Soprano Zara Barrett, originally entered the Queensland Conservatorium of Music as a French horn player, switching to singing after 12 months. She won the Opera Foundation Shell Covent Garden Award in 1995 and the following year graduated from the postgraduate course at the National Opera Studio in London. She is a three-time regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Awards (1993, 2000 and 2001), which led to her becoming a member of the Glimmerglass Opera Young Artist’s Program at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and then going on to join the Young Artist program at the Pittsburgh Opera Centre.
Zara has studied voice with Richard Miller, Anthea Moller, Kathleen Kelly, Lauran Gilley, Bonnie Koestner, David Harper, Narelle French and Norma Marschke.
In 1998 Zara was cast as Mimi in New Zealand Opera’s Wellington season of La Bohème. During 1999 and 2000, she appeared as Masha in Richard Wargo’s The Music Shop and as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. Other international roles include Musetta in La Bohème and Micaëla in Carmen. In 2009, Zara joined the cast of Jerry Springer — The Opera for its Sydney season.
Most recently, in Australia, she has performed with Opera Queensland, State Opera of South Australia and OzOpera, with performances including the title roles in Aida and Turandot, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel and Minnie in Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West.
Her concert repertoire includes Verdi’s Requiem, Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Britten’s Spring Symphony and Strauss’ Four Last Songs.
In 2014, Zara sings the title role in Turandot for Opera Australia.