Suzy Klein. In 2015, he returned to Australia to perform the bass solos in Handel’s Messiah at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Philharmonia under the baton of Brett Weymark. In 2016, he starred in an arena tour of West End/Broadway hits concert with the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Keith Lockhart working alongside Louise Dearman, the late Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley.
In 2017 he released his debut album Glorious Quest, hits from the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals with pianist Christopher Gould. He featured on the World Cup ’98 Pavane BBC album and continues to work on recording projects with award winning composers Anthony and Gaynor Sadler, most recently Mantra a song inspired by the tragic murder of George Floyd, a statement of intent to overcome prejudice through togetherness.
Rodney remains grateful for the guidance and support shown from his alma mater the Royal Academy of Music where he was awarded the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award 2001 and generously supported by the Sir Peter Moores Foundation. Rodney was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for his services and contributions to the music industry. Rodney joined the BBC team of TV presenters for the Proms, accompanied by Suzy Klein and has since enjoyed numerous invitations to present. Embracing his life as someone who stutters, Rodney is a patron of STAMMA the British Stammering Association and continues to guide others towards the help they need.
Rodney is a member of cast on the recently released recording of Oklahoma, conducted by John Wilson and has enjoyed a busy spring and early summer with recitals and large-scale gala concerts. This autumn and winter sees a number of high-profile London recitals and the season continues with concerts with the Halle Orchestras and the Academy of Ancient Music.
“Rodney Earl Clarke excelled as the Prodigal’s potentially murderous elder brother.” ARTS DESK, Three Church Parables
“…and counterpointed with the slightly fruity, near other-worldly timbres of baritone Rodney Earl Clarke as the Ferryman (a role Clarke made his own, to universal admiration, in Graham Vick’s Birmingham production of Curlew River, acclaimed at the BBC Proms.)” SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL