Jamie Barton's Fricka Has 'Vocal Balls of Steel'

June 18, 2018

 Photo by Cory Weaver

Photo by Cory Weaver

“Jamie Barton, singing so beautifully in Das Rheingold, proves she has vocal balls of steel as well, delivering a Fricka of power and considerable subtlety. 1930s-Wotan may have moved on, but she has absolutely no intention of letting morals slide. Wheedling, cajoling commanding, she can play the kitten, gently twitting her husband’s nose, but in this relationship it is she who is determined to wear the palazzo pants. The voice is still creamy, but when the top notes fly, the audience are pinned to their seats. For a woman who seems the up-and-coming bel canto mezzo of the moment, she’s one hell of a versatile singer.”
— Limelight Magazine

Mezzo Jamie Barton sings her first complete Ring cycle, as Fricka in Wagner's Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, and as Waltraute and 2nd Norn in Götterdämmerung, alongside a starry cast led by Donald Runnicles at San Francisco Opera. Three cycles play through July 2, with tickets available via SFO.

Read more reviews

"Barton brought verve and tonal warmth to the role of Fricka, Wotan’s strong-willed, though often sensitive, wife."
SF Examiner

“A stentorian yet humane performance."
San Francisco Chronicle

"Softening the usually harsh edges on Fricka (Mrs. Wotan), Barton gave sympathetic insight and gorgeous voice to a difficult character."
Bay Area Reporter

“I would not want to anger Jamie Barton’s fierce Fricka…”
Bachtrack

“More vocal honours are due to…Jamie Barton’s sumptuous Fricka, blessed with razor-sharp diction and an instinctive way with the words. Barton’s appealing performance makes the Queen of the Gods into a preternaturally dim society matron – the kind that used to harry poor old Groucho Marx… With her flexible, creamy mezzo you’d have to go a long way to hear the role more beautifully sung.”
Limelight Magazine

“Barton, who has become one of the finest Wagner singers of her generation, sounded first-rate.”
The Mercury News

“A terrific, formidable Fricka, rolling her Rs with relish as she laid down the law.”
Classical Voice North America

“Completely convincing... Barton’s rich, warm voice portrays a woman who has gained self-confidence and who asserts her power. Barton’s Fricka plays with the emotions of Grimsley’s Wotan, exuding a combination of charm, anger and logic to derail Wotan’s long-term plans for recovering the cursed Nibelung Ring.”
Opera Warhorses

“Barton takes one of the thorniest challenges in all of the Ring’s demands. In Act II she manages a mesmerizing, searing turn in straightening out her wayward husband without a descent into caricature.”
Out West Arts

“Barton was a molten-voiced goddess of marriage, determined to uphold the tradition, as Wotan’s wife Fricka.”
SF Examiner

“Barton brought power, nuance, and beauty to Fricka, Waltraute, and the Second Norn, particularly her hurt, yet commanding, Walküre Fricka. That performance seemed to single-handedly raise the heat level on stage considerably.”
San Francisco Classical Voice

“Traditional morality could have no more eloquent a champion than Barton, whose Fricka was a dynamo of implacable reasoning delivered in lusty, full-throated tones.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Zambello’s Norns (Ronnita Miller, Jamie Barton and Sarah Cambidge) are the hapless ghosts in this machine and they couldn’t be better sung. Impeccable diction and voices of real substance get the opera off to a tremendously powerful start… Previously impressing mightily for both power and beauty of line as the cycle’ Fricka, Jamie Barton delivers an equally radiantly sung Waltraute.”
Limelight Magazine

“Barton ranged from heroic pride to deflated grief as she described the felling of the ash tree as the Second Norn, and later served as a compelling Waltraute… She showed a great sense of pacing as she led the soft brass and timpani accompaniment in the orchestra, and a rich warmth as she told Brünnhilde of Wotan’s wish that the ring be returned.”
Parterre Box