PERFORMANCE

An artist who defies categorization, Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber has appeared 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 for over 30 years. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, CBC Records, Teldec and Dutton Classics. A passionate educator, she is Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University, and teaches around the world in a wide variety of contexts. A strong advocate for the operatic art form and passionate about its future, she enjoys writing and presenting for novices and aficionados alike.

Select Reviews

Oksana G, Tapestry Opera, Toronto 2017

“The standout for me as Asa, the tarot reader, was mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber. She absolutely shines in this role. Wisdom and clarity in a lovely smoky low register, I found myself immediately captured by her presence onstage.”

– Greg Finney, www.Schmopera.com, May 2017

Dead Man Walking, Opéra de Montréal 2013

“In her role as the mother of Joseph De Rocher, mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber distinguishes herself and gives this production its touch of humanity. A great lyric artist was revealed on the stage of the Salle Wilfrid Pelletier and it is to be hoped that she will be seen again at Opéra de Montréal.”

– Daniel Turp, Le blogue lyrique, March 2013

Crazy to Kill, Toronto Masque Theatre 2011

“Barber is a consummate professional. Her voice has deepened into a rich, fruity sound with wonderful low notes. Her onstage assurance speaks of her many years of experience.”

– Paula Citron, Opera Canada, Winter 2012

L’accordéoniste: Latin Heat, Jane Mallett Theatre 2011

“Often when opera singers attempt ‘cross-over’ repertoire, their training and technique mean that they still sound like opera singers. Not Kimberly Barber- listening to her Noel Coward and Kurt Weill this afternoon, one would never have guessed that she’s had a major career as a celebrated Xerxes, Rinaldo, Octavian and Composer…”

—Joseph So, La Scena Musicale, Oct 2, 2011

L’accordéoniste: Latin Heat, Jane Mallett Theatre 2011

“…A versatile artist, Barber sings this material completely idiomatically, with all the right inflections, accents and great attention to the words and drama. A high mezzo for her whole career, the voice has darkened with maturity while retaining much of the gleam and richness…”

—Joseph So, La Scena Musicale, Oct 2, 2011

Regina, Pacific Opera Victoria 2008

“From the moment mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber first sings, she’s in full command of the stage with her rich, brandy-smooth voice. She makes her evil role seem effortless, despite its huge acting demands…she manages to nail her high C and low G and is wonderfully aggressive in two thrilling arias.”

– Grania Litwin, Victoria Times-Colonist, April 19, 2008

Current Highlights

THIS LAND Continues in development

Kimberly Barber’s newly commissioned work (Abigail Richardson-Schulte) with TorQ Percussion Quartet and Indigenous storyteller Rene Meshake continues to be further developed to add new elements: stay tuned to these pages for future performances!...

Return to Festival de l’Académie de Fourvière

Kimberly returned to Lyon once again for the academy beginning July 28, and performed at the festival August 1-4, 2019, concertizing with some of Europe’s most celebrated chamber musicians including a repeat turn with renowned jazz pianist Franck...
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Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber has appeared 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 for over 30 years. A passionate educator, she is Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University (where she has been on faculty since 2002) and coordinates their Opera Program. Since 2017 she is Associate Dean, External for Laurier’s Faculty of Music. A strong advocate for the operatic art form and passionate about its future, she enjoys writing and presenting for novices and aficionados alike. Her articles and interviews are featured online on www.schmopera.com and many other forums.

 

Her return to Toronto’s Tapestry Opera in May 2017, creating the role of the fortune-teller Asa in the world premiere of OKSANA G, garnered rave reviews and a Dora Award nomination for Best Ensemble. Her newly commissioned work, AKI/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 (May 2017). Recent travels have taken her to Lyon, France, Wiesbaden, Germany and Vienna, Austria, as well as across Canada (Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Victoria and northern Ontario) for concerts, conferences and master classes.

 

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.

Performance Photos

Downloads and Archive Materials