• Born 1981
Often appears with
The mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has a crowd-pleasing sense of fun that has propelled her beyond the common run of young singers in the 2010s. Barton was born in Rome, Georgia, on October 17, 1981, and began performing at age six in a school talent show there. She attended Rome's Shorter University, earning a B.A. in vocal performance, and went on for a master's degree at Indiana University. After further training at the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and during stints as Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and as a Tanglewood Vocal Fellow, Barton broke through at the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions with a performance of the Witch's aria from Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel -- a choice, noted Anne Midgette of The Washington Post, "not unlike auditioning for a drama competition with a Carol Burnett monologue."
After an appearance as the Witch at the Aspen Music Festival in 2008 and three roles at the Houston Grand Opera in 2009, Barton made her Metropolitan Opera debut with a small role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in 2009-2010. She had several roles at the Bavarian State Opera and the Chicago Lyric Opera in 2011 and 2012, and then in 2013 came another breakthrough: she took both the Song Prize and the Singer of the World prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, winning a rave review from The Guardian. That led to representation by Columbia Artists Management, to larger roles including Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma at the Metropolitan Opera and Julia Child (a ideally suited role) in Lee Hoiby's Bon Appétit!, and to a growing list of honors including the Beverly Sills Artist Award in 2017. Her performances during the 2016-2017 season included a debut recital at London's Wigmore Hall and an appearance as Jezibaba in a nationally simulcast production of Dvorák's Rusalka at the Metropolitan Opera.
On recordings, Barton appeared in ensemble casts in Johann Adolf Hasse's Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra (2010) and André Previn's Brief Encounter (with the Houston Grand Opera, 2011), Domenico Scarlatti's rarely heard La Dirindina (2012), and Peter Ash's The Golden Ticket (also 2012). In 2016 Barton released her first solo album, All Who Wander, a collection of songs by Mahler, Dvorák, and, unusually, Sibelius. Outside of opera, Barton enjoys bluegrass music and has stated an ambition to perform with mandolinist and A Prairie Home Companion host Chris Thile. She lives in Atlanta with a cat that she often takes on the road.