British / Irish bass Barnaby Rea "boasts a commanding stage presence and a rich bass voice" (Financial Times). A former Harewood Artist at English National Opera (2013-16), he has been a member of the Oper Frankfurt solo ensemble since 2016.

2018-19 SEASON

In the 18/19 season, Barnaby makes returns to ENO for the role of Ben Benny in Britten's Paul Bunyan and Opera Holland Park to perform Bertrand in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta alongside his debut for Chelsea Opera Group at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall as Prince Gudal in Rubinstein's The Demon. At Oper Frankfurt, he undertakes the part of Soljony in a new production of Péter Eötvös's Tri Sestri, revisits Sciarrone in Tosca, once again embodies Baron Mirko Zeta, a role he premiered last season in Klaus Guth's staging of Die Lustige Witwe as well as performing Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos and Dritte Schafer in Daphne.

Barnaby Rea’s Banquo was most impressive: his is a resonant bass but flexible too and tellingly used here.
— Rian Evans, Opera Magazine

2017-18 SEASON

During the 17/18 season at Oper Frankfurt, Barnaby performed the roles of Hobson in Keith Warner's new staging of Peter Grimes, Johann in Werther, Commandant in Janáček's From the House of the Dead and Bosun in Billy Budd. He also returned to English National Opera for the role of Private Willis in Cal McCystal's much lauded staging of Iolanthe and made his Central American debut as Colline for Opera de Guatemala.


Other recent operatic highlights include Lord Tristan Mickleford Martha (recorded by Oehms Classics), Pistola Falstaff, Zaretsky Eugene Onegin, Fabrizio Vingradito La Gazza Ladra (Oper Frankfurt), Sparafucile Rigoletto, Basilio The Barber of SevilleColline La Bohème, Lodovico Otello, Nourabad The Pearl Fishers, Ceprano Rigoletto, Second Priest / Second Armed Man The Magic Flute (English National Opera), Colline La Bohème (Opera North), Masetto Don GiovanniMother The Seven Deadly Sins (Scottish Opera), Alidoro La CenerentolaZaresky/Captain Eugene OneginBonze Madam Butterfly, Rocco I Gioielli della Madonna (Opera Holland Park), Osmin Die Entführung aus dem Serail (West Green Opera), Banquo Macbeth (Iford Opera).

Barnaby Rea gave a superlative performance as Sparafucile, his stage presence combining black menace with a sense of griminess that was entirely at home in this production, while his rich, resonant bass made for a thrilling vocal performance
— Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack


Recent and future highlights on the concert platform include his BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall performing the roles of Judge Pitkin / First Workman / Radio Announcer in On the Town live on BBC4 and Radio 3 with John Wilson and the LSO, his Romanian debut at the Enescu Festival as Hobson in Peter Grimes under the baton of Paul Daniel, a return to perform once again with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic with whom he has previously sung Hobson at the Bergen International Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival, Verdi’s Requiem live on BBC Radio 3 and Mozart’s Requiem at London’s Royal Festival Hall. A keen interpreter of Kurt Weill Barnaby has sung Vom Tod im Wald and the Mahagonny Songspiel at Kings Place concert hall in London with the Continuum Ensemble and Mother The Seven Deadly Sins at the National Concert Hall in Dublin with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Barnaby also live recorded Bob Beckett HMS Pinafore at the Edinburgh International Festival under the baton of Richard Egarr.

Barnaby Rea’s Alidoro was solemn and majestic, deploying an expansive bass that soared over the orchestra. The little gleam in Rea’s eye made him just that little more human
— Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack


Barnaby trained at the National Opera Studio where he was supported by Scottish Opera and a Sybil Tutton Award administered by the Musicians Benevolent, having graduated from the highly acclaimed opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with the generous support of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Wingate Foundation, the Hope Chest, Serena Fenwick, Towergate and the Worshipful Company of Gold & Silver Wyre Drawers. He continues to study under the guidance of John Evans. Operatic roles at GSMD included Bottom/Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Barbican Theatre, Falstaff in Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Dr. Gibbs in the European premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town (GSMD) and Collatinus The Rape of Lucretia (British Youth Opera).

An unctuously sonorous if unusually young Basilio from Barnaby Rea
— Tim Ashley, The Guardian