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.

2019-20 SEASON

The 19 / 20 season sees Barnaby make his house and role debuts with Bergen National Opera as Publio in La clemenza di Tito. He continues as a member of the solo ensemble at Oper Frankfurt where he will undertake house role debuts as Sparafucile Rigoletto, Adam Ochsenschwanz in Schwergewicht by Ernst Krenek, Jarno in a concert version of Mignon by Ambroise Thomas and the premiere of Der Prinz von Homburg as Obrist Kottwitz. Barnaby also revives two roles that he previously premiered for Oper Frankfurt, Lord Tristan Mickleford Martha (recorded by Oehms Classics) and Hobson in Keith's Warner's staging of Peter Grimes.

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

2018-19 SEASON

During the 18/19 season, Barnaby made returns to English National Opera for the role of Ben Benny in Britten's Paul Bunyan and Opera Holland Park to perform Bertrand in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta. He also made debuts at St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre in the Russian premiere of George Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence as Madman / Witness 3 and for Chelsea Opera Group at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall as Prince Gudal in Rubinstein's The Demon. At Oper Frankfurt, he undertook the part of Soljony in a new production of Péter Eötvös's Tri Sestri, once again embodied Baron Mirko Zeta a role he premiered in Klaus Guth's 2017 staging of Die Lustige Witwe (recorded by Oehms Classics) revisited Sciarrone in Tosca, debuted Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos and sung Dritte Schafer in Daphne.


Other recent operatic highlights include Pistola Falstaff, Zaretsky Eugene Onegin, Johann Werther, Commandant From the House of the Dead, Fabrizio Vingradito La Gazza Ladra, Bosun Billy Budd (Oper Frankfurt), Sparafucile Rigoletto, Basilio The Barber of SevilleColline La Bohème, Lodovico Otello, Nourabad The Pearl Fishers, Private Willis Iolanthe, Ceprano Rigoletto, Second Priest / Second Armed Man The Magic Flute (English National Opera), Colline La Bohème (Opera North, Opera de Guatemala), 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 Enescu Festival debut as Hobson in the Romanian premiere of Peter Grimes under the baton of Paul Daniel, 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 London Symphony Orchestra, Verdi’s Requiem live on BBC Radio 3 and Mozart’s Requiem at London’s Royal Festival Hall. A regular collaborator with the Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, Barnaby will return twice to sing with the BFO in 19 /20 first to once again perform and this time record Hobson with Edward Gardner having previously performed the role at the Bergen International Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival and secondly to perform Beethoven's Prüfung des Küssens and Tremate, Empi Tremate with Jan Willem de Vriend. 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