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Richard Barrett

Richard Barrett’s career has encompassed almost every aspect of operatic theatre. He is currently active as a Conductor, Stage Director, Lighting Designer and Academic Professor. From 1993 to 2000 Mr. Barrett was Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for Fort Worth Opera, where he opened the new Bass Performance Hall in a gala concert with celebrated mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and subsequently conducted the first opera in the hall with performances of La Bohème. Highlights during his tenure in Fort Worth were performances of Aida, Don Giovanni, Susannah, Cosi Fan Tutte, and Lucia di Lammermoor. Wayne Lee Gay, Fort Worth Star-Telegram music critic, rated Mr. Barrett’s performance of Lucia di Lammermoor as number three behind performances of Itzhak Pearlman and Renee Fleming, in Bass Hall’s inaugural season. Most recently he was director and lighting designer for Opera Illinois’s production of La Traviata. William Bender, former Arts Editor for Time Magazine, called his performance “one of the finest performances of this opera that I have ever seen.” Highlights in 2004 included performances of two Rossini operas, Signor Bruschino and La Pietra del Paragone, at Teatro Sociale in Brescia, Italy, a gala performance with Metropolitan Opera Tenor, Richard Leech, Werther, with the International Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel, La Rondine, with  the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts and The Medium, at the Danny Kaye Playhouse, New York. Maestro Barrett’s repertoire includes over 100 operas and an extensive orchestral list. For the last eight years he has led the Orchestra at  Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music where he produced the American Premiere of Darius Milhaud’s opera Christopher Colomb.  Allan Kozin, of the New York Times, wrote , “Mr. Barrett’s conducting was precise and well paced-drawing a beautiful sound from his players”. He also produced a film version of  Aaron Copland’s opera Tenderland, which won a Telly award for Outstanding Production. In addition to being a performer, Mr. Barrett currently works with several Young Artist programs here and abroad,  including the  International Institute of Vocal Arts, Chiari, Italy, China National Opera, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, Israeli Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel, Nagano Summer Vocal Institute, Nagano, Japan and  the New Israeli Opera Young Artist Program, Tel Aviv, Israel. Also, Mr. Barrett is a tenured Professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, serving as director of the Opera Theatre and Voice Department.

As Artistic Advisor for Fort Worth Opera, Mr. Barrett was involved in fund raising activities as well as negotiating union contracts for the company.