The Metropolitan Opera

“Jamie Barton’s portrayal of Fricka, Wotan’s wife, was also brilliantly purposeful and vocally commanding. Her flamboyant mezzo-soprano, with its inky depths and flickering hues, rendered the character as guardian of legal integrity. But, in the surprisingly tender tone in which she passes the responsibility on to Brünnhilde, she hinted at a deeper sense of not only the futility, but also the undesirability of being proved right.”

–Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times

“As Fricka, goddess of marriage, mezzo Jamie Barton not only looked regally chic in a flowing gown of peacock chiffon, she laid out her case in such delicious honeyed tones that monogamy sounded downright sexy.”

–James Jorden, New York Observer

“Jamie Barton’s Fricka was a hot sword of self-righteousness, demanding that Wotan honor her position as his wife. She advocates for a lawful order, where oaths and vows hold serious weight. Singular in her purpose, she confronts Wotan’s contradictions; she is the ultimate wet blanket. Her mezzo-soprano was a scalding flow of torrential heat, but still clean, precise, and focused.”

–Patrick Clement James, Parterre Box

“Jamie Barton’s Fricka is richly sung and not overly hectoring in arguing successfully with husband Wotan…”

–George Loomis, Financial Times

“I can't forget the clarion mezzo Jamie Barton as Fricka, goddess of marriage – though she can't keep her own husband at bay, she has a trick or two up her sleeve.”
–Richard Sasanow, Broadway World

“One of the tensest scenes witnessed at the Met Opera all season. Barton displayed elegant legato throughout; her lush vocal resources contrasted with Grimsley’s gruffer sound, adding to the tension in the scene. But hers was not a needy wife, but a demanding one. She was there to put him in his place, not beg him for mercy. Right from the off, Barton’s phrasing was articulate and precise, the consonants particularly pronounced, giving an air of aggression to her singing. As she saw her husband come undone, Barton’s Fricka looked more and more poised on her throne. As the scene drew to a close, she pulled out her final trump card with melting legato on “Deiner ew’gen Gattin heilige” in what became a mournful plea to save the Gods… It was the most gripping and immersive moment of the night.”

–David Salazar, Opera Wire

“Fricka was sung by Jamie Barton and she probably had the best voice of this cast. There are a wide range of vocal colours at her disposal and her top notes sound that of a future Brünnhilde. Barton – in her brief time onstage – gave full vent to her character’s ire and made it abundantly clear who was in charge in her marriage with Wotan.”
–Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International

“In her first Wagner assignment at the house, Jamie Barton endowed Fricka’s song with imperious vocal glamour…”
–Matthew Gurewitsch, Classical Voice North America

“Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Wotan’s wife Fricka bent the ambivalent god to her will, and did it all with sheer strength of voice and personality. Her static blocking, almost motionless on a high point of the set, was apparently meant to symbolize her character’s uncompromising moral attitude, but it was also a welcome relief from the pointless crisscrossing that the performers were directed to do elsewhere.”

–David Wright, New York Classical Review

"Walküre featured the return of Barton's Fricka – her husband Wotan may have contracts carved into his spear, but she's a better lawyer…”
–Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Marvelous, too, was Barton’s Fricka, appearing in Act II to remind her philandering husband that having twins commit adultery and incest is not okay. Despite the fact that Fricka’s arguments are completely sound, audiences tend to regard her as a shrew and side with the no-good Wotan; Barton not only sang well but also brought out the poignancy of a character standing up to a husband whom, despite everything, she continues to love.”

–Anne Midgette, Washington Post

“Jamie Barton, in her first local performances as Fricka, offered tonal glamour and shrewd phrasing; her scene with Wotan in Die Walküre was a highlight of this revival.”
–F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News

Beth Stewart