‘Claire Surman’s Lady Billows was simply astonishing, all the notes and every word crisply projected, even those right at the top: she could walk on any stage in the world tomorrow in this role’ Rodney Milnes (Opera, February 2003)

‘Claire Surman achieved the rare distinction of making most of Lady Billows’ words audible…Her rant at the tea-party was virtuosic’ Michael Kennedy (The Sunday Telegraph, 8 December 2002)

‘It was hard to believe that Claire Surman’s autocratic, slightly mad Lady Billows was sung by the same soprano who gave us such a dignified, nobly voiced Daughter of Zion…so completely did this exceptional young singer immerse herself in the part…her highly accomplished performance of the taxing ‘speech-song’…and her convincingly eccentric pronouncements…all made up a truly striking assumption of a difficult role’ Melanie Eskenazi (Seen and Heard,, December 2002)

‘The battle-axe Lady Billows is not an easy role for a student but Claire Surman made the best of it with her silvery soprano’ Richard Fairman (The Financial Times, 6 December 2002)

‘Claire Surman swaggered splendidly as Lady Billows, with her youthful voice able to do justice to Britten’s tricky vocal line’ Nick Breckenfield (, 16 December 2002)

‘The cast had strength and depth….Claire Surman was particularly fine’ (Daughter of Zion, Brockes Passion)  Matthew Peacock (Early Music Today, June/July 2002)

‘This very fine young soprano has everything; she is graceful in presence and dignified in bearing, and her countenance expresses sorrow and sympathy in a truly moving way. She sings the part superbly, with strikingly clear declamation of the narratives and vivid singing of the arioso passages – this is obviously a singer to watch’ (Daughter of Zion, Brockes Passion) Melanie Eskenazi (Seen and Heard,, 20 March 2002)

‘The Three Ladies sang and moved well and were continually watchable…The German dialogue was impressively articulated with good accents and clear diction’ Peter Grahame Woolf (, June 2003)

‘Claire Surman, Wendy Dawn Thompson and Katrina Waters are strong as the Three Ladies’ John Allison (The Times, 26 June 2003)

‘The Britten Opera School has given such singers as Jonathan Lemalu, Andrew Kennedy, Wendy Dawn Thompson and Claire Surman the chance to develop their abilities in several different roles, allowing audiences the rare privilege of recognizing and identifying with these young but already highly developed talents…The Three Ladies…all sang with vivid characterisation and excellent diction…what a thrill it also was to hear a singer actually make something moving out of that key phrase ‘Die Zauberflöte wird dich schützen’ as Claire Surman did, as opposed to throwing it into the wings as so many First Ladies do’ Melanie Eskenazi (Seen and Heard, 24 June 2003)

‘The Three Ladies were good in ensemble and individually’ Michael Kennedy (The Sunday Telegraph, 29 June 2003)

‘Claire Surman’s Rosalinde has real style’ Philip Radcliffe (Manchester Evening News, 28 July 2003)

‘Claire Surman as the tragic Violetta was perfect for the part…the way in which Violetta changed from being a radiant beauty to a gaunt shadow of her former self was a triumph for the actress’ Roy Atterbury (Kentish Times, November 2005)

‘Claire Surman’s soprano managed to maintain a sweetness of tone that was always able to generate the required emotional elements to bring depth to the inner torments of her character’ (Leïla, The Pearl Fishers) Roy Atterbury (Kentish Times, May 2006)

‘Claire Surman really came into her own when a Princess in the last act, a strong woman with more than a look of Kirstin Scott-Thomas about her’ (Tatyana, Eugnene Onegin) Kirsty Young (, March 2007)

‘It is played with terrific assurance and a million nice little touches…priceless, as are Mimi’s knowingly shy little glances, conveyed by Claire Surman – and they can all sing too’ (Mimì, La Bohème) Robert Thicknesse (July 2007)

‘The singing was of a high standard, with some sublime vocal highlights….Claire Surman’s wonderful portrayal of the Countess, filled with anxiety, gorgeous of tone, showing us a brief glimpse of her more positive spirit at the end of Dove sono’ Andrew Godbold (, September 2007)

‘The soprano has the largest role and the one that is the signature of the whole work…in Claire Surman the Society presented a singer with elegance and presence, with a generous vibrato and a warm, pure delivery’ (Mozart Requiem with Inverness Choral Society) James Munro (, April 2008)

‘…abetted by Claire Surman, a Gilda of glorious high register’ Roderic Dunnett (Opera Now, March/April 2009)

‘If one performer stood out vocally it was Claire Surman as the Countess Almaviva whose warm and very secure soprano seemed to cope effortlessly with the considerable demands of this role, mixing delicate coloratura with a nice legato line’ Sue Loder (Seen and Heard,, June 2009)

‘Claire Surman produced some lovely top notes as the wronged Countess’ Helen Reid (, June 2009)

‘Claire Surman as the long-suffering Countess Almaviva merits particular mention. As well as beauty and a wonderful voice, she has a real presence on stage and, amid all the crazy comings and goings on stage, I found my eye drawn to her time and again’ Annie Riddle (Salisbury Journal, June 2009) ‘Claire Surman’s Helena excelled in the quarrel scene’ Michael Kennedy (Opera, September 2009) ‘Claire Surman was a suitably enraged Helena who thinks everyone is making fun of her’ Roger Jones (Seen and Heard,, July 2009)