San Francisco Opera

“As in every other appearance in San Francisco, Barton impressed greatly with beauty of tone and effortless projection in the huge, 3,200-seat War Memorial. The role of Sara is almost pure bel canto, and Barton’s floating of melodic lines was nonpareil.”
–Janos Gereben, Classical Voice North America

“Splendid mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, as Sara, the Duchess of Nottingham, meltingly and sweetly expresses her guilt-ridden love for dashing Roberto Devereux, Earl of Essex.”

–James Ambroff-Tahan, San Francisco Examiner

“Radvanovsky had valiant, expressive colleagues by her side — mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and tenor Russell Thomas, the same ensemble that had contributed to the splendor of that ‘Norma’… Barton, as Sara, gave a performance rich in pathos and cloaked in the thickly upholstered vocal colors that make her singing so irresistible.”
–Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

“As Sarah, Jamie Barton deployed her velvety, richly colored mezzo with beauty and urgency to limn the character’s desire and anguish.”
–Georgia Rowe, Opera News

“As Elisabetta’s friend and innocent rival Sara, Jamie Barton deploys a richly layered, tightly controlled voice that she makes delicate or harsh to suit the drama. In a den of nasty personalities, Barton’s Sara is touchingly sincere.”
–Ilana Walder-Biesanz, San Francisco Classical Voice

“The role of Sara, Duchess of Nottingham may be secondary dramatically to the fateful relationship between Elizabeth and Essex; but mezzo Jamie Barton delivered a solid account whenever her solo work was in the spotlight. Her sense of pitch was consistently solid and her overall phrasing always firmly situated in the musical context... As a “team player” her duo work with tenor Russell Thomas in the title role was equally riveting.”
–Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio

“Barton set the tone with liquid phrasing and her signature burnished sound.”
–Harvey Steiman, Seen and Heard International

“Jamie Barton as Sara, Duchess of Nottingham, [sang] with gusto, beauty and sheen… She performed the poignant role of Essex’s lover with aplomb and beauty. When she confronted her selfish, hurt husband, the Duke of Nottingham…she was more than moving [as a] trapped, frustrated victim.”

–Lois Silverstein, Opera Wire

“The mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton brought vivacity to the role of Sara, singing with a pliable and nuanced voice.”

Una voce poco fa

“[Radvanovsky] was well matched by a world class cast including Russell Thomas in the title role and Jamie Barton as Sara who both gave warm, well-developed performances. A prime chance to see an A-level cast in a rarely performed opera.”
–Brian Holt, Out West Arts

“The leading trio of Radvanovsky, Barton, and Thomas really could not be improved upon… Jamie Barton remains one of the great singers of her generation, a mezzo with easy high and low notes, a huge range, and the same versatility as Thomas: by July we'll have heard her in SF in Bellini, Donizetti, Dvorak, and Wagner. She sang gorgeously and acted very well…”

–Lisa Hirsch, Iron Tongue of Midnight

“Tenor Russell Thomas as Roberto and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Sara have such extraordinarily creamy, gorgeous voices that you wanted them to run away together for a happy ending.”

–Michael Strickland, Civic Center

“Barton has a lovely, rich voice and she sings with utter ease.”
–Charlise Tiee, The Opera Tattler

“Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, who sang Adalgisa in Norma, was here a most sympathetic Sara, singing beautifully and acting the troubled part for all it was worth.”
–James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet

“The whole ensemble delivers near flawless singing and acting. Jamie Barton, as Sara…provides a warm, round, mellow mezzo voice with great resonance.”

–Victor Cordell, Berkshire Fine Arts

“As the married Sara, Duchess of Nottingham and Elizabeth’s rival for Devereux’s affection, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton was on fire all night and was every bit as splendid in voice as her queen. Every part of the voice burned formidably and every emotion released with it seemed both heartfelt and real. Getting carried away as you do, Barton’s vocal qualities resembled a sensational dessert of stewed richness blended with soft, velvety textures and warm caramel. You simply wanted more.”
–Paul Selar, OperaChaser

“Jamie Barton, as Sara, the third point in the story’s romantic triangle, sings with outstanding grace. Barton is a rising star at the Metropolitan Opera, greatly admired for her musicianship and clarity. Her reputation is a lot to live up to, but she succeeds with ease.”

–Charles Kruger, TheatreStorm

“All voices were indeed beautiful, befitting the essence of bel canto… Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Sara added the freshness of voice of a young woman in love.”
–Michael Milenski, Opera Today

“Barton’s rich, warm, expressive mezzo has graced every role I have seen her assay and her Sara was beautifully performed and acted.”
–William Burnett, Opera Warhorses

“San Francisco Opera has managed to complete a trio of stars… Also making a role debut was Jamie Barton as Sara, who continues jumping from Wagnerian to bel canto roles. But her recent Frickas and Waltrautes have not dinged her dazzlingly intense register. Her mastery of the vocal technique is admirable and she is also a mezzo with a voice capable of going head to head with the stentorian Radvanovsky.”
–David Yllanes Mosquera, Codalario

“Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and tenor Russell Thomas…both gave extraordinary performances last Saturday. Fresh from winning performances as Fricka and Waltraute during last summer’s Ring, Barton proved herself one of opera’s great chameleons. Is there anything she can’t sing? With her velvety voice, she sailed through the arias and duets. I loved her proclamation of her status as Elisabetta’s rival; it was particularly dramatic and full of suspense. Equally impressive was her duet with Nottingham at the start of Act 3; chilling and heartbreaking at the same time.”
–Michael Anthonio, Parterre Box

Beth Stewart