Critically acclaimed by virtually every major outlet covering classical music, American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is increasingly recognized for how she uses her powerful instrument offstage – lifting up women, queer people, and other marginalized communities. Her lively social media presence on Instagram and Twitter (@jbartonmezzo) serves as a hub for conversations about body positivity, diet culture, social justice issues, and LGBTQ+ rights. She is proud to volunteer with Turn The Spotlight, an organization working to identify, nurture, and empower leaders among women and people of color – and in turn, to illuminate the path to a more equitable future in the arts.
In recognition of her iconic performance at the Last Night of the Proms, Ms. Barton was named 2020 Personality of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards. Also the winner of the Beverly Sills Artist Award and Richard Tucker Award, both Main and Song Prizes at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Grammy nominee, Ms. Barton has been 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.”
This season, Ms. Barton is slated to appear as Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites at Bayerische Staatsoper, Eboli in Don Carlo at Dallas Opera, and Julia Child in a filmed version of Bon Appétit! with Houston Grand Opera. She debuts on the concert stage with Dallas Symphony Orchestra in a program of Verdi favorites, with Orchestre de Paris in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for that same composer’s Resurrection Symphony. Following a duo recital with soprano Angela Meade at Seattle Opera, Ms. Barton embarks on a recital tour with composer Jake Heggie, with appearances with Cal Performances in Berkeley, Schubert Club in St. Paul, and Tucson’s Desert Song Festival. Their new album, Unexpected Shadows, is released on September 18, 2020.
Ms. Barton’s operatic engagements have included appearances with many of the world’s most-loved opera houses. In addition to her role debut as Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice at the Metropolitan Opera; she has recently performed as Leonor (La favorite) at Teatro Real Madrid and Houston Grand Opera; Adalgisa (Norma) with the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and San Francisco Opera; Fricka and Waltraute (Wagner’s Ring cycle) at Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Washington National Opera; Azucena (Il trovatore) at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Cincinnati Opera; Princess Eboli (Don Carlo) at Washington National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena) at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Met; Sara (Roberto Devereux) at San Francisco Opera; Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) at Oper Frankfurt; Jezibaba (Rusalka) at San Francisco Opera and the Met; Fenena (Nabucco) at Seattle Opera and Royal Opera House Covent Garden; and Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking) at her hometown opera company, Atlanta Opera. Future seasons include a debut at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and returns to Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, Atlanta Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Real Madrid, and the Metropolitan Opera.
The winner of a 2014 International Opera Award and 2014 Marian Anderson Award, Ms. Barton has appeared in concert with the New York Philharmonic (Das Rheingold), Philadelphia Orchestra (Handel Messiah), London Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein Jeremiah Symphony), Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Verdi Requiem, Mahler 3rd Symphony), Oulu Symphony Orchestra (Mahler Rückert-Lieder), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Elgar Sea Pictures, Verdi Requiem), Baltimore Symphony (Mahler 3rd Symphony), Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Mahler 3rd Symphony), Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Verdi Requiem), and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand.
Praised by Gramophone as having “the sort of instrument you could listen to all day, in any sort of repertoire,” Ms. Barton has appeared with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax at Tanglewood, and in recital across the U.S. and U.K., including tours with pianists Kathleen Kelly, Bradley Moore, and James Baillieu, with appearances at Ann Arbor’s University Musical Society, Baylor Distinguished Artist Series, Carnegie Hall, Celebrity Series of Boston, Kennedy Center, Princeton University Concerts, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Welsh College, San Francisco Performances, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Vocal Arts DC, and Wigmore Hall.
Winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award, Ms. Barton's debut solo album, All Who Wander, featuring songs by Mahler, Dvorak, and Sibelius, was also shortlisted by the International Classical Music Awards and Gramophone Classical Music Awards.