American soprano Rachel Evangeline Barham, whose singing has been described by The Washington Post as “superb,” is known for importing her keen sense of theatrical performance to the concert repertoire. In addition to her specialty in Baroque music, Ms. Barham is sought after by composers due to her vocal versatility and sensitivity to text. She has received rave reviews for her chamber opera performances at the Capital Fringe Festival (DC), starring as Cassie in Andrew Earle Simpson’s opera The Outcasts of Poker Flat (2012), where she “devour[ed] her meaty role” (Robert Battey, The Washington Post); in 2010, she was chosen as a Fringe Favorite musical performer for her leading role as Sonia in Kyle Gullings’s opera Oblivion. She created the role of Mrs. Simpson in Maurice Saylor’s 2009 opera Unfinished Sermons (a parable for church performance) and also premiered Saylor’s controversial and award-winning song set Laudis Corona (composed for her).
Ms. Barham is the 2017 recipient of the Brena Hazzard Voice Scholarship from the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation, which is being used to fund a recording of previously unrecorded and under-recorded American art songs (2018 anticipated release). She was chosen as one of The City Choir of Washington’s 2012 Young American Artists and received critical acclaim for her performances of Magnificat settings of Bach, Stanford, Mozart, and Berio (a Washington-area premiere); and has returned to The City Choir for a Handel program (2012) and Haydn's Creation (2013). Ms. Barham has performed on the Westminster Presbyterian Organ Concert Series in Charlottesville, VA, and multiple times on the Church of the Epiphany Tuesday Concert Series (DC). She has also made solo appearances at the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) and the Mexican Cultural Institute. Ms. Barham’s extensive ensemble credits include appearances with Opera Lafayette, the National Gallery Vocal Ensemble, and as a guest with the acclaimed medieval women’s trio Eya.
Concert and oratorio highlights include Handel’s Brockes Passion, Dominick DiOrio's Stravinsky Refracted, Carissimi’s Jephte; Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Der Messias, Bach’s “Lutheran” Mass in F Major, BWV 233, and Reinhard Keiser’s St. Mark Passion with Cantate Chamber Singers; Haydn's Theresienmesse with the Arts Chorale of Winchester; Bach’s Coffee Cantata at the Grace Church Bach Festival; Handel’s Messiah with the NIH Orchestra; and solo appearances with the Great Noise Ensemble in Steve Reich’s Tehillim, Armando Bayolo’s Towards Golgotha, and Louis Andriessen’s M is for Man, Music, Mozart (as a “non-classical soprano”). A creative and innovative recitalist, she has performed frequently in the DC area as well as in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Hawaii. www.RachelBarham.com
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