Dr Charles Barber (BMus, UVic; MA, DMA Stanford) began piano at six, violin and trumpet at 10, at 14 wrote a piano concerto, at 15 conducted an orchestra, and at 16 wrote his first film score. His teachers include Carlos Kleiber, Andor Toth, and George Corwin.
Charles’ mentors in opera were Carlos Kleiber and Sir Charles Mackerras; his apprenticeship included Semele and Der Rosenkavalier (San Francisco Opera), and Makropoulos Case and Otello(Metropolitan Opera). In Los Angeles he assisted Marty Paich on projects with Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon and Mel Tormé, and on the films Prince of Tides, Alive, Flatliners, Grand Canyon, The Fugitive, and Wyatt Earp. Barber also conducted for Stan Getz, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sarah Vaughn.
He has been published by Oxford UP, Cambridge UP, and has more than 90 entries in New Grove 2000. His books include Lost in the Stars (2002); The Alexander Siloti Collection (2003); and, Corresponding With Carlos: A Biography of Carlos Kleiber, (2011). Barber served as Music Advisor to the BBC in its award-winning film documentary set, The Art of Conducting. He has been involved in the creation of nine new operas, including Fallujah (2012), Pauline (2014), and Missing (2017).
In 2006 he co-founded City Opera Vancouver. Tonight, he serves as our guest conductor. At the first rehearsal, Charles said, “I have been conducting for 35 years, and have always dreamt of working with singers who are actual puppets.”