Jezibaba in RUSALKA

San Francisco Opera

“Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, as Jezibaba, combined spiteful black magic with a tinge of grandmotherly compassion in a performance whose vocal shadings supported all that dramatic complexity.”

–Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

“The witch Jezibaba is voiced by Jamie Barton, who again proves to be the most-valuable player in just about every performance she steps into…a remarkable rendition.”

–Brian Holt, Out West Arts

“Jamie Barton made Jezibaba into a fascinatingly ambiguous and enjoyable sorceress. Accompanied by a retinue of menacing crows, she mingled the demonic with touches of twisted humor…”
–Thomas May, Musical America

“The David McVicar production of Rusalka, by turns haunting, stark and heartbreaking, shone in a splendidly realized performance. Jamie Barton was a cackling, sarcastic Ježibaba… Rusalka got all it deserved and then some in this darkly exhilarating conclusion of the SFO’s season.”
–Steven Winn, Opera Magazine

“Act I scenes blossomed with spectacular singing from Sigmundsson and the American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as the witch, Ježibaba. Both of them embraced the comedic potential of their roles, without losing an ounce of the story’s dramatic tension. In brewing the potion that would make Rusalka human, Barton — clothed like a Victorian street denizen — at one point tossed a dead cat and a few weeds from her hat into the kettle with abandon. But when she voiced a spell to leave Rusalka with a silent tongue, she approached the intensity of Ortrud’s curse from Lohengrin.”
–Harvey Steiman, Seen and Heard International

“This production deftly adds humor to the drama in the gloomy, misty forest. Barton takes malicious delight in her evil ways, with her cohort of three loose-limbed ravens in fraying frock coats. (You can envision her as Mrs. Lovett in ‘Sweeney Todd.’)”

–Pamela Feinsilber, Theatrius

“Jamie Barton clearly had a great time portraying the witch Jezibaba. She played around with so many different shading and voice colors in the role, and her interaction with the three crow sidekicks was excellent. However, unlike Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, who was pure evil, her Jezibaba was capable to show compassion, particularly in Act three when she offered a solution, making her interpretation a well-round one.”

–Michael Anthonio, Parterre Box

“Surrounded by her fine trio of sinister flapping and pecking crows, American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has no trouble combining a smug and menacing Ježibaba with mountains of smouldering vocal contortions as a seemingly embattled protector of nature.”

–Paul Selar, OperaChaser

“Georgia mezzo-soprano brought her rich mezzo to the magical being Jezibaba, who, through the dreams of human beings, is able to interact with their world. Barton’s portrait as Jezibaba was extraordinary.”

–William Burnett, Opera Warhorses

“Another veteran of those Met performances was the witch of Jamie Barton. In her case, there is no equivocation and you have to surrender to a really splendid interpretation. She combines a rich and dusky voice with an excellent technique that enables her to also emit some penetrating high notes. Theatrically she is in her element and revels in the almost caricaturish malice of the character, with an interpretation that knows how to combine touches of comic relief with the coldest and most terrible moments of the work.”
–David Yllanes Mosquera, Codalario

“As the witch Jezibaba, the dynamic mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton cast a spell… Barton vocally soared and was spellbinding in her spooky aria “Cury mury fuk.”

–James Ambroff-Tahan, San Francisco Examiner

“In the role of Jezibaba, the forest sorceress, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton was outstanding.”
–James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet

“Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is wonderfully menacing as the witch, attended by three black crows.”

–Truman C. Wang, Classical Voice

“The witch Jezibaba who transforms Rusalka into human form was sung by mezzo Jamie Barton with exaggerated grotesque sophistication.”
–Michael Milenski, Opera Today

“Like Midas, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton can turn every role she touches into gold. Tinged with humor and compassion, her Ježibaba is unforgettable.”

–Edward Sava-Segal, Bachtrack

“As fairy tale (or comic book) witch Jezibaba, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton added another strong portrait to her growing repertoire at SFO. She cannot disguise her rich voice, even under a disfiguring costume. She added many witty touches of her own. Watching her stuff a kitty cat into a cauldron as she prepared a potion to give Rusalka human form was laugh-out-loud funny.”
–Philip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter

“Barton breathed vigorous life into Jezibaba, imbuing the character with intelligence and humor while tapping seemingly bottomless reserves of vocal power.”
–Georgia Rowe, Opera News

“Sung and played with cackling, cauterizing sarcasm by mezzo Jamie Barton, the witch grants Rusalka her wish. The results are predictably, painfully tragic… Everything has amplitude and authority.”

–Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice

Beth Stewart