About Zachary

Zachery BarbaSelect credits: Mozart and Salieri (Mozart), La fille du regiment (Peasant), and Rocking Horse Winner (American Premiere; House Tenor, Paul cover) with Opera Saratoga; Amahl and the Night Visitors (Kaspar) at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church; Cinderella in Spain (Stepsister/Herald) with Houston Grand Opera’s Opera to Go!; Oreste (Pilade), A Little Night Music (Henrik), HMS Pinafore (Ralph Rackstraw), and La finta giardiniera (Belfiore) with Baylor University Opera.
Awards: Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Houston District, 2019; Arkansas District, 2020)—Encouragement Award, Houston Saengerbund Competition (2019)—Semi-finalist, Semper Pro Musica Chamber Competition (2017)—Winner, MTNA National Young Artist Voice Competition (2016)—National Winner.
Education: Baylor University (Master of Music, 2018; Bachelor of Music, 2016).


To Watch

Virtual Sing-In, Part 3

Opera Invasion 1: Ballads on Balconies, Tour B

Cocktails, Concerts, and Conversations, Week 4

"Soul's Serenade" (Chautauqua Opera Song Cycle)

Week Four Master Class

Opera Invasion 2: Opera Open Book

Opera Invasion 3: Miller Bell Tower Sing-a-long

Week Seven Master Class

Opera Invasion 4: Grand Finale - A Musical Tour of the Institution Grounds

Young Artist Interview

Zach BarbaQ: What is your hometown?
A: Brownsville, TX

Q: What was the first opera you saw and how old were you?
A: My first operatic experience was in junior high, so around 11 or 12 years old. Our local university in Brownsville performed a children's production of Hansel and Gretel. I remember being blown away by the singing, especially the high notes!

Q: What was the first opera in which you performed?
A: The first opera I performed in was Dido and Aeneas during my freshman year of college.

Q: Opera features some pretty iconic characters. Who is your favorite operatic character and why?
A: Hmm. Great question! I think I'm going to have to go with The Queen of the Night because she is so fierce, and I secretly wish I could sing her arias. Maybe someday... :)

Q: Who are your opera singing idols?
A: Fritz Wunderlich, Pavarotti, Renée Fleming, John Mark Ainsley, Diana Damrau, Sherrill Milnes... Just to name a few.

Q: What do you love most about opera?
A: I love the grandeur of opera and that at times, it transcends anything we can put into words. I believe the human voice is so fascinating and the fact that opera pushes the voice to it's greatest potential is so amazing to me!

Q: Chautauquans love their ice-cream! What is your favorite flavor?
A: So... I may offend people with this answer, but I actually love ALL ice cream except mint chocolate chip. I'm sorry mint chocolate chip lovers!!!!!

Photo caption: Zachary Barba as Margarita (a stepsister) in Cinderella in Spain by Mary Carol Marwick with HGOco.


Spotify Playlist

Each week, two of our Young Artists will draw inspiration from Chautauqua Institution’s weekly theme and weekly interfaith theme to curate Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure. We hope these playlists provide inspiration, joy, and a chance to engage with these themes in a different way.

For Week One, Zachary Barba drew inspiration from the theme Faith to Save the Earth.

He says:

“This playlist is a collection of songs that I believe represent having faith to save the world in a variety of different ways. Some of these iconic songs are well-known for inspiring change in the world and finding hope for a better tomorrow. I also included songs that I believe specifically target, challenge, and bring to light contoversial topics we face today and offer uplifting messages of hope and love. In my perspective, many of these songs say that we can begin to make change by being better versions of ourselves and realizing that every unique human experience is valid. We, as human beings, are in-charge of saving our world from darkness, hate, bigotry, and so many negative things by loving ourselves, loving others, and accepting that this journey through life is going to be hard and uncertain at times but worth fighting for. I hope that this music takes you on a journey of how I find faith in humanity during difficult times.“