“Barbara Kozelj revealed the art of singing that spoke straight to the heart.”
– De Telegraaf
Slovenian mezzosoprano Barbara Kozelj has established herself as a charismatic and versatile soloist and musician. Her performances have brought her to the leading international stages and continue to captivate audiences around the world.
On the opera stage Barbara has distinguished herself in leading roles for houses including Leipzig, Essen, Bonn and Amsterdam. Her recent perfromances as Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at Leipzig Oper and their festival Wagner22, Judith in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Mélisande in Debussy’s Pélleas et Melisande with Taiwan National Orchestra in Taipei with Jun Märkl and Penelope in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr in London’s Barbican Hall, have brought her great critical acclaim.
She is in great demand as a concert soloist. After her debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and her Carnegie Hall debut performing Bach’s Matthew Passion with Ivan Fischer her carreer has taken flight. Her voice has been described as “deep and dark”, “enchanting”, “gleaming with velvety legato”, “a beautifully calm demeanour combined with a deep expressivity” and her performances “piercingly beautiful”, “breathtaking” and “deeply expressive”.
Barbara’s versatility has excited the attention of many composers who have been writing for her. She has a strong affinity with Lieder, regularly performing recitals with Julius Drake, Thomas Beijer and Nino Gvetadze.
She has collaborated with conductors including Iván Fischer, Jaap van Zweden, Stefan Soltesz, Richard Egarr, Neeme Järvi, Jun Märkl, David Afkham, Paul McCreesh, Kenneth Montgomery, Reinbert de Leeuw, Antony Hermus, Otto Tausk and with orchestras including Budapest Festival Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Gabrieli Consort and Players, Athen’s State Orchestra, Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona, Orquesta y coro nacionales de Espagna, St Luke’s orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and most of the Dutch orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Highlights of the past and coming season include the role of Octavian in Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier with Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra and Jun Märkl, Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (arr. Henk de Vlieger) with Belgian National Orchestra – both conducted by Antony Hermus, Ligeti Requiem with Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de Espagna and David Afkham, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Camerata RCO (members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) at the Flanders Festival in Ghent, Mozart’s C-minor mass and Rossini’s Petite messe solenelle with Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne for the Aix-en-Provence Festival de Pâques and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with the Phion and Residentie Orchestra.