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 Auditions 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 2019/20 season, René returns to the historic Teatro alla Scala for two of his signature roles: Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) and Alfredo (La Traviata). Additionally, he sings Conte Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the Wiener Staatsoper, at Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, and the New National Theatre in 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, and he revisits the role of Conte Almaviva at the Teatro Regio di Torino.
His international concert engagements include Verdi’s Requiem, first at The Shed in New York City with musicaAeterna led by Teodor Currentzis, and later with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, conducted by Mikko Franck. He is the tenor soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg in Luxembourg and Paris with conductor Gustavo Gimeno, and he returns to Teatro alla Scala to perform the piece under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung. He is also a featured artist at the annual Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung Gala benefit concert in Berlin.
In 2018/19, René continued his dazzling streak of house and role debuts, with performances 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 made his title role debut in Mozart’s Idomeneo at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, receiving critical praise for his “great power” and “effortless agility” (Teatro.it), and sang his first Idamore in Donizetti’s Il Paria in concert with Opera Rara (recorded for a future album release).
With musicAeterna, led by Teodor Currentzis, he performed Verdi’s Requiem on tour with the ensemble in Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Hamburg, and Vienna. Mr. Barbera concluded 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.
Recent highlights include 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 his first Arturo (I Puritani) at the Opéra national de Paris; Don Ramiro in debuts with the Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and the Bayerische Staatsoper; Arturo at the Staatstheater Stuttgart; 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.