Jamie Barton Makes LA Opera Debut to Rave Reviews

November 22, 2015

Photo by Ken Howard

Photo by Ken Howard

“As Norma’s acolyte, Adalgisa, Jamie Barton made her L.A. Opera debut on Saturday night by providing an indelible demonstration of why the young mezzo-soprano has become the latest darling of the American opera scene. Her sound is the darkly creamy lager that poured forth from altos of yore. Yet she displays the craft of a superior modern singer, which includes accuracy of intonation, alertness to rhythm and fine articulation.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Jamie Barton has earned critical acclaim for her LA Opera debut as Adalgisa alongside Angela Meade's Norma, with critics praising her "luscious tone and caressing phrasing" (Orange County Register) and "vibrant, raw performance." (Bachtrack)

Conducted by James Conlon and directed by Anne Bogart, the cast also includes tenor Russell Thomas and bass Morris Robinson. Performances continue through December 13, with tickets available through the LA Opera website

Read reviews:

"Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton brought a luscious tone and caressing phrasing to the part of Adalgisa, and in her several duets with Meade proved a perfect match."
Orange County Register

"The mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton sang the role of Adalgisa with elegant phrasing and a gleaming voice."
Opera World

"Last night in Los Angeles, Angela Meade, in the title role of the Druid high priestess, and Jamie Barton as Adalgisa sang Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece to sublime effect. Every Norma needs an Adalgisa who can match her vocal power and agility, and Meade was complemented superbly by Jamie Barton. Their Act II duet, “Mira, O Norma,” after Norma has pleaded with Adalgisa to flee to Rome with Pollione and become stepmother to her children, was the kind of music-making one dreams of. Elsewhere  ̶  in her earlier solo of Act I, in her duet with Pollione, and in her Act I scene with Norma when she confesses her love for Pollione  ̶  [Barton's] voice exuded a buttery warmth and sumptuous tone."
Seen and Heard International

"Norma requires three exceptional voices to make it sail, and L.A. Opera has gathered together a most impressive trio. Adalgisa is sung with dynamic strength by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton."
Los Angeles Daily News

"The most beautiful voice in the performance belonged to debutante mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton who sang a creamy-smooth Adalgisa. It’s unfortunate that her character has no aria, but Barton showed her virtuosity in a most exquisite rendering of the duet 'Mira o Norma'."
Opera Today

"As Norma's acolyte, Adalgisa, Jamie Barton made her L.A. Opera debut on Saturday night by providing an indelible demonstration of why the young mezzo-soprano has become the latest darling of the American opera scene. Her sound is the darkly creamy lager that poured forth from altos of yore. Yet she displays the craft of a superior modern singer, which includes accuracy of intonation, alertness to rhythm and fine articulation. The greatest musical glory of "Norma" is found in the duets between Norma and Adalgisa, and the Meade-Barton amalgam is a sound so stunning that in the audience Saturday there were laughs of pure pleasure."
Los Angeles Times

“Adalgisa is played powerfully and wonderfully by Jamie Barton. When you see LA Opera’s Norma, you will hear Bellini’s music performed and interpreted in a most gorgeous and unforgettable way. Especially notable for their pure beauty are the soprano duets between Meade and Barton. Those performances alone are worth the price of admission.”
Splash LA

“Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has been winning rave reviews across the country for her appearances. She was very impressive here, as well, with strong voice and great dynamic control, blending gorgeously with Meade in their duets.”
ArtsBeatLA

"Jamie Barton's extraordinary voice has a brilliant top and strength in the lower register. It is her voice’s lower range that often brings to mind a similar feature of the great mezzo voice of Marilyn Horne, one of the previous generation’s greatest Adalgisas. I have personally experienced such extraordinary Norma-Adalgisa pairs as Beverly Sills with Tatiana Troyanos (San Diego Opera) and Joan Sutherland with Marilyn Horne (San Francisco Opera) and believe that the Meade-Barton pairing appropriately belongs with this stellar list."
Opera Warhorses

"Adalgisa was Jamie Barton, a mezzo with a burnished sound that was an impressive fit with Meade’s... It is an exciting and singular sound, a future Amneris to be sure. Their musical sensitivies were especially impressive, highlighted in the duet "Mira, o Norma", the pair sang with outstanding balance, impressively in tune and in sync. Voices aside, these are two singers who have a distinct connection to the drama, diving in to their roles with determination, resulting in vibrant, raw performances on stage."
BachTrack

"Rome, Georgia, native Jamie Barton made quite the favorable impression as the young priestess, Adalgisa. This mezzo-soprano was well positioned in her lower tessitura, and her duet with Norma, “Oh! Rimembranza!”, sung in occasional thirds, was balanced, precise and heavenly."
ConcertoNet

"Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, as Adalgisa, is arguably the most exciting singer to emerge in recent years. Barton’s singing was characterized by its vocal allure, rich tonal production and sound vocal technique. Her round, ripe tone was a beautiful complement to Meade’s more brilliant delivery, and the jaw-dropping displays of virtuosity in the duets between the two made me wonder whether Barton-Meade may be the new go-to pairing for opera connoisseurs."
CNY Café Momus

"Angela Meade and Jamie Barton, are leading an excellent cast in Norma at LA Opera. The rich emotional content of the principal characters' relations with each other is fully conveyed by the extraordinary vocal performances. Meade as Norma and Barton as her unintentional romantic rival Adalgisa are wondrous to hear in the sublime second act duet of attempted reconciliation ("Mira, O Norma"). Though Norma is not an ideal "starter" opera for the uninitiated and this production is only serviceable, Meade and Barton really are singing like legends in it. That's never something to miss."
LAist

Posted on November 22, 2015 .