Guest Speaker Barbara Collier – Soprana at CFUW-Stratford October General Meeting

Barbara Collier engages the audience with her story.

Barbara Collier engages the audience with her story.

Barbara (Jean) Collier. Soprano, b Stratford, Ont, 27 Feb 1940; ARCT 1959, BA anthropology (Trinity, Toronto) 1962. She studied voice 1956-9 with Gordon D. Scott in Stratford and coached 1960-1 with Douglas Bodle in Toronto, where she won the rose bowl at the 1960 Kiwanis Festival and for two years was a member of the Festival Singers. She continued her studies in London 1962-5 with Rodolfo Mele, in Cologne 1963-4 at the Conservatory Opera School on a German-Academic Exchange scholarship, and in Salzburg in 1963 at the Mozarteum with Erik Werba. She made her operatic debut in 1965 as Liu in Turandot at Oberhausen, Germany. She began coaching occasionally with Kálmán Hetényi in Budapest in 1967 and established residence in Munich in 1968, then moved to Toronto in 1975. She has appeared in concert and oratorios in Germany, Hungary, the US, and Canada; has broadcast frequently over the CBC, and has sung with the COC (Gutrune in Götterdämmerung, 1973; Sara in Louis Riel in 1975; Gerhilde in Die Walküre in 1976; and the Heavenly Voice in Don Carlos in 1977). Collier also appeared 1972-8 with the COC touring company, singing the roles of Mimi, Violetta, Berta and Fiordiligi. She has performed with Toronto’s Opera in Concert (1979, 1981, 1986); as Helena in Festival Ottawa’s 1981 A Midsummer Night’s Dream; as Constanza in The Abduction from the Seraglio (1981) and Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore (1983) with the Pacific Opera; as Micaëla in the Vancouver Opera’s 1983 Carmen; and as Mimi in La Bohème (1987) and Violetta in La Traviata (1989) with the Saskatoon Opera. After the last-named performance, David Farmer wrote in Opera Canada (Fall 1989) ‘Barbara Collier’s Violetta fully merited the standing ovation she received. A fine actress as well as singer, she also has the stamina and stylistic versatility for the role’. In 1984 Collier began adjudicating for Kiwanis Festivals in Canada. She can be heard on the 1982 tribute to Kodály recording, Songs of Zoltan Kodály 1882-1967 (The Podium W-8211), with Janos Tessenyi, bass, and John Coveart, piano.




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