Verdi Requiem

Royal Opera House Covent Garden

“And what a team they were, capable of turning full beams but also, crucially, of blending softly with each other. The lion's share in that respect falls to the women, possessing two of the great voices of our time. American mezzo Jamie Barton runs the gamut from hallowed pianissimos to powerful, true Verdian chest voice. Her involvement was always a joy to watch, even when she wasn't singing.”
–David Nice, The Arts Desk

“The lower end of Jamie Barton’s mezzo is a wonder of majestic fullness and character, and she and Davidsen were a formidable duo in the ‘Recordare’ and the ‘Agnus dei’. Favourite moments? Jamie Barton’s self-abasing whispers of the word “Nil”…”

–Peter Reed, Classical Source

“Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton completed the quartet, wielding a cavernous lower register that offered a rewarding contrast against Davidsen’s bright top.”

–Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack

“American mezzo Jamie Barton matched [Davidsen] for variety of sound and expression, and was hardly less authoritative. They sounded as one in the radiant simplicity of the ‘Agnus Dei’. “
–Richard Fairman, Financial Times

“Similar in expression with a wholly contrasting instrument was mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, whose weightier, far more ominous tone laced "lacrymosa dies illa" ("That day is one of weeping") with a simultaneously sinister and placating resonance.”

–Sophia Lambton, Broadway World

“Davidsen’s soprano and Jamie Barton’s mezzo-soprano blended perfectly in ‘Recordare, Jesu pie’ where Barton’s full tone was allowed to come to the fore.”

–Sam Smith, Opera Online

“American mezzo Jamie Barton was Davidsen’s equal with regard to sonic impact, and perhaps surpassed her in expressive nuance. Her entry in the Dies irae, ‘Liber scriptus proferetur’, was crystalline, and when repeated subsequently, stirring and powerful. Barton has an innate instinct for the drama that resides within the vocal phrase: ‘Judex ergo, cum sedebit’ floated aloft the resonant chordal brass before plummeting an octave, the sound delving into our hearts and souls. Her ‘Recordare Jesu pie’ was gentle and sincere; ‘Lacrymosa dies illa’ was poised against the sobbing throb of the strings. Davidsen and Barton intertwined sensuously in ‘Salve me’…and the Agnus Dei was perfectly tuned and composed.”
–Claire Seymour, Opera Today

“Jamie Barton was outstanding throughout the evening from her fervent ‘Liber scriptus’ through to her declamatory contribution to ‘Lux Aeterna’ (‘Eternal Light’) amongst the ensemble.”

–Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International

“Barton, Bernheim and Bretz all allow this great synthesis of music and voice to flow in a gathering of sound and emotion. Jamie Barton takes on the solo in the sixth section ‘Lux Eterna’, bringing a sense of exquisite calm…”
–Rachel Billington, Theatre News

“From the moment the soloists launched into the Kyrie it was clear this was a knockout bunch. Jamie Barton’s mezzo-soprano has a velvety richness that descends to cavernous, chesty depths — basically it’s a voice that you want to eat with a spoon.”

–Neil Fisher, The London Times

“Barton is a mixture of Cossotto and Horne, but without the shrillness of the first or the opacities of the second. Barton’s voice is both warm and steely, and thanks to her intensity of phrasing, we all feel as if Azucena or Eboli had come out of their usual operas to tell us of their anxieties in a different context.”

–Agustín Blanco Bazán, Mundo Clásico

Beth Stewart