November 2, 2017
Mezzo Jamie Barton made her Teatro Real Madrid debut in the theater's bicentennial celebration gala, singing her first Léonor in La favorite alongside tenor Javier Camarena.
“Jamie Barton and Javier Camarena were the two triumphant protagonists last night. Camarena roused the audience, as did Leonor’s aria “O mon Fernand,” in which Barton achieved the high point of the night, in an interpretation with personality, quality, variety of expression, authority in the extremes of the registers, and daring assurance. The cabaletta finished with bravura, where before there was smooth introspection and always potent expressive concentration.”
“Jamie Barton stole the show with top-notch singing and vibrant acting. Her sumptuous mezzo is based on a solid centre, with fresh colours and a beautiful, quick vibrato, crowned with powerful high notes. She does not just live off these natural gifts but she strives for technical excellency, displaying very nuanced and contrasted phrasing, always coloured by a rich palette and by exciting chest notes. She excelled in all her duos, trusting her good form and a deep knowledge of the role. In the ecstatic “O mon Fernand” she showed how well she can control her voice with extraordinary piano singing and smooth legato. Marietta Alboni now has a worthy heiress.”
“Debuting with an already fully developed interpretation, the justly deserved standout among the vocal cast was the American mezzo-soprano, Georgia native Jamie Barton, who offered a magnificent Leonor. A big voice – meaty, with generous volume and extensive range, and velvety. It’s also delicate, with an attractive timbre and impeccable placement, and a homogeneous lined-up sound. Likewise, the American singer is a great vocalist, possessing a good singing technique, dominating legato singing, dynamics, and style. All this was on stupendous display in her interpretation of Leonor’s grand scena in the second act, “Oh mon Fernand” and the subsequent cabeletta, in which she sang a high C the size of a house, that filled the theater and contributed to the celebration by adding to the theater’s history one of those memorable sounds that are heard there from time to time. A magnificent vocal performance.”
“In the titular role, the mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton displayed a whole paragon of virtues: a big, extensive, and homogeneous voice, with a meaty round timbre, an interpretation with character, technical support, and perfect stylistic accuracy. Her Leonor had personality, magnetism, and moments of unparalleled vocal intensity, like her brilliant and vibrant cabaletta. She dominates the smooth singing just as she does the more vigorous passages and this double debut – with the role and at the Teatro Real – was a complete success for her. In her singing there is control, color, and temperament. Without a doubt, it’s a voice to follow – though certainly young, it has much to say.”
“The American mezzo Jamie Barton is the center of the action with a juicy and clear voice, in charge of attracting and engrossing the others.”
“Oren highlighted the extraordinary quality of the cast, led by Barton y Camarena.”
"In Madrid we had the debut of Javier Camarena in the role, as well as the presence of mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Léonor. Both were excellent, though one must acknowledge that La Favorita del Re was also the audience’s ‘favorita’. Jamie Barton, who was making her debut in Madrid, has a wide and very beautiful voice, well-handled and expressive, and an outstanding top register. Her Léonor was superb from start to finish, and her interpretation of ‘O mon Fernand’ and the subsequent cabaletta were the highlights of the concert. She represents the continuation of the great tradition of American mezzo-sopranos, following in the footsteps of Marilyn Horne and Dolora Zajick. There’s really no comparison to Jamie Barton in this role today..."
Seen and Heard International
“Camarena and Barton carry the opera on their backs. She is a young diamond…and will do wonders in this and other roles. Her Leonor will surely be well-placed as the next in the line of those created by Stignani, Barbieri, Simionato, Cossotto, Verrett and Horne. The opposite of the usual, her voice shines most in the extreme registers of her range than in the middle voice, and in her much applauded debut at the Real – and in this particular opera – she has left an unbeatable impression.”