'When you hear Barton, you want this opera renamed Adalgisa'

April 30, 2018

Photo by Cory Weaver

Photo by Cory Weaver

“Mezzo Jamie Barton...former HGO Studio Artist and conquering international singer, supplies heft, smoky velvet tone, and incomparable artistry to good girl gone bad then good. Sometimes a second lead makes this opera her own – Marilyn Horne immediately comes to mind. When you hear Barton’s glorious plangency, you want this opera renamed Adalgisa. She walks away with this production on a platter.”
— Houston Press

Mezzo Jamie Barton brings her Adalgisa, one of her signature roles, to Norma at Houston Grand Opera, where she trained in the HGO Studio. Led by music director Patrick Summers, the cast includes Liudmyla Monastyrska in the title role, opposite Chad Shelton as Pollione. Performances at the Resilience Theater run through May 11, 2018, with tickets available via HGO.

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"When mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, playing the young priestess Adalgisa, blended her rich tones with Monastyrska’s in their Act 2 due, “Mira, o Norma,” the mellifluous outcome recalled the classic pairing of Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne... The darkness and weight of Barton’s voice captured Adalgisa’s heavy-heartedness even at a whisper. Every phrase was alive and expressive."
Texas Classical Review

“A spellbinding performance that was a master class of bel canto virtuosity and dramatic connection…”
Houston Chronicle

"A star performance in Jamie Barton's Adalgisa... Barton showed her versatility in several registers of her voice, but most particularly the upper octave. It is exactly this trait that showcases how calling Adalgisa just another mezzo role is not telling the whole story. Barton was the most dynamic actress of the bunch, displaying her internal conflict especially vividly..."

“Barton, whose voice transformed Wagner’s frumpy Fricka into utter sophistication for HGO’s Ring cycle, showed her breadth as an artist with Bellini’s ornamented bel canto, handling each turn and leap with silky ease."

“Barton’s performance was absolutely thrilling. Flaunting a truly luxurious, rich-voiced mezzo reminiscent of the great Marilyn Horne...exquisitely phrased with a honeyed tone, even legato, and abundantly resonant chest voice. Barton and Monastyrska easily spun out phrase after phrase of gorgeous legato..."
Opera Wire