On Monday, 28 August 2023 at 7:30pm, American Mezzo-soprano Victoria Vargas and pianist James Barnett presented a program featuring the music of women composers of the Isles. The recital featured the music of Joan Trimble, Ina Boyle, Rebecca Clarke, Ethel Smyth, and Errollyn Wallen. Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the duo were performing in their European debut.
Mezzo-soprano Victoria Vargas has sung over twenty-five roles for the Minnesota Opera and has performed with the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Chautauqua Opera, Sarasota Opera, Ash Lawn-Highland Festival, and others. Concert credits include performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, Billings Symphony, Bach Society of Minnesota, and Minnesota Orchestra. She has placed seven times at the formerly titled Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at both the district and regional levels, was a finalist at the Irene Dalis competition through Opera San Jose, and placed at the Schubert Club Competition. Her recent works include a workshop of the new work Generación Perdida by composer Jorge Sosa at the Opera America Center in New York City, performances of Handel’s Messiah, and concert performances for the Minnesota Opera. Ms. Vargas is currently an Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Minnesota.
A leading producer of Twin Cities recital programming, James Barnett is dedicated to bringing new and forgotten music to the next generation of audiences. He was the founding Artistic Director of the LOFT recital and was recently named as the new Artistic Director of Skylark Opera Theatre. Barnett has been a featured pianist with many companies and academic institutions across the country, including the Des Moines Metro Opera, Minnesota Opera, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Lakes Area Music Festival, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, The University of Minnesota, Grand Valley State University, Up North Vocal Institute, and OperaNEO. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.