A native of Montréal, Québec, mezzo soprano Barbara King currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, where she has been thrilling audiences with her "exquisite vocal command of a three octave range” and the "possession of a warm, agile mezzo-soprano voice”. Barbara is also the co-founder Calgary Concert Opera Company (CCOC) with her husband and Divas Opera with soprano Kathleen Morrison.
In 2019/2020, Barbara sang the role of Dalila (Samson et Dalila) with Opera by Request and made her debut as a principle soloist with Calgary Civic Symphony (Sunday Afternoon at the Opera).
In light of the pandemic, Barbara went virtual where Divas Opera released six "Physically Distant" duets, performed in a live stream concert (#bandtogetherproject) and pre-taped concert for Spruce Meadows Canada Day celebration with Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, produced and performed in one of the only live performances with an audience in September 2020 (The Show Must Go On), and released seven online Christmas duets.
Calgary Concert Opera Company was featured in an RPAC@ Home Concert Series Virtual Christmas Concert.
In 2018, Ms. King sang the title role of Carmen with Opera Kelowna, was an Alumni Mentor with Opera NUOVA and sang as Flora in Manitoba Opera’s new production of La Traviata.
Previous performance highlights include Olga (The Merry Widow) and The Confidante (Elektra) with Edmonton Opera; Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) with Opera by Request; Dritte Dame (The Magic Flute) with Opera Kelowna and Cowtown Opera; Flora (La Traviata) with Mercury Opera; La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica) and Romeo (I Capuleti ed I Montecchi) with Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy; Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy; Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) with Opera NUOVA; Countess Ceprano (Rigoletto) with Calgary Opera; Laura (La Gioconda), Dorabella (Cosí Fan Tutte), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Charlotte (Werther), Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Frugola (Il tabarro) with Opera by Request and CCOC, and as a soloist with Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra.
Other performances include concerts at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall, New York); Felton Fleet Academy (Surrey, England); Opera Institute of California (San Jose); Neil Semer Vocal Institute, (Coesfeld, Germany); Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (Montréal); Fiamma and Alley Oop with Mercury Opera, and in an Opera/Oratorio called Expert Witness by Dean Burry at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Upcoming performance include Encore! Divas Opera Live on August 10th, 10 Year Anniversary Celebration (CCOC) on Sept 25th, and opening Act of Pierrot Lunaire Nov 18th.
Barbara is also a certified Professional Personal Trainer, B.A.B.S King Training, an ambassador with the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, was an Inspired Albertan during the week of Dec 10th, 2014, and an Opera NUOVA Alumni Mentor.
"I was impressed by the very fine Octavian of Mezzo Soprano Barbara King, singing with a big, rich sound. Octavian is very long and very high but she was fully up to the task ... Danielle Dudycha (Sophie), together with King, sang a really beautiful Presentation of the Rose .. Wonderful singing by all the principles, with top honours to Barbara King as Octavian"
Joseph So, Musical Toronto
"I was struck by the outset of Barbara's musicianship, interpretive ability and her exquisite vocal command of a three octave range ... She possesses a warm, agile mezzo soprano voice, capable of handling the technical demands of the bel canto, as well as the stylistic and dramatic demands of a wide-ranging repertoire, from the Baroque to the contemporary"
William Shookhoff, Opera by Request
"Barbara King's Dorabella, particularly her early Act 1 aria "Smanie Implacabile" made an instant impact, and worked spledidly well in establishing the production's tone. Ms. King brought a well-heeled dramatic quality to her self absorbed hissy fit over her lover's sudden departure. Im grateful for the intense harmonic command Ms. King brought to her singing too. And her acting was consistently appropriate throughout every line of the opera"
Stephen Bonfield, Musicologist, Calgary Herald
"Barbara King's opening night performance as Carmen was, by all accounts, the highlight of the Colours of Music Festival. Beautifully sung, displaying a powerful low register and a glorious top, dramatically convincing and emotionally riveting, hers was a truly memorable performance which has audience members praising throughout the Festival and beyond"
William Shookhoff, Opera by Request