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Monteverdi Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria
Barbican Hall, London

“Barbara Kozelj in the role of Penelope set the bar high with her Act One lament. Her voice freighted with the grief of the passing years, it articulated her numbed sorrow with the subtlest of nuances. " - Evening Standard

"Kozelj had a beautifully calm demeanour, combined with a deep expressivity in the way she sang the Monteverdi." -Planet Hugill

Ian Bostridge and Barbara Kozelj

Evening Standard, Barry Millington
“Barbara Kozelj in the role of Penelope set the bar high with her Act One lament. Her voice freighted with the grief of the passing years, it articulated her numbed sorrow with the subtlest of nuances. A pair of delicately plucked theorboes complemented her plangent declamation to perfection. As her wandering husband Ulysses, Ian Bostridge drew on his trademark repertoire of devices, colouring the tone and bending phrases to their expressive limits.”

Planet Hugill, Robert Hugill
“Neither role, Penelope nor Ulisse, is showy and both communicate in mainly recitative and arioso. Both, in their different ways, are stretched emotionally to the limit and the effect of the work is to highlight this expressive bleakness around which all the other characters caper and swirl. It was a testament to their artistry that, despite reservations I had about the staging and about the look of the characters, both Kozelj and Bostridge used their voices in a profoundly expressive manner and held our attention so vividly we hardly needed a staging at all.
Barbara Kozelj was similarly grounded in her performance, giving us a lovely sense of Penelope's patience and the sense of being cut off and walled in by her emotions. But also, stretched thin, this was someone who might break. Kozelj had a beautifully calm demeanour, combined with a deep expressivity in the way she sang the Monteverdi.”

Opera, innit?
“At home, with many distractions, it’s perhaps too easy to fall back on the things one is used to. 1m away from the performer, a music lover falls under the spell of their artistry, I rediscovered last night. So instead of focusing on who she doesn’t sound like, I was won over by Kozelj’s nuanced singing. Lots of floated notes and delicate inflections – a rather internalised grief, very stylish. Pivotal moments, such as Penelope’s idea – implemented by Minerva – to challenge the suitors to stringing Ulisse’s bow or her meeting with Ulisse where she is obviously attracted to him but isn’t sure of his identity yet, came off very clearly. And this time both Penelope and Ulisse looked genuinely happy to meet again.”

Music OMH, Sam Smith
“Barbara Kozelj as Penelope had a more direct voice, but its clarity was matched by equal levels of sensitivity and feeling, and her final reconciliation with Ulisse was deeply moving.”

Express.co.uk, Clare Colvin
“Ian Bostridge was a restlessly moving Ulysses the wanderer. Barbara Koselj’s melancholy Penelope was the still centre of the opera, fending off the importunate suitors, outstanding amongst them Lukas Jakobski’s brutish Antinous. Elizabeth Watts was a feisty Minerva, cackling at the mortals as she engineered events. A superb evening.”

Monteverdi Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria

This September Barbara makes her role debut as Penelope in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with the Academy of Ancient Music under the direction of Richard Egarr.
The first performance takes place at the Georges Enescu Festival in Budapest on September 18th as part of a late night concert and the second performance is in London's famed Barbican Hall on September 29th.

Barbara will return to Barbican Hall in December to sing in Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Academy of Ancient Music and conductor Richard Egarr.

'Dobro Do' in the Concertgebouw

Barbara premieres 'Dobro do' - Episodes from the life of a singer, an intimate composition written by Max Knigge and set to the poetry based on the life story of Barbara, written by music journalist and radio presenter Lex Bohlmeijer.
Together with the Nederlands Kamerorkest and concertmaster/leader Gordan Nikolić, Barbara will perform on October 3rd and 6th in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as part of the program 'Levenslied'.


On January 9th, Barbara will be the soloist with the Slovenian Philharmonic, singing arias from Alcina and Ariodante, as part of the 1st Philharmonic Festival in Baroque Music in Ljubljana.

with Matej Sarc, conductor
Philharmonie Ljubljana
Marjan Kozina hall



Barbara will sing the title role in Gluck's 'Orfeo & Euridice' with Belgium's first and only travelling company, The Ministry of Operatic Affairs. The musical direction is the hands of Bart van Reyn, with Le Concert d'Anvers and the Octopus Kamerkoor; stage direction by Korneel Hamers.

13 November 2014, PREMIERE
Hasselt, Belgium

> Full performance list

kozelj orfeo


Barbara is thrilled to announce that she will be joining the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer in the 2014/15 season. She has been engaged to sing in Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
The international tour will take place in Budapest, Abu-Dhabi, Bonn, Brugge, West Palm Beach, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and New York.
In 2015 Barbara will make her debut at the Edinburgh International Festival singing in Mozart's Requiem with the Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer.
Critical acclaim for the world premiere of the newest addition to Jan van de Putte's Pessoa cyclus
Asko Schönberg Ensemble with conductor Reinbert de Leeuw

“Praise for the Israeli soprano Keren Motseri and the Slovenian mezzo Barbara Kozelj whose entwined voices roused each other to reach stratospheric heights”
Biëlla Luttmer, Volkskrant (5 out of 5 stars)

“The piece is the triumph of lyricism. In the first movement the two voices of soprano Keren Motseri and Barbara Kozelj (fantastic singers) circled as lovers around each other, freely, in an imaginative and melodic, really beautiful counterpoint. Motseri and Kozelj deserve an extra bouquet of flowers for their masterful performance (although they did not get them)."
Erik Voermans, Het Parool (4 stars)

Successful role debuts as Donna Elvira and Néris

In 2013 Barbara sang two role debuts: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Néris in Cherubini's Médée.

Barbara was praised for her role as a "tempermental" Elvira, "excelling with a refined sound".

In the Volkskrant review of Médée Barbara "made a strong impression" as Néris.

A complete list of reviews are on the press page;
strikingly beautiful images are featured on the photos page.

Donna Elvira in Don GiovanniNeris in Medee

REPRISE:Help Heksen HeXen

After a successful run of performances last March, the good witch Rabarbarara will make another appearance in Amsterdam. The Help Heksen HeXen! (Help Witches Bewitch!) production can be seen on February 23rd in Amsterdam in Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.

barbara kozelj
Now available on iTunes!

CD 'Around Prague 1922-1937'
works by Ponc, Ullmann, Burian, Haba, Schimmerling
with the Ebony Band; Werner Herbers, conductor
Channel Classics CCS 34813

This CD is also available directly from Channel Classics.


"A real discovery are the 'Sechs Lieder' by Victor Ullmann, sung brilliantly and very naturally by mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj. A treasure for the concert hall."
Trouw, 21 June 2013, Peter van der Lint

  Matthäus Passion Bach
Carnegie Hall, New York
Orchestra of St Luke’s | Conductor: Iván Fischer

"Most to be praised was mezzo Barbara Kozelj whose expressive rounded voice filled the hall, particularly so in “Buss und Reu.” 
Seen and Heard International, March 31, 2013

“Barbara Kozelj was an affecting mezzo, opening the second half with an unusually cutting cry of “Ach!”

“The vocal highlights of the evening, however, belonged to soprano Dominique Labelle and alto Barbara Kozelj, who imbued their respective arias and duets with crystal-clear diction, sophisticated phrasing, and a solemn stage presence. In Part One’s early aria, “Buß und Reu,” Kozelj presented a pious woman filled with reverence after washing the head of Jesus, despite being mocked by the disciples for her extravagant use of expensive oil. Pleading that her “teardrops be an acceptable anointing to you, faithful Jesus,” Kozelj’s rich lower register complemented the falling staccato flute motion of Orchestra I’s Elizabeth Mann and Sheryl Henze.”

 “Barbara Kozelj and Silvie Jensen have splendid voices, the former deep and dark in ‘Buß und Reu’ and enchanting in ‘Erbarme dich, mein Gott’…”
Classicalsource.com, Lewis M. Smoley  


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  from the new CD release
'Around Prague 1922-1937'
  Viktor ULLMANN
Drei Blumen
from Sechs Lieder op. 17 (1937), no 2

  Emil Frantisek BURIAN
O dětech / About Children
(1924), no 3. - Na děti v trávě se dívám


Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
St. Matthew Passion
J.S. Bach

Erbarm es Gott! Hier steht der Heiland angebunden ;
Können Tränen meiner Wangen nichts erlangen

READ the reviews

  Joachim Raff
Die Nonne

from: Sanges-Frühling, op. 98

Jan Schultz, piano
recorded in 2012; CD release fall 2012