Nov. 10, 2022Print | PDF
Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber has been active for over 35 years on international operatic and concert stages (Paris, Chicago, New York City, London, Rome, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Montreal, Seattle and Toronto are among her stomping grounds) in a diverse and eclectic repertoire. She returned to Toronto’s Tapestry Opera in May 2017, creating the role of the fortune-teller Asa in the world premiere of OKSANA G, which garnered rave reviews and a Dora Award nomination for Best Ensemble. Her newly commissioned work, THIS LAND (Abigail Richardson-Schulte), saw her join forces with TorQ Percussion Quartet, storyteller Rene Meshake and harpist Angela Schwarzkopf in a world premiere with NUMUS in Waterloo, Ontario in 2017. When live performance was still a thing (!) her most recent concerts found her in Lyon, France, Vienna, Austria, Ottawa and at home in Waterloo, with several online concerts in the meantime. Her performances as Madeleine Mitchell in the Canadian premiere of THREE DECEMBERS in May 2022 marked both her Winnipeg and Little Opera debuts.
An artist who defies categorization, Kimberly Barber is recognized for the verisimilitude, intensity and depth of her interpretations of Strauss’s Composer, Handel’s Xerxes (for which she was nominated for Toronto’s Dora Award as Best Singing Actress) Mrs. De Rocher in Heggie’s DEAD MAN WALKING (which won Montreal’s prestigious Award OPUS in 2013) and Blitzstein’s Regina among many others. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, CBC Records, Teldec and Dutton Classics. Ms. Barber has been on faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2002, teaching studio voice and in more recent years, coordinating the Opera Program. She has tried her hand at directing for Opera Laurier on several occasions, most recently (prior to this particular stint) alongside alumna Amanda Smith as co-director for “It’s my party”, a series of opera excerpts in 2015. A passionate storyteller and musical collaborator, she has been creating programs together with her partner-in-crime, pianist Anna Ronai, for the last five years.