Audio Interview with Lois Reitzes
In her home is a new piece of furniture Jamie Barton never imagined she would have.
“I do have a trophy case now. It sounds horrible coming out of my mouth, but it’s true,” Barton, the Atlanta-based mezzo-soprano star, said in a visit to “City Lights.”
“I am a very lucky girl," she added.
On a brief respite from her busy concert schedule, Barton told host Lois Reitzes that her most recent honor, the Richard Tucker Award, carries a special distinction.
“It’s different from the other things I’ve been lucky enough to win,” she said.
The Richard Tucker Award is referred to as opera’s Heisman Trophy – a reference to the award given to the top player in college football.
“If I have an actual trophy I’m going to take a photo me in a Heisman pose,” she said, laughing.
Barton was raised in Rome and attended Shorter College. She has already earned dozens of awards by her mid-30s. In 2013, she was named the winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, what she has described as the "Olympics of the Opera." Barton is already well into getting ready for her June engagement as Azucena in Giuseppe Verdi's "Il trovatore" with the Cincinnati Opera, a role she calls the "first of the big lady Verdis."
"Mentally I've been preparing for this for a while," Barton said.
Her summer includes an appearance as Fenena in Verdi's "Nabucco" with the Seattle Opera. In the fall, she'll perform the the Brahms "Alto Rhapsody" at BBC Proms as part of a schedule and a career that isn't letting up.