Adalgisa in NORMA

Metropolitan Opera

"From the first lines of her entrance prayer Barton boldly gave notice that this was going to be an old-school, gratifyingly big-voiced Adalgisa. While the opulent richness of Barton’s instrument again stunned, it was the quieter moments that were truly special. During her rapt verse responding to Pollione’s “Vieni a Roma” she conveyed a remarkable erotic intoxication that went far in explaining the virgin priestess’s infatuation with the brutish consul. There was little doubt what was she was looking forward to in “Roma” and not just because Barton was born in Rome—Georgia! And the two strophes at the beginning of the first Norma-Adalgisa duet were sublime, suffused with the heady limerence of first infatuation."
–Christopher Corwin, Parterre Box

“Fortunately, [Norma’s] emotional journey is supported by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, in fine voice as the novice priestess Adalgisa. The women’s duets, in particular “Mira o Norma”, provide the most thrilling and memorable moments.”
–Xenia Hanusiak, Financial Times

"Barton, as Adalgisa, stole the show vocally, her singing flawless throughout the night. Not only was she Meade’s equal in their vocal battle and then unification, but she melded beautifully with Joseph Calleja’s more subdued and delicate take on Pollione... Meade and Barton produce irresistible vocal chemistry together..."
–David Salazar, Opera Wire

"[Barton and Meade's] singing was, in a word, gorgeous. Both have enormous, rounded tones and both are adept at Bellini’s particular brand of coloratura and at sculpting long melodies... Even more praise for Jamie Barton’s Adalgisa: sung perfectly, and with temperament to spare, one felt for her plight. The women’s duets together went off without a hitch – the ascent in thirds at the close of the first act’s duet was taken pianissimo – simply gorgeous."
–Robert Levine, Bachtrack

“The mezzo Jamie Barton multiplied the effect of her magnificent instrument with a very expansive acting performance. The Georgian artist showed that her voice is ripe, large, full of harmonics, and with an intriguing if sudden passaggio. Perhaps the chromatic contrast with Meade’s voice is not ideal and the role of the innocent Adalgisa doesn’t ask for an instrument of this size. However, all reservations are easily forgotten as soon as Barton begins to sing. Without a doubt one of today’s best mezzos.”
–Carlos Javier López, Opera World

"Ms. Meade and Ms. Barton sang together in “Norma” twice at the Met in 2013. Their performances then came across as splendid works in progress, but on Tuesday they delivered on all their promises. With her sumptuous sound and innate feeling for expressive color, the marvelous Ms. Barton excelled as Adalgisa. She captured the novice’s panicked confusion to find herself caught in a romantic triangle. Yet during impassioned passages Ms. Barton’s smoldering singing made clear that this outwardly meek character is a bundle of yearning."
–Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Beth Stewart