Tenor René Barbera has quickly established himself as one of today’s most exciting vocal artists. The first-ever sole recipient of all three top awards of the Operalia Competition in 2011 and winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition in 2008, René has earned critical praise and audience acclaim for his effortless singing, his “old-fashioned warmth” (Opera News), and his expressive musicality.
In the 2018/19 season, René continues his dazzling streak of house and role debuts, with debuts at the Wiener Staatsoper as Ernesto in Don Pasquale, the Dutch National Opera as Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma for his first Anna Bolena, singing the role of Riccardo Percy. Additionally, he makes his title role debut in Mozart’s Idomeneo at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, and sings his first Idamore in Donizetti’s Il Paria in concert with Opera Rara. With MusicAeterna, led by Teodor Currentzis, he performs Verdi’s Requiem on tour with the ensemble in Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Hamburg, and Vienna. Mr. Barbera concludes the season with Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) at the Wiener Staatsoper, Duca di Mantua (Rigoletto) at VeszprėmFest, and Alfredo in a new production of La Traviata at the Festival Castell Peralada.
Next season includes a return to Teatro alla Scala in his signature role of Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Conte Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the Wiener Staatsoper and at the New National Theatre Tokyo, marking his debut in Japan. Following these engagements, René will debut at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie – Liège as Elvino in a new production of Bellini’s La Sonnambula. His international concert engagements include Verdi’s Requiem with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Rossini’s Stabat Mater, first with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg in Paris and again at the Teatro alla Scala under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung.
In 2017/18, René made a number of debuts: at Deutsche Oper Berlin as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor; at Teatro alla Scala Milan as Ernesto in Don Pasquale with conductor Riccardo Chailly; and the Bayerische Staatsoper as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola. Other engagements included I puritani at the Staatstheater Stuttgart and a return to the Opéra National de Paris as Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Recent highlights include his Metropolitan Opera debut as Lindoro; his first Alfredo in La traviata in Palermo; Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Conte Almaviva (Barbiere di Siviglia), and Iopas in Les Troyens in San Francisco Opera; Don Ramiro in debuts with the Seattle Opera and Los Angeles Opera; Ernesto with the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Tonio in La fille du régiment with Greensboro Opera; Almaviva with Los Angeles Opera; Giannetto in La gazza ladra and Narciso in Il turco in Italia at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro; Rodrigo in Rossini’s La donna del lago in his Santa Fe Opera debut; and the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
René is a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, and Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Program.