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IU Jacobs School alumna Jamie Barton is BBC Cardiff's Singer of the World

June 24, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, an alumna of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, is the winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

Jamie Barton - winner
Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is the winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
Print-Quality Photo

In addition to winning the main prize, which includes an award of approximately $23,000, she received the competition's Song Prize, an award of approximately $7,600.

Watch Barton's winning performance and her Song Prize performance.

"I feel so incredibly lucky to have the lineage of voice teachers that I have, starting with Dr. Brian Horne and Mary Ann Hart. What they did for me is so important, and often rare: they set me up to be a technically sound singer, with enough knowledge of styles and languages to help me make my own imprint on the music I sing," Barton said. "I am so grateful to have both of these teachers in my life still, and count them not only amongst my friends, but very much so as part of my family."

"I could not be more proud of Jamie Barton," said Mary Ann Hart, chair of the Jacobs School Voice Department, who taught her in the final years of her studies at IU. "Via streaming from the BBC, I was able to listen to the final round live. What set Jamie apart from the other competitors was first her voice, which has grown to be a huge and gleaming instrument. Beyond that, the breadth and depth of her expressive range was impressive -- she used a full dynamic range, pianissimo as well as forte, and I'm so glad that she included the Witch's Aria from 'Hansel and Gretel' (the last role she sang at IU), because she could cackle away and unleash her zany sense of humor!"

Established in 1983, the biennial competition has become known as one of the premier showcases for opera and concert singers early in their careers. Barton's "Singer of the World" win offers her international recognition and the possibility of high-profile engagements with the BBC and Welsh National Opera.

Jury members for the competition were Adam Gatehouse, Christoph Prégardien, Dame Felicity Palmer, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Håkan Hagegård, Maren Hofmeister, Neil Shicoff, Nicholas Payne and Per Boye Hansen.

"I'm very proud of Jamie, both for her superior performance and for her overwhelming kindness to everyone she encounters," said Associate Professor Brian Horne, Barton's other mentor at the Jacobs School of Music. "She is the same fun down-to-earth Georgia girl I met when she was 13. That didn't change when she won the Met auditions nor when she was named a Richard Tucker Foundation career grant winner nor when she was nominated for a Grammy award, and I know that it won't change now. When she won, Facebook lit up with congratulations for her -- from schoolmates in Georgia to opera celebrities like Joyce DiDonato. She is equally good to all of them. As big as Jamie's voice is, her heart is bigger."

In 2012, Barton received the Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation in New York and, while studying at the Jacobs School in 2007, she was a Grand Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

With IU Opera Theater, Barton performed the roles of Mrs. Soames in the world premiere of Ned Rorem's "Our Town," The Witch in "Hansel and Gretel," Little Buttercup in "HMS Pinafore" and Thisbe in "La Cenerentola."

Since entering the profession, she has sung with Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Aspen Music Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Atlanta Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Wolf Trap Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Memphis, Bayerische Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera.

An avid recitalist, Barton has appeared with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Weill Hall with tenor Russell Thomas as well as in a solo recital with On Wings of Song. She made her Spivey Hall debut singing Brahms' Alto Rhapsody.

Read more about Jamie Barton.