Beautiful Music: Jamie Barton wins Cardiff Singer of the World

American mezzo (I’d call her a contralto with high notes) Jamie Barton has won the Cardiff Singer of the World Award. This is the premiere classical vocal competition, a platform that has helped launch singers such as Terfel, Mattila, and Hvorostovsky.

Here’s her award winning performance from Adriana Lecouvreur:Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 3.54.00 PM

And here she is in last year’s Tucker gala (where the standard of singing was astoundingly high) doing the show piece from La Favorite.

Perhaps a few things to work out technically at the top of the voice, but great poise, breath control for ages, and a Marilyn Horne-like power and commitment. And she is alive and singing like this right now. Every so often, it’s worth wondering what it might be like to encounter a golden age of opera in its early days, rather than bemoaning that “they just don’t make ’em like the used to.” She’s got a ways to go, perhaps, but is, like Pretty Yende, a “true type” opera singer in the great tradition.

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