Biography

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Hailed as “the Verdi soprano the world has been waiting for” by the Boston Globe, in 2007 Barbara Quintiliani was the first American woman in twenty-five years to be awarded First Prize in the prestigious Francisco Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona, Spain.

Maria Padilla is a brilliant vehicle for a fire-snorting bel canto diva, and Wexford found one in the American soprano BARBARA QUINTILIANI. She relished the flashes of vindictive coloratura brilliance and menacing descents into the chest register required by Donizetti for Maria. If there is any justice in the opera world, QUINTILIANI should be heading for superstardom… she has the vocal hardware to become a cult figure outside the glamorous opera circuit, with her gleaming timbre, fearless leaps between the extremes of registers and apparently bottomless reserves of breath.
— Hugh Canning, The Sunday London Times

In that same competition, she was also awarded the coveted Verdi Prize from the great Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballe and the Prize of the Public. Ms. Quintiliani then immediately made an auspicious European debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceu as Elettra in Mozart’s fiendishly difficult incarnation of the storied Greek princess in Idomeneo. She has since garnered a reputation for taking on the most difficult roles in the dramatic Italian repertory with ease and aplomb. Recent triumphs have included the title role in Wexford Festival Opera's production of Donizetti's Maria Padilla, gathering unanimous acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Several more productions of Maria Padilla soon followed and her vocal skill and personal mettle were tested as she added to her schedule and repertoire roles such as Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Elvira in Ernani, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Gulnara in Il Corsaro, and Lina in Stiffelio; Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Anna Bolena; Cherunini’s Medea; Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine; and Bellini’s perilous Norma among others. And whether she is sharing the beauty and excitement of well known works of titanic proportions such as Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Mahler’s Second Symphony, or of lesser known works for soprano and orchestra including Samuel Barber’s heart wrenching concert aria Andromache’s Farewell, Charles Tomlinson Griffes’ Three Poems of Fiona McLeod, and Hector Berlioz’s “La Mort de Cleopatre”, Ms. Quintiliani is equally at home on the concert stage.

From the very beginning of her musical studies, the most intimate of interchanges between vocal artist and audience, the song recital, has held a place of honor for Ms. Quintiliani. She is proud to be an alumna of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. The great mezzo-soprano herself saw to Ms. Quintiliani’s development as a recital artist, and under the auspices of her foundation, Ms.Quintiliani made her Weill Recital Hall debut in the “As The Song Continues” series in New York, NY. As a member of the distinguished roster of recital artists, she and her collaborative pianist traveled extensively throughout the country leading intense outreach programs to public school children grades K-12. They were charged with being the catalyst to ignite a spark of interest and love of this great musical form. Ms. Quintiliani was broadcast nationally in recital by WQXR and NPR stations nationwide as a part of the prestigious “On Wings of Song” series. She has the great honor of sharing many concerts at national and international classical music festivals including The Bank of America Celebrity Series, The Dame Myra Hess Foundation Recital Series, The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Virginia Waterfront Arts Festival, the Phillips Collection, the Harvard Music Club, the Wexford International Opera Festival and many, many more.

Ms. Quintiliani has been the recipient of several of the most prestigious awards for her work. These include the Grand Prize in the National Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, First Place in the Marian Anderson International Vocal Arts Competition, First Place in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at The Houston Grand Opera, First Place of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition in New York, and a Sarah Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. Having been recognized for her talent, Ms. Quintiliani was recruited to participate in America's most renowned young artist training program such as the Santa Fe Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Washington National Opera. Ms. Quintiliani is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music where she received a B.A. and A.D. in Vocal Performance in Boston, Massachusetts.

She has performed under the batons of some of the greatest conductors in the world including David Agler, Stephen Lord, Robert Moody, John DeMain, Joseph Colaneri, Patrick Summers, Benjamin Zander, Placido Domingo, Alan Gilbert, John Fiore, Martin Pearlman, Evelino Pido, Hans Graf, Sebastian Weigle, Leonard Slatkin, Jose Serebrier, Claire Gibault, Valery Gergiev, JoAnn Falletta, Ascher Fisch, Eduardo Mueller and Heinz Fricke.

Ms. Quintiliani can be heard on recording for Naxos, The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Kahn with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro JoAnn Faletta, and Albany Records, Becoming a Redwood performing the eponymous song cycle with renowned collaborative pianist Craig Terry.

Copyright 2017, Barbara Quintiliani
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