Tenor René Barbera, a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, has swiftly established himself as a young artist on the rise. At Placido Domingo’s Operalia 2011 in Moscow, he was awarded First Prize for Opera, First Prize for Zarzuela, and the Audience Prize. He is the first artist to be the sole recipient of all three awards since the competition began in 1993. Of his 2014 performances with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, as Nemorino in L’elisir d’Amore, the St . Louis Dispatch raved: “tenor René Barbera, born to sing bel canto, has gone far since his 2011 OTSL debut in “The Daughter of the Regiment,” performing all over the world. He’s lost weight and gained assurance. On Saturday night he brought out Nemorino’s innate lovability while singing with melting beauty and an effortless high range. It’s no wonder Adina comes around.”
Mr. Barbera begins the 2014-15 season singing Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera National de Paris. He then will perform Ramiro in San Francisco Opera’s production of La Cenerentola, Tonio in La fille du Regiment with Greensboro Opera, and Almaviva in Barbiere with Los Angeles Opera. His season closes with a return to San Francisco Opera to sing the role of Iopas in Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens.
Mr. Barbera has made several important company debuts throughout North America. He recently made his company and role debut as Elvino in La sonnambula with Washington Concert Opera, followed by his debut with Michigan Opera Theater as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and his return to Lyric Opera of Chicago for his role debut as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He sang performances of Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola in his debuts with Seattle Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and was heard as Almaviva at the Stanislavsky Music Theatre in Moscow. In the summer of 2013, he made his Santa Fe Opera debut as Rodrigo in Rossini’s La donna del lago.