Including debuts in Zürich, Munich, Berlin, Milan, Valencia, Dresden, and Stuttgart
American tenor René Barbera, praised for his singing “suffused with…old-fashioned warmth” by Opera News, will make nine house debuts this season, cementing his status as an operatic star on the rise.
“This season is full of exciting house debuts and repertoire I love,” says Barbera. “It was thrilling to make debuts in my new home city of Berlin and at the Dallas Opera in my home state of Texas. Debuting in Dresden with less than a day’s notice was an electrifying roller coaster, and getting the call to debut in Zürich was a very happy surprise. This season is a dream come true in many ways. My wife and I love Paris and can’t wait to be back in that magical city, and I have always dreamed of singing at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. I am finally getting to explore more of the repertoire that I love, such as Bellini, Donizetti, and some Verdi, as well as revisiting some roles that helped launch my career.”
René began this season with his debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, conducted by Ivan Repušić. The performances saw him reunite with soprano Pretty Yende, both winners of the First, Zarzuela, and Audience Prizes in Operalia 2011.
He headed back to his home state of Texas in his Dallas Opera debut to perform Alfredo in La Traviata in their season opening production alongside soprano Georgia Jarman as Violetta. The performance prompted the Texas Classical Review to proclaim René “appears headed toward stardom.”
He then debuted at Semperoper Dresden as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto on December 1 with less than 24 hours’ notice, and is singing Tonio in La fille du régiment at Opernhaus Zürich in his house debut December 16-22. During his 2015 gala performance of “Ah! Mes amis” at the San Diego Opera, “Mr. Barbera easily tackled the famous nine high Cs flawlessly” (Bachtrack).
René will return to Opera National de Paris as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia (January 24-February 16) staged by Damiano Michieletto with costar Olga Kulchynska as Rosina under the baton of Riccardo Frizza.
He then makes his house debut at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich as Ramiro in La Cenerentola March 10-16. Conductor Francesco Angelico will lead the superb cast, including Isabel Leonard as Cenerentola, in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s production of Rossini’s beloved opera buffa. Of his Seattle Opera performance of the same role, the Seattle Times wrote, “tenor René Barbera, whose high Cs and Ds are as viscerally exciting as his bravura coloratura technique…can caress a vocal line with smooth, easy intimacy.”
Teatro alla Scala Milan plays host to his house debut as Ernesto in Davide Livermore’s new production of Don Pasquale with soprano Rosa Feola as Norina and conductor Riccardo Chailly April 3-May 4. Chicago Tribune wrote of his 2012 performance of Ernesto, “[Barbera] delivered the hero’s serenade and his part of the subsequent Ernesto-Norina duet with a bright, suave, healthy tenor, caressing the cantabile with stylish assurance.”
A debut with Teatro Verdi Trieste follows, as René sings Lindoro in Rossini’s L‘Italiana in Algeri May 25-June 3. Directed by Stefano Vizioli and conducted by George Petrou, this new production is co-produced by Fondazione Teatro di Pisa and Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi of Trieste. The New York Times said he “brought a light, urbane tenor to the role of Lindoro” in his Metropolitan Opera debut of the role in 2016.
In his house debut at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, René sings Tito in La clemenza di Tito June 24-28, before debuting at the Staatstheater Stuttgart as Arturo in I puritani July 12-24.
More about René Barbera:
In addition to this season full of debuts, René’s recent performance highlights include his Metropolitan Opera debut as Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri; Alfredo in La traviata in Palermo, Italy; Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Iopas in Les Troyens in San Francisco; 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. A Texas native, René avidly follows the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Cowboys from his home in Berlin. At ease in both Italian and Spanish, he has a special affinity for the language, people, and cuisine of Italy. He is an enthusiast of all things “tech,” from gaming to gadgets, and continually seeks out the latest innovations in home automation and video games.
René Barbera Upcoming Engagements:
Opernhaus Zürich | Tonio, La fille du régiment | December 16, 19, 22
Opera National de Paris | Almaviva, Il barbiere di Siviglia | Jan. 24, 27, 30, Feb. 4, 7, 9, 16
Bayerische Staatsoper Munich | Ramiro, La cenerentola | March 10, 13, 16
Teatro alla Scala Milan | Ernesto, Don Pasquale | April 3, 6, 11, 14, 17, 19, 24, 28, May 4
Teatro Verdi Trieste | Lindoro, L‘Italiana in Algeri | May 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, June 3
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia | Tito, La clemenza di Tito | June 24, 28
Staatstheater Stuttgart | Arturo, I puritani | July 12, 15, 17, 24