Giovanna Seymour in ANNA BOLENA
Lyric Opera of Chicago
"Radvanovsky and her colleagues — which include the admirable mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Jane Seymour and tenor Bryan Hymel in his splendid Lyric debut as Anne's first love, Lord Richard Percy — have the technique and vocal reserves needed to keep the long bel canto lines flowing gracefully in an opera that's essentially a series of increasingly tense confrontations. ... The role of the guilt-ridden Jane Seymour offered Barton a splendid opportunity to display her plush, voluminous voice and dulcet bel canto phrasing. She and Radvanovsky earned one of the evening's heartiest ovations for their Act 2 duet."
–John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
"As Giovanna, mezzo Jamie Barton entirely justified the buzz she has created since her win at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition with a velvety, rounded sound that maintained its lovely quality throughout the registers. The ultimate glory of the evening, however, lay in the magnificent duets. Whether Relyea with Barton, Barton with Radvanovsky, or Radvanovsky with Hymel, each pairing found the voices perfectly calibrated to one another and blended superbly. The Anna-Giovanna confrontation brought the house down."
–Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News
"Jamie Barton deploys her luscious mezzo-soprano in a sensitive, engaging performance. Her sound is strong yet mellow, carrying Seymour’s ambition and guilt equally well. Though less vocally imposing than Radvanovsky’s incisive soprano or Relyea’s violent bass, Barton stands her ground in ensembles, carving out space for her uniquely honeyed high notes."
–MJ Chen, The Chicago Maroon
“With her opulent mezzo, Jamie Barton delivered on Jane Seymour’s ambition and guilt: the Anne/Jane Act II confrontation was a high point of the evening.”
–Heidi Waleson, Opera Now
"Mezzo Jamie Barton offers us a Jane Seymour that is the perfect vocal match to Radvanovsky's Bolena. Their confrontation in the duet "Dal mio cor punita io sono" was goosebump-inducing. Barton's voice can roar like a fire and flicker like a flame, luminous and dangerous from one moment to another."
–Hector Pascual Alvarez, Chicago Stage Standard
"Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is creamy-voiced and appealing as the sorry-but-seduced Jane Seymour; her tell-all duet with Radvanovsky in the opening scene of the second act is a musical and dramatic highlight."
–Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader
"Jamie Barton’s mezzo-soprano is perfectly suited to the role of Jane Seymour, Anne’s lady-in-waiting as well as the next wife of the much-married Henry. Her tone is rich, her characterizations well-considered and her stage presence glowing. The Act II duet with Anne and Jane is another high point in a performance with many high points, with a polished back-and-forth between the two women who both have splendid dramatic effects."
–M.L. Rantala, Hyde Park Herald
"From the first, Ms. Barton makes an unforgettable impression as Jane Seymour, vocally secure and dramatically exciting."
–Salvatore Calomino, Opera Today
"Radvanovsky demonstrated her intensive portrayal of the title character, with Jamie Barton delivering an equally compelling performance as Jane Seymour. Excellent individually, Radvanovksy and Barton were even more ravishing in their duet in the opening scena of the second act. Radvanovsky and Barton’s breathless reading elicited sustained applause. Barton’s opening scena was equally powerful, with her stylish bel-canto filigree matched by thoughtful phrasing—an impeccable performance that set the tone for the entire evening."
–James L. Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International
"Rising mezzo Jamie Barton as Giovanna (Jane Seymour) is not only excellent in her own right but perfectly embodies the pivot point between Anna and the King, creating character in her duets and ensembles with each and both and in her stage asides. The early Act Two duet — or duel? — between her and Anna, when she confesses that she is both Anna’s best friend and usurper, is one of those moments you wondered if you’d ever see again: two singers so matched in age and style turning up the heat, feeding off of each other and the orchestra, and yet doing so at the service of the story and not for a mere divas’ cat fight."
–Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times