Stars of Lyric Opera at Millenium Park
Lyric Opera of Chicago
"During such a concert with manifold talents in evidence it would seem difficult to single out individual vocalists for their memorable efforts. Yet the performance given by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton of Léonor’s aria “Ô mon Fernand” from Donizetti’s La favorite deserves particular recognition. Here was a voice that showed remarkable color and depth from the first notes of her aria. One admired the security of range as Ms. Barton’s voice lamented the fate of her love, the vocal line descending to heartfelt emotional depths at “Hélas! est condamné!” (“Alas! My love is condemned!). Her ascent to top notes on “tout” (“everything”) and “justice” and the cry of despair, which she took forte without a trace of harshness, prepared a transition to the middle section of the piece. At this point Léonor appeals to God for death. Her line, “fais-moi mourir” (“make me die”), performed by Ms. Barton with a fully rounded expressiveness, made the character’s entreaty all the more credible. In the last segment of the aria, taken at a brisker tempo, Ms. Barton’s melodic agility and dramatic high notes concluding on “sera morte avant ce soir” (“will be dead before tonight”) gave an exciting finish to this accomplished performance. As a whole, Ms. Barton’s aria was yet another example of the passion in which both singers and audience participate and about which Mr. [Anthony] Freud spoke as being an integral part of great operatic performances."
–Salvatore Calomino, Opera Today
"American mezzo Jamie Barton was the discovery of the evening. A grand finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions in 2007, she was riveting as the mournful young Leonor in "O mon Fernand…Mon arret descend du ciel" from Donizetti’s La favorite. Her voice was rich with myriad colors, full of velvety smoke in its lowest register and ringing with clarion strength at its upper reaches. Standing quietly, she conveyed a depth of regret and loss that was profoundly moving."
–Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review
"On the up-and-coming side, mezzo Jamie Barton, debuting here this season, was a rich-voiced showstopper, both in “O mon Fernand” from Donizetti’s La favorite and in the added duet from Delibes’ Lakme with dependable returning soprano Anna Christy."
–Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times
"The audience was treated to a tour-de-force with Jamie Barton’s performance of “Mon arrêt descend du ciel” from Donizetti’s La favorite, a piece that showed the range of the singer’s intensity and expression. Barton’s performance in the famous duet from Lakmé “Dôme épais” was similarly nuanced, as she shared the stage with soprano Anna Christy."
–James L. Zychowicz, Seen and Heart International
"Jamie Barton, a highly gifted young American mezzo whom Lyric has tapped to take on three supporting roles this year, showed why she's on opera's fast track with stunning readings of an aria from Donizetti's La Favorite and her part of the Lakme duet."
–John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune