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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
February 26, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Prof. Kimberly Barber

Associate Professor, Voice; Administrative Co-ordinator of Opera

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-1970 ext.2505

Office Location: A420

Personal Website:
Languages Spoken


Academic Background

BMus 1983/ Op Dip 1985 (U of T)


Mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber, Coordinator of the Opera Program, has been on Faculty since July 2002. Her continued activity on international operatic and concert stages (Paris, Chicago, New York City, London, Rome, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Montreal, Seattle and Toronto are among her stomping grounds), offers Prof. Barber the unique opportunity to pass on immediate knowledge of the profession to her students.

Recent outings include the following array of operatic highlights: she took on the role of Agatha (sharing the stage with a series of life-size puppets) in a major revival of John Beckwith’s CRAZY TO KILL with Toronto Masque Theatre, debuted as Cecilia March in the Canadian premiere of Mark Adamo's LITTLE WOMEN for Calgary Opera and again at Utah Opera, and sang a searing portrayal of Ottavia in Monteverdi's L'INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA for Toronto's Opera Atelier. Calgary Opera was the platform for her Canadian premiere performances as Sister Helen Préjean in Jake Heggie’s DEAD MAN WALKING and she became the first interpreter of this role to make the leap to another leading role in the same work when she embodied Mrs. Patrick de Rocher for Opera de Montréal in March 2013.

She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, CBC Records, Teldec and Dutton Classics. Grounded in the traditional, but a champion of new music, she has performed numerous world and Canadian premieres, collaborating with musicians of all stripes. Her ensemble L'accordéoniste were featured artists with Toronto’s Opera in Concert (2011), twice at Ottawa’s Chamberfest (2009, 2011) and at Waterloo’s Jazz Room (2013). In recent concert performances, Kimberly Barber performed Mahler’s KINDERTOTENLIEDER with Quintet Pentaèdre at Barrie’s Colours of Music Festival and DAS LIED VON DER ERDE with NUMUS in both Toronto and Waterloo. A breaker of intellectual and musical boundaries, she brings an adventurous spirit to the voice program.

Major Performance Venues/Companies:

Montreal Opera, Opera Atelier, Seito Keinan Festival (Japan), Barbican Hall, Pacific Opera Victoria, Paris Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Seattle Opera, Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Chicago Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Toronto Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Wigmore Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Mostly Mozart Festival (Avery Fisher Hall), Ensemble Arion, I Musici de Montréal, Richard Eaton Singers

Major Roles/Works:

Sister Helen Prejan/Mrs. Patrick De Rocher -- Dead Man Walking, Ottavia -- L'incoronazione di Poppea; Kindertotenlieder under Mahler; Mozart--Cherubino, Dorabella, Despina, Annio (La clemenza di Tito), Ramiro (La finta giardiniera); Handel-- Ariodante, Rinaldo, Xerxes, Nerone (Agrippina); Strauss--Composer; Puccini--Suzuki; Rossini--Cenerentola, Rosina, Isolier (Le Comte Ory); Humperdinck--Hansel; Ravel--Concepciòn; Offenbach--Nicklausse; Massenet--Cendrillon, Charlotte (Werther); Barber--Erika (Vanessa); Elgar--Dream of Gerontius; Mozart--Coronation Mass; Beethoven--Ninth Symphony; Stravinsky--Pulcinella; Berlioz--Les nuits d'été; Mahler--Das Lied von der Erde; Handel--Messia


  • Le petit elfe; Works of Florent Schmitt; with pianists Leslie De'Ath and Anya Alexeyev; Dutton Classics, 2011.
  • L’accordéoniste;L’accordéoniste (Kimberly Barber, mezzo-soprano; Peter Tiefenbach, piano; Mary-Lou Vetere, accordion; Carol Bauman, percussion) and the New Berlin Ensemble; Independent, 2009.
  • Rinaldo (title role), Handel, with Kevin Mallon, conductor, Naxos Records, 2006
  • Faustina Bordoni, Portrait of a Prima Donna, solo recording with Ensemble Arion, Monica Huggett, Music Director, CBC Records, 2005
  • L'heure espagnole, Maurice Ravel (Concepciòn), with André Previn, conductor, Kurt Ollmann, John Mark Ainsley, DGG 1999
  • American (Day) Dreams, Aaron Jay Kernis, New Albion Records, 1995
  • Wheel of Fortune Woman, A Village Romeo and Juliet;Frederick Delius; Charles MacKerras, conductor, ORF Symphonie Orchester, Baritone Thomas Hampson, Soprano Helen Field; Argo Classics, 1990
  • Sister Sophia, The Sound of Music; Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein;Conductor Erich Kunzel, Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, Baritone Håkan Hagegård; Cincinnati Pops Orchestra; Teldec Digital, 1987