Artist Favorites: René Barbera, Tenor

Tenor René Barbera. Photo credits: Anna Barbera

Tenor René Barbera. Photo credits: Anna Barbera

AS CLASSICAL MUSIC ENTHUSIASTS, IT’S NO SECRET THAT WE LOVE TO LOVE OUR FAVORITE ARTISTS IN THE CLASSICAL MUSIC REALM. BUT LATELY, WE’VE BEEN THROWING AN IMPORTANT QUESTION AROUND—WHAT DO OUR FAVORITE ARTISTS LOVE TO LOVE? 

Classical music lovers meet Classical Post’s newest feature section, Artist Favorites. Here, we dive into what the greatest musicians and artists of the classical music realm (of our era) are all about—we’ll talk shopping, dining, relaxation, and more! We’ll get to know artists we love by letting them break down their favorite things and allowing us the coveted chance to get an inside look at their lives!  

Today, we’re proud to feature René Barbera, an exciting, young tenor who’s quickly established himself in the world of vocal artists. Barbera is known for his effortless singing, his “old-fashioned warmth” (Opera News), and his vibrant stage presence. Barbera’s artist highlights are quite lengthy, but he’s best-known for his Teatro alla Scala debut as Ernesto in Don Pasquale with conductor Riccardo Chailly; his Metropolitan Opera debut as Lindoro; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin; his first Alfredo in La Traviata in Palermo; Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Conte Almaviva (Barbiere di Siviglia), and Iopas in Les Troyens at San Francisco Opera; Don Ramiro, Conte Almaviva, and more! 

Barbera is currently in NYC preparing for a multimedia presentation of the Verdi Requiem at The Shed this month, followed by performances of the Requiem and Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Europe. Other highlights this season include performances as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Tokyo’s New National Theatre, and the Teatro Regio di Torino, as well as a return to the Teatro alla Scala where he will sing Alfredo in La Traviata. Be sure to check out his complete schedule for a chance to see Barbera perform! 

Now, join Barbera as he gives you a first-hand account of some of his all-time-favorite places to eat, visit, and enjoy.  

WHERE DO YOU LOVE TO EAT WHEN IN NEW YORK CITY? 

This isn’t really specific to New York City, but I love Nobu. I first visited one in Dallas and have since been to the ones in Milan, Budapest, and now NYC. I have vowed to eat at Nobu any chance I get. 

Something more specific to New York is Aroma Espresso Bar for a good coffee and Levain Bakery for, well, cookies. 

There are too many options in New York and I haven’t spent enough time to really get acquainted with all of them! 

IF YOU HAD A DREAM PLACE TO LIVE, WHERE WOULD IT BE? 

Pesaro, Italy or on the coast of Sicily. I’m an Italophile—I love the cuisine, the culture, the people, the architecture.

I can’t really get enough. That said—specifically the coast because, while I don’t like getting INTO the ocean, I love being near it, seeing it, and, if possible, hearing it!

LET’S TALK TOP 5S: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 FAVORITE PLACES TO VISIT OR VACATION? 

  1. My couch. Honestly, my top choice is always a staycation because I travel so frequently. I often have a hard time convincing myself to leave my own space that I work so hard to have.  
  2. Sicily. I got to spend a few days this past year in an oceanside resort with a private hot tub right on the water and it was heavenly. I left the windows open and hearing the waves all night provided me the best night sleep I’ve had in a while. During our first dinner at the resort restaurant, I looked outside and the most STUNNING deep-orange, red ENORMOUS moon was showing itself and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was instantly emotional and cried at having seen something so gorgeous.
  3. Barcelona —I am in love with this city. There is something about the energy of the city and the people that makes me feel alive and want to hit the town and stay out until the wee hours of the morning. I have a number of great bars I like to visit when in Barcelona, and just roaming around the city is wonderful.
  4. Pesaro, Italy—I have yet to actually go there for vacation but I have spent a couple of summers working at the Rossini Opera Festival and I absolutely LOVE that town.
  5. It is my dream to go to Croatia and to explore their amazing beaches. I follow a few Instagram pages that promote Croatia as a place to vacation, and the photos are magnificent. I long to do that someday.
  6. BONUS: I have always wanted to go somewhere like Bali to stay in a water bungalow!  

WHAT BRANDS DO YOU LOVE? 

I’m a huge tech nerd, and am always looking for the newest gadget, so Best Buy or Saturn are my two top stores for that.

As for fashion— I am a huge fan of Philipp Plein and Robert Graham. They stand out to me among designers for their incredibly unique look. I recently also discovered Alexander McQueen’s wonderful clothing, though I have only purchased a scarf at this point. But I love it!

Read the complete interview via Classical Post