Berkeley Opera - Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg
A Master Singer, Clayton Brainerd, singing Hans Sachs, stood head and shoulders above the rest of the generally good cast. He has an international career: it's easy to see why but hard to understand why it's not even bigger. (He sounded much better than San Francisco Opera's last Sachs, James Morris, who was unpleasantly dry-voiced when he sang the role in 2001.) His baritone is beautiful, firm, resonant, well-controlled at all dynamic levels, smoothly-produced and expressive, as is his stage manner. He brought out all of Sachs's nobility, wisdom and experience in his scenes with the guild and Walther. He was touching and vulnerable with Eva and sly as he trapped Beckmesser.
San Francisco Classical Voice by Lisa Hirsch, July 22, 2005
Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires "Die Walküre"
"Morris, who canceled his last two performances, was replaced by Clayton Brainerd, an American newcomer who had mastered a difficult role and displayed a beautiful if not voluminous bass-baritone, with an easy top."
Opera News, December 28, 1996
Scottish Opera "Die Walküre"
"Meanwhile, onstage there was further expression and dynamism from the singers, as well as newness in ways that had not been anticipated. Elizabeth Byrne was a late replacement as Brünnhilde, and Clayton Brainerd joined the cast during the run to take over as Wotan from an indisposed Matthew Best. Both were magnificent. Mr. Brainerd, with his soft vocal textures, strong but gentle demeanor and expressive intelligence, sang of wisdom being gained through uncertainty and defeat."
New York Times, New York, NY September 4, 2001
Monterey Symphony Orchestra "Beethoven 9th"
"Baritone Clayton Brainerd, fresh from performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera, boomed like a sonorous god of brotherhood and joy, filling the auditorium with frissons. The other excellent soloists - were simply overshadowed by this tremendous solo vocal force"
Monterey County Herald, Tuesday, May 25th 2004
Minnesota Symphony Orchestra "Tristan und Isolde"
"Clayton Brainerd sang the part of the faithful squire Kurwenal with supreme dignity. His dark, sharply focused voice cut right through the orchestra and his words carried to the farthest seats in the hall!"
St Paul Pioneer Press, St Paul, Minnesota May 28, 1998