November 2, 2015
Jamie Barton, winner of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award, has joined past Tucker Award-winners Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Isabel Leonard, Lawrence Brownlee, and Stephen Costello; soprano Nadine Sierra, and tenors Piotr Beczala and Andrea Bocelli, in a star-studded gala at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall.
Critics have praised her "glorious interpretation" (Latin Post) and "fiery and velvety range." (Broadway World Opera) The concert will be telecast on PBS in 2016.
"This year's recipient of the award was mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton who recently wowed audiences in "Anna Bolena" as Giovana Seymour. Barton got four opportunities to showcase her brilliant talent and certainly was up to the task in every selection. For her opening, Barton impressed with her weight low range in "Acerba volutta" from Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur."
Her second selection was a soprano-mezzo duet from Ponchielli's "La Gioconda." Sung alongside the powerhouse soprano Christine Goerke (more on her later), this was the most potent duet on the evening with the two women trading guttural blows, their voices at their most violently powerful until they came together at the very end, closing as equals.
Barton came back late in the program with a glorious interpretation of Dido's final scene in "Les Troyens," her voice here a more mellow color. The heft and emphatic qualities of the early selections gave way to a more poignant lyricism, one that drew the audience in from one phrase to the next.
To close the night, Barton joined in on the heavily truncated "Triumphal Scene" from Verdi's "Aida," her voice ringing through the massive orchestra and New York Choral Society."
"This year's gala, at the newly rechristened David Geffen Hall, fulfilled the first object delectably, as it celebrated mezzo Jamie Barton. Barton performed splendidly. Her first aria, "Acerba volutta" from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, showed off her range, from fiery to velvety. Later in the program, she paired with soprano Christine Goerke (who won the Tucker in 2001), in "E un anathema" from Ponchielli's La Gioconda and the duo gave a good reason to revive this opera, which has fallen off the Met's radar for some time. It's a tough task keeping up with Goerke, who is a fireball these days, and this duet was no exception. She jumped into it, practically setting the stage on fire, but Barton gave her a run for her money."
Broadway World Opera
"The ostensible occasion for the gala was to celebrate the 2015 winner, mezzo soprano Jamie Barton. She is a worthy winner of this prize—her mezzo soprano is rich and luscious. It definitely stands out among the hordes of slender lyric mezzos that populate the opera scene. Barton had three selections—”Acerba voluttá,” a duet from La Gioconda, with 2001 winner Christine Goerke and “Je vais mourir” from Les Troyens. The duet with Goerke made me long for a Gioconda revival with these two ladies, and Didon showed off an artist ready for the greatest mezzo roles."