The Kennedy Center

Jamie Barton


Jamie Barton – mezzo soprano –  a winner of both the Main and the Song Prize at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a Grammy nominee.

Described by The Guardian as "a great artist, no question, with an imperturbable steadiness of tone, and a nobility of utterance that invites comparison not so much with her contemporaries as with mid-20th century greats such as Kirsten Flagstad".

Her appearance as Adalgisa in Norma at the Metropolitan Opera won her critical acclaim in the opera world – "But the night belonged to Jamie Barton…….a sensitive, attentive artist with a stunning and flexible sound. As the guilt-ridden, errant young priestess Adalgisa, Barton carved her short opening arioso and prayer with detail and genuine presence". Judith Malafronte, New York Classical Review, October 25, 2013.

The 2013-2014 season includes returns to Houston Grand Opera as Fricka in Das Rheingold, to Opera Memphis for Katisha in The Mikado, and Meg Page in Falstaff with Fabio Luisi at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. In concert Ms. Barton sang the Verdi Requiem with the Melbourne Symphony and Sir Andrew Davis, Britten's Spring Symphony with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst.  Further concerts include Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Bilkent Symphony in Turkey, his Symphony No. 3 in Reykjavik, concerts with the Metropolitan Opera in the Parks, a commercial recording of Duruflé's Requiem in Paris and a series of concerts at the Oregon Bach Festival.

The 2012-2013 season saw her return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Magdalene in a new production of Die Meistersinger conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Ms. Barton had made her debut at the Lyric in productions of Les Contes d'Hoffman (voice of the Mother), Boris Godunov (Nurse), and Ariadne auf Naxos (Dryade). In concert Ms. Barton made her UK debut at the Barbican Centre performing Elgar's Sea Pictures with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (a piece she repeated at the end of the season at the Aspen Music Festival). With the Atlanta Sacred Chorale and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall she sang Mozart's Requiem and performed a Concert of Verdi Arias and Ensembles at the Lanaudière Festival with Jean-Marie Zeitouni.

A former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Barton appeared as Ursula in Béatrice et Bénédict, Giovanna in Rigoletto, and Mary Norton in the world premiere of André Previn's Brief Encounter. A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Barton attended Indiana University in Bloomington where she performed roles such as Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, and Mrs. Soames in the 2006 world premiere of Ned Rorem's Our Town.

"After almost two hours of singing, Barton left us with a surprising encore: "Never Neverland." It was a nod to Mary Martin and the reference to Barton's very first public solo at the age of six, the song "Tender Shepherd" from the musical Peter Pan. Barton began her musical journey listening to her dad's record collection – the Beatles, the Grateful Dead and bluegrass – learning from him what to listen for in music. And when she enrolled at Shorter [College], her intention was to major in musical theatre. But fate intervened. "I discovered that I couldn't dance," says Barton.

While it's unlikely that Barton will ever sing on Broadway like Mary Martin, her operatic career might take her miles beyond the moon" Stephanie Adrian, Arts ATL, November 2013.

Ms. Barton will appear in recital at the Terrace Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Monday October 6, 2014. The recital is part of Performing Arts for Everyone (PAFE) and is, like all their performances, free and open to the general public.
Jamie Barton