Barbara Quintiliani  
Soprano  
New England First Place Winner 1999  
National Council Winner 1999
review

 

Barbara Quintiliani describes herself as “Professional Operatic Soprano, Actor, Teacher, Armchair Historian, Human Rights Activist, Multiple Sclerosis Activist,”  a description that summarizes yet understates her impressive accomplishments. Until her stamina and mobility (though not her voice) were compromised by illness, multiple sclerosis in 2009 and a rare autoimmune disease called Churg-Strauss syndrome a year later, Barbara was on track to become one of the preeminent sopranos of her generation. In addition to being a New England and National Council winner, she was the First Place winner of the 1999 Marian Anderson International Vocal Arts Competition, the First Place winner of the 2000 Eleanor McCollum Competition for The Houston Grand Opera, and in 2001 was awarded a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. In 2005 Barbara was a First Place winner of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition in New York, and a year later became the first American woman in twenty-five years to win First Prize in the prestigious Francisco Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona, as well as the Verdi and Public Prizes.

 

Born in Quincy, Barbara moved frequently until, as a high school student at The Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia, she discovered opera. The soprano returned to Boston to study voice at the New England Conservatory of Music, where in 2000 she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance. After summer in the Santa Fe Opera Young Artist Program, Barbara went on first to the Houston Grand Opera Studio (2000-2002). She next joined the  inaugurating class of the Domingo/Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera (2002-2004), appearing with the company as Elettra in Idomeneoand as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. The early operas of Verdi figured also prominently in Barbara’s career: she appeared as Gulnara in Il Corsarowith Sarasota Opera, Leonora in Il trovatore with Austin Lyric Opera, and Luisa Miller and Elvira in Ernani with Opera Boston. Other ventures have included Liù in Turandot with Opera Madison, a return to Elettra in her 2006 debut at The Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos at Toledo Opera, and Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia for Opera Boston and Maria Padilla with Wexford Festival Opera and Opera Boston. Chautauqua Opera heard her first Norma; she later returned to the company with her Luisa Miller.

 

Always at home on the concert stage, in 2004 Barbara made her Weill Recital Hall debut under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, and soon appeared in recital for the Bank of America Celebrity Series, Artsong of Williamsburg, the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series, the Phillips Collection, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Virginia Waterfront Arts Festival. Barbara also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Houston Symphony. In 2013 the soprano joined the Boston Philharmonic in Symphony Hall for “Mahler’s Symphony No.2” and Symphony Pro Musica and the Quincy Choral Society for Verdi celebrations, and performed in recital at the Monadnock Music Festival.

 

Though under continual medical treatment, Barbara Quintiliani performs regularly now. Last season’s outings included Elgar’s “Dream of Gerontius” with the Lexington Symphony, a solo recital of arias and songs at The National Opera Center in New York, and a “Sing for their Supper” benefit for the Milton Food Pantry. She has also recently led a panel discussion entitled “Opportunities for Artists with Disabilities” at the Puppet Showcase Theatre in Brookline, and been a juror at the 2015 Peter Elvins Vocal Competition in Cambridge.

Ms. Quintiliani is represented by Neil Funkhouser Artists Management.

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