The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Meet a new singing and opera star — Jamie Barton, the young American mezzo-soprano who was last week crowned “Singer of the World” at this year’s BBC contest in Cardiff, Wales.

June 29, 2013
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ALERT: It has been a good year for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO), both artistically and financially. But with the fiscal year deadline of June 30 looming, WYSO is nonetheless falling short of its $97,000 funding goal by $6,655, according to WYSO executive director Bridget Fraser.  This exceptionally worthy organization that builds both musicians (below) and audiences through lifelong learning needs your help. If you can help, in whatever amount, WYSO to meet its goal, please visit the following link and make an on-line donation by the end of Sunday:

wyso violas

By Jacob Stockinger

Think of great voices, of wonderfully musical and resonant voices, and Wales almost always comes to mind.

Remember the poet Dylan Thomas (below), especially when he recited his own poems, or the actor Richard Burton in just about anything but especially in Shakespeare and Anthony Hopkins?

And Wales is also well-known for its group choral singing.

So no surprise, then, that every two years there is a BBC competition in Cardiff, Wales that crowns the Singer of the World.

And the honor can indeed make for international careers. Just ask just past winners and competitors, who are no stars with international reputations and bookings, as Bryn Terfel (below top), Nicole Cabell, Dmitri Hvorotovsky (below bottom), Karita Mattila and Elina Garancia.

bryn terfel

dmitri hvorostovsky

Last week, the overall Singer of the World prize as well as the individual Song Prize went to the 31-year-old American soprano Jamie Barton (below and also in a YouTube interview and performance of Donizetti at the bottom).


Here is a link to a wonderful posting by NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog that features background and also audio –video clips.

If you want to know more, here is a link to the singer’s home page:

And here is a link to a story on the BBC:

And here is a story, with a lot of personal details, about Barton winning a Metropolitan Opera debut in auditions in April, while she was pursuing her master’s degree at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, the eighth IU student to be so honored.

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