"Barbara Cole Walton as Baucis had the show-stopping aria...complete with spectacular top G's (G in alt!) that seemed to cost her nothing.”
Canadian-British coloratura soprano Barbara Cole Walton is from Chemainus, Vancouver Island. She moved to Glasgow to attend the Alexander Gibson Opera School and graduated with distinction. She was listed on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30 and is a musician for Live Music Now. She now lives in Buckinghamshire.
Her 2021/22 season saw the return of two contracts that had been postponed due to Covid! She sang the LINNET in the world premiere of John Barber's The Selfish Giant for Garsington Opera's Youth Company and joined the Scottish Opera team as cover CASILDA and chorus in The Gondoliers. She was also delighted to be back with Diva Opera, singing her DESPINA debut in their Così fan tutte tour of the UK, France, and South Africa.
Barbara's 2019/20 season included singing UN PASTORE Tosca and chorus in Nixon in China with Scottish Opera. The rest of the season was taken up serenading her family and singing to strangers on the internet, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020/2021 season was much the same with the addition of singing in a four-woman chorus for Scottish Opera's film of Hänsel und Gretel. She also covered SANDMAN and DEW FAIRY for the production.
Previous operatic performances include singing BLONDE Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Diva Opera in the UK, France, and Japan; cover CONTROLLER Flight (Jonathan Dove), cover ICE Anthropocene (Stuart MacRae), and cover NAIAD/ECHO Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss) for Scottish Opera; AMARILLI Il pastor fido (Handel) with New Chamber Opera; GIANNETTA L'elisir d'amore in the New Generation Festival in Florence; BAUCIS Philemon and Baucis (Gluck) and JUNO The Judgement of Paris (Arne) with Bampton Classical Opera; NORINA Don Pasquale in Wexford Festival Opera's ShortWorks; BERENICE L'occasione fa il ladro, ISABELLA L’inganno felice, and FANNY La cambiale di matrimonio with Raucous Rossini; 3RD WILD GOOSE and cover FIDO Paul Bunyan with British Youth Opera; and EURYDICE Orphée aux enfers with FAVA Opera. At the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland she sang THÉRÈSE in Les mamelles de Tirésias, LISETTE in La rondine, and KÖNIGIN DER NACHT. Barbara has also sung chorus in La bohème and The Mikado with Scottish Opera and in La bohème with Pacific Opera Victoria.
Barbara is also a keen recitalist and soloist. Highlights on the concert stage include Handel's Messiah and Alexander's Feast; Bach's St John Passion; Haydn's Stabat Mater; Mozart’s Requiem, Mass in C minor, Regina Coeli in C, and Coronation Mass in C major; Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio; Finzi's In terra pax; Schubert’s Mass in G major; and Pergolesi’s Salve regina in F minor.
Engagement with contemporary works include singing the title role in a Scottish Opera workshop of Delia (Tom Cunningham) as well as the soprano roles in Rough for Opera’s workshop of The Doll Behind the Curtain (Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour). Barbara has performed with the Helios Collective in their Formations 2016, singing KING OLAF in the opera For the Love of Thorstein Shiver (Alex Paxton) in
London, and with ensemble KONTRASTE, singing My Illness is the Medicine I Need (Thomas Larcher) at the Nürnberg Tafelhalle,
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Germany. She performed the Canadian premiere of In the Dark (Tafreshipour), sung in Persian, for soprano and 6 clarinets.
Barbara is grateful for the generous support throughout her studies of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund, the Hon. Isabel Catto OBE Memorial Scholarship, the Trades House Scholarship, the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, the Anne Clutterbuck Award, the Arnold and Anna Maran Scholarship, the Saltire Scotland Scholarship, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Trust.
She holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Opera from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Victoria, Canada, where she held the Bea Scott Scholarship in Voice and a British Columbia Arts Council Junior Scholarship