Eboli in DON CARLO

Washington National Opera

"So the opera needs not just a fine tenor and soprano for Carlo and Elisabeth, but also a world-class bass, mezzo-soprano and baritone. Jamie Barton was the best of these, and the star of the evening, elevating the mezzo role of Princess Eboli from vengeful femme fatale to a wounded but sympathetic courtier, both perpetrator and victim of the palace’s sexual intrigue. Her Veil Song was coy and sultry, and the showstopping “O don fatale” was a magnificent study in how an unhinged mind can still gather itself to a moral purpose."
–Philip Kennicott, Washington Post

"Jamie Barton seized on every opportunity, vocal and theatrical, offered by the role of Eboli. She unleashed her ripe mezzo with enough power to push you back in your seat, but she also drew you in with the communicative animation and depth of her phrasing. The veil song was delivered with delectable color, while the intensity of Barton's phrasing made the dramatic weight of "O don fatale" register fully."
–Tim Smith, Opera News

"The fiery Princess Eboli is portrayed with appropriate tempestuousness and sly humor by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. Ms. Barton’s resonant deeper tones transitioned easily and swiftly into a thrilling and shimmering upper-register. Ms. Barton’s aria after she confesses her sins to her Queen and curses her beauty and pride was an act of operatic vocal mastery that left the audience enthralled and mesmerized by her sheer artistic brilliance. During this aria, Ms. Barton made fluid transitions from one mood to another with a panoply of interpretation that was nothing short of breathtaking."
–David Friscic, DC Metro Theater Arts

“As Princess Eboli, mezzo Jamie Barton dominated the stage on her every appearance. You quickly realized how immensely powerful her instrument could be, but her vocal agility and dynamic range amazed the most. Her blazing rage when her pride is wounded during the garden scene was as effective as her contrite 'O don fatale.'”
–Edward Sava-Segal, Bachtrack

“Barton’s coolly collected Eboli…captured the part’s emotional conflict with purring tones that were by turns vicious and repentant. The role’s signature aria “O don fatale,” a cursing of her beauty, figured among the evening’s highlights.”

–Paul du Quenoy, Musical America

"The supporting characters were fantastic and none more so than Jamie Barton as Princess Eboli. Even when not the center of attention, she commanded a significant presence on stage, balancing a clever comedic touch with a slow-played scheming, adulterous motive. Her instrument is one that wows in its power and agility. Most impressive was the deft control she possessed over such a force that was wielded as a conduit of artistry rather than brutality. Her performance was a joy from start to finish."
–Brett Dodson, MD Theatre Guide

"The greatest achievements came from the two leading women characters, both in competition for the affections of King Philip II as well as his son, Don Carlo. Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton’s Eboli seemed to come out on top before the single intermission. Barton used her brazen chest voice, elemental in power, to dominate the stage with arrogant spite, as steady and beautiful in ensembles as in solos."
–Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review

“Jamie Barton is simply splendid as Princess Eboli. She takes command of a room full of beautifully coifed-and-gowned ladies waiting on the queen and turns the “Veil Song” into an entertaining parlor game by pointing and drawing them in. Then in her final aria,  “Oh don fatale”, she realizes the consequences of her mischief and her remorse pushes herself to the brink of coming unhinged then reels back in to regain herself. The aria was a tour de force of musicality and emotionality and rightly deserved the thunderous applause it received.”
–Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene

"Jamie Barton turned in a compelling, magisterial Eboli that hinted at even further rewards as she grows in the role. Her rounded, richly-colored mezzo fit snugly into both her arias with “O don fatale” being the real showstopper [though] she spun a sultry yarn in the Veil Song..."
–Harry Rose, Parterre Box

"Crocetto and Barton gave searing accounts of their characters’ dramatic conflicts and intense emotions, expressed in explosions of passionate singing."
Opera Now

"Standout mezzo Jamie Barton manages to inspire the most empathy in a clichéd woman-scorned role as Princess Eboli."
–Mike Paarlberg, Washington City Paper

"Standouts were the plush but biting Eboli of Jamie Barton, Russell Thomas’s unusually sensitive Carlo and Quinn Kelsey ravishing in his first-ever Rodrigo. These three combined for a riveting Garden Scene, the evening’s high point."
–Christopher Corwin, Parterre Box

"The vocal highlights here come with Jamie Barton’s credibly highly-strung Princess Eboli, using her mezzo-soprano with much expressive power."
–Kate Wingfield, Metro Weekly

“A top-notch casting. At the top reigned Jamie Barton as a brazen Eboli…”
–Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review “Best of 2018”

“Jamie Barton’s Eboli was a vocal and dramatic powerhouse.”
–Tim Smith, Opera Magazine

“While Spain may be at the height of its colonial power in Don Carlo, so are the performances of…Jamie Barton as Princess Eboli. The lovely mezzo-soprano voice of Jamie Barton gives the evening some of its lighter moments. Her Act 2 aria showcases the range of Verdi's score from light to foreboding.”
–Benjamin Tomchik, Broadway World

“Perhaps the biggest ovation of the evening came for Jamie Barton as Eboli after her aria “O Don Fatale.” In this passage, this incredible artist let her voice blast through the hall with unsurpassed vibrancy and control. Every moment was gloriously sculpted to explore the resentment, pain, and then hope of Eboli. It was a masterful stroke that she had been building up to from her very first note a few acts earlier. That opening aria is on the opposite end of the spectrum from “O Don Fatale,” exploring a more relaxed and flexible vocal style. Barton doesn’t necessarily sing a lot of repertoire that engages with flighty coloratura and her forays into the world of Wagner hints that its not her style. So her approach to this aria was expansive, the coloratura runs approach slower, but in more meditative vein. You could sense Eboli taking control of the attention through this deliberate legato that put the listener into a trance of sorts. It was mesmerizing while also being unsettling, in a good way. No note was overlooked and the technical portrayal was on point. But perhaps the most effective moment for the singer of the evening was the Act three trio where we saw her at her most venomous and violent. Together with baritone Quinn Kelsey, the two looked ready to light the stage on fire with the sparks they ignited in every exchange between them. I really believed that they wanted to attack each other in the most violent way throughout, the singing accented, fervent, and incredibly immersive in its fiery delivery.
–David Salazar, Opera Wire

"The highlight of the evening: Jamie Barton. In just the few years, she has rocketed to operatic super-stardom and with good reason. Even in a cast as extraordinarily strong as this one, Barton rises above. The audience was hers as soon as she stepped on stage to sing her first lighthearted aria "Nel giardin del bello," and she radiates such boisterous joy in singing it that it's impossible not to be taken under her spell. Then later in the Act II trio, she alternates lines of exquisite bel canto lyricism and then shoots declamatory passages like laser beams into the upper tiers of the opera house. Her "O don fatale" elicited one of those magical operatic moments where time stops, and at the end of her final phrase you realize you forgot to breathe."
–Molly Simoneau, Schmopera

Beth Stewart