July 29, 2019
The “extravagantly gifted American mezzo-soprano” Jamie Barton spoke with Chronicle critic Joshua Kosman in a wide-ranging interview addressing all things fierce and feminist.
“I wouldn’t mind finding a little more balance between life and career. I have what I call the rule of three when I’m looking at gigs, and an offer has to satisfy at least two of these three or it’s off the list. It has to be a location I want to go to, Carnegie Hall or San Francisco or something like that. It has to be a project that I am really interested in. Or it has to pay all of the money.”
In the meantime, Barton has her eye on some dream projects. She still hopes to get mandolinist and composer Chris Thile to write some music for her, and to accompany her in a program that also includes the lute songs of the Renaissance Englishman John Dowland.
And she wants to sing Carmen.
“I’d like to do something that celebrates people of all different shapes, sizes, colors — and I think that is who Carmen and her people are. Whereas Don José is leading a very conservative, very Birmingham, Ala., kind of existence. Now, I come from that world. I understand it. But also I am of the more colorful liberal world now, so I’ve got a specific understanding of who that character is — and quite honestly I think I could sing the snot out of it.”