Cheryl Barker


Australian soprano Cheryl Barker's most recent international successes include Emilia Marty for both the Netherlands Opera and Opera du Rhin, and Madama Butterfly for the Paris Opera.

For Opera Australia she has sung Salome, Manon Lescaut, Arabella, Marschallin, Countess (Capriccio) and Marietta (Die tote Stadt).  Recent appearances include Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini for Opera Holland Park, Tosca for Opera Australia, Desdemona for Opera Queensland, Madama Butterfly for Welsh National Opera, and Adriana Lecouvreur for Opera Holland Park. Forthcoming engagements include Miss Jessel (Turn of the Screw) for Opéra du Rhin.  

She was awarded the Order of Australia in the 2015 Queen's birthday honours. 

This is for information only and should not be reproduced. Please contact Phillippa Cole  for a full biography and for performance details.

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News & Features



Wozzeck: Marie

The Turn of the Screw: The Governess / Miss Jessel

Adriana Lecouvreur: Adriana

Rusalka: Rusalka

La Vida Breve: Salud

The End of the Affair: Sarah

Katya Kabanova: Katya
Jenufa: Jenufa
The Makropoulos Case: Emilia Marty

Tosca: Tosca
Madama Butterfly: Cio-Cio San
Turandot: Liu
Il Tabarro: Giorgetta
Suor Angelica: Suor Angelica
Gianni Schicchi: Lauretta
La Boheme: Mimi, Musetta
Manon Lescaut: Manon

Christmas Eve: Oskana

Capriccio: Countess
Salome: Salome
Arabella: Arabella
Der Rosenkavalier: Marschallin

Eugene Onegin
Pique Dame

The Midsummer Marriage: Jenifer

Otello: Desdemona
La Traviata: Violetta

Francesca da Rimini:

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Adriana Lecouvreur

Opera Holland Park

"The diva in the title role is Cheryl Barker, who holds the stage and sings her two big arias with a balance of emotion and poise"
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 25th July 2014

Elektra: 22 February 2014

Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Opera House

"As her straight-laced sister Chrysothemis, yearning for the return of some semblance of normality, Cheryl Barker is absolutely ideal and the perfect vocal and dramatic foil. Her glittering soprano matches Goerke note for note, soaring over the orchestra with no sign of fatigue. Her radiant recollection of her friends at the well with their babies (set to another waltz) is heart-breaking."
Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine, 23 February 2014
"Cheryl Barker brought a different style of warmth and projection, finely glazed and less elemental. "
Peter McCallum, Sydney Mornign Herald, 24 February 2014
"Elektra requires three female singers of the highest calibre and Cheryl Barker provided the third of these. Adding to a string of highly acclaimed Strauss roles, her portrayal of Chrysothemis, Elektra’s conventional sister who is more interested in acquiring a husband and children than bloody revenge, provided a foil to the histrionics of her mother and sister. With soaring, lyrical upper notes, her voice and feminine appeal acted as a striking contrast."
Heather Leviston, Sounds Like Sydney, 25th February 2014

Salome / October 2012

Opera Australia

"This performance, combining impressive vocal clarity, power and stamina alongside theatrical persuasiveness, opens a new horizon of possibilities in the darker dramatic roles and was as compelling as anything she has done, right up to the lurid A-sharps of her consummating kiss."

Peter McCallum / Sydney Morning Herald / 15 October 2012
"Heading a uniformly strong cast is soprano Cheryl Barker, who offers a magnificent performance as Salome. Conveying her character's intense sexuality, her acting assuredly moves between capricious petulance, manipulative coquettishness and unhinged erotic obsession."

Murray Black / The Australian / 15 October 2012

Die Tote Stadt / Opera Australia

Sydney Opera House, July 2012

"As Mariette, Cheryl Barker had the combination of strength and warmth that has become her hallmark. In the first act, the warmth manifested itself as a generous vibrato, but she sang the climactic aria of the final act with all the dramatic focus and power demanded by the 19th-century operatic musical tradition on which Korngold draws."

Peter McCallum / Sydney Morning Herald / 2 July 2012
"Soprano Cheryl Barker plays the dual roles of Marie and Mariette. Her richly coloured timbre and energetic portrayal capture the latter's beguiling nature while her pure-toned intensity make a haunting impact as Marie."

Murray Black / The Australian / 2 July 2012


Opera Queensland / October 2011

"You can’t have a great Tosca without a great Tosca, and renowned Australian soprano Cheryl Barker turns in a fine rendering of the title role in Opera Queensland’s final mainstage presentation for the year. 
Since her launch as Mimi in Baz Lurhmann’s landmark La Bohème back in the 1990s, Barker has built an impressive international career, boasting engagements with such blue-chip houses as the Paris Opéra and London’s Covent Garden. On Saturday, a first night Brisbane audience had the opportunity to sample her talents in what is probably the ultimate diva role in the repertoire.
Perhaps most impressive was the comparatively subtle shading that Barker brought to a character usually associated with histrionics. The Tosca we were offered was no harpy. Rather she was a strong-willed, affectionate, impulsive woman caught in a particularly nasty nexus of political and sexual intrigue. Barker’s portrayal demonstrated ample stagecraft, especially the intensity of her stillnesses in the second act, as the heroine mentally grapples with her choices. The voice impressed with its power and variety of colourings employed, including choices to speak rather than sing some phrases for dramatic effect. Above all, Barker’s sensitive musical phrasing was in evidence in the celebrated aria Vissi d’Arte, sung as the heroine finds herself about to become the victim of what is in effect a contractual rape. The last note was heaved into a despairing groan of protest, a moving touch." / 17 October 2011



JANACEK: The Makropulos Case (Emilia Marty)
English National Opera / Sir Charles Mackerras



PUCCINI: Madam Butterfly (Madam Butterfly)
Philharmonia Orchestra / Yves Abel



PUCCINI: Opera Excerpts 
Orchestra Victoria / Richard Bonynge