Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber’s eclectic and varied career combines not only the standard repertoire sung on some of the great opera house and concert stages of the world for the last 30 years, but also contemporary and baroque works with smaller, experimental companies. In demand as a guest lecturer, panellist, consultant and pedagogue, Kimberly Barber gives master classes and workshops around the world at universities, conservatories and Young Artist Programs. She adjudicates widely, and is frequently called upon to serve on advisory panels for the arts. Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2002, she is Administrative Coordinator for their Opera Program, and was appointed Associate Dean, External for Laurier’s Faculty of Music in July 2017.
Her research interests are centred on the Art of Practice and efficient use of the body in vocal pedagogy. Licensed as an Andover Educator®, she teaches Body Mapping for Musicians in workshop settings, privately, and as a cornerstone of her pedagogical model in the voice studio.
With performances at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Marseille, Frankfurt Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, L’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Wigmore, Barbican, Avery Fisher and Weill Concert Halls, and every major opera company and orchestra in Canada, her operatic repertoire encompasses more than 50 roles, many of them from 20th and 21st century or lesser-known works, and her concert repertoire stems from every genre.
She is a champion of the music of our time, frequently giving world and Canadian premieres of new music. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (Concepción in Ravel’s L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE with the LSO under André Previn), CBC Records, Naxos, Teldec and Dutton Classics. Her wide-ranging career in Europe, Asia and North America, with years of experience as an operatic performer, concert, recital and recording artist, and breadth of pedagogical training, qualify her ideally to guide emerging vocal artists who hope to excel at an international level.
What I teach
My students learn to sing holistically, engaging body, mind and spirit. Effective practice techniques, accurate anatomy and understanding of function for singing, good postural alignment, and the principles of strong vocal technique:
…open throat, free, expansive breath, supple abdominal support and clean articulation are all addressed while they discover their unique resonant vocal sound. I also give workshops on Power Performance, Auditions, Grant Writing & Publicity Materials and more.
How I teach
I see students throughout the week in different settings: one-on-one for short durations on different days (technique and repertoire); weekly master class (in-depth repertoire exploration– technical and interpretive); once weekly one-hour group technique (where larger technical concepts are taught, experimented with and discussed).
…Students also work together in partners, report to me online in a weekly practice log reflecting on their practice/progress and receive my written feedback.
Where I Teach
A Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, I teach around the world in young artist programs and at other educational institutions.
I adjudicate frequently at music festivals and competitions, passing on knowledge wherever I go. I am also a licensed Andover Educator©, teaching Body Mapping to musicians.
- What Every Musician Needs To Know About The Body
- Best Voice Forward
- Sounding Off, Stepping Out
- Call Me Mister
- Finding Your Individual Voice
- Calgary Opera Emerging Artists
- Canadian Opera Company Ensemble
- Utah Opera Young Artists Program
- Vancouver Opera Guild
- Victoria NATS Chapter
- Opera NUOVA
- Bel Canto: Singing Opera in Germany
- Glenn Gould Professional School; Universities of Toronto, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Montreal
- York University, Mount Royal College
Panels and Committees
- Canada Council for the Arts/ Ontario Arts Council Peer Advisor
- Canadian Actor’s Equity Opera Advisory Committee
- Wise Voices for Music-Waterloo Region
- Opera.ca Audition Workshop moderator and panelist
- Board Member, Open Ears Music Festival, Waterloo, ON
- ORMTA Convention
- Winnipeg Music Festival
- Burlington Rotary Club Music Festival
- Kiwanis Festival London, ON
- NATS Ontario & Ottawa Chapter Auditions
- Arcadia Music Festival (Kleinburg)
- Vancouver Women’s Musical Society Voice Competition
- Schubert Club Competition (St. Paul, MN.)
- Montreal International Voice Competition, CBC Radio 2, 2005
- Women in Music, co-host (once monthly), September 2015-November 2016; FM 98.5 CKWR
Who I teach
Midori Marsh (BMus 2017, OpDip 2018) was the big winner in the COC Ensemble Studio Competition on October 30, 2019 at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto
River Guard (BMus 2017, OpDip 2018) took on the role of Miles Zegner in Missy Mizzoli’s newly minted opera, Proving Up for Aspen Festival in July...
“The three-month intensive period I studied with Kim were invaluable for me as a recent graduate student. Her holistic approach gave me the freedom...
Jamie Groote (BMus 2016, Op Dip 2017), a new member of the COC Ensemble Studio made her debut with the company in October 2019 as Second Wood Nymph...