In 2015 Barbara appeared twice in London's Barbican Hall, performing with the Academy of Ancient Music and conductor Richard Egarr.
She made an excellent role debut as Penelope in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria in September, next to Ian Bostridge as Ulisse and Elizabeth Watts as Minerva and Amore. The press praised her for "a beautifully calm demeanor, combined with a deep expressivity." (Evening Standard) and deemed her "a singer to watch in the future" (Classical source).
This past December she returned to London to sing Bach's beloved choral masterwork, Christmas Oratorio with the Academy of Ancient Music lead by Richard Egarr.
Monteverdi Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria Barbican Hall, London
“The vocal star of the show was Barbara Kozelj’s Penelope. This was a noble, dependable portrayal, in which her mellow and controlled singing sounded like a contralto at times, giving natural and soulful expression to the character’s suffering patience. She is certainly a singer to watch in the future.” - Classical Source
“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 demeanor, combined with a deep expressivity in the way she sang the Monteverdi." -Planet Hugill
“Barbara Kozelj’s melancholy Penelope was the still centre of the opera.” - Express.co.uk
“The Slovenian mezzo Barbara Kozelj caught the varying moods of Penelope perfectly…Keeping her voice to moderate levels was an excellent move, adding to the strength of her character portrayal. “ - Early Music reviews
J.S. Bach Christmas Oratorio Barbican Hall, London
“Barbara Kozelj sang with a generous tone and well-rounded vibrato which gave her music a quietly noble character”
- Classical Source
“Barbara Kozelj’s alto had a sumptuous and rounded quality".
NEW ENGAGEMENTS 2015/16
As a regular guest with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer, Barbara is thrilled to announce that she will be joining them this year as the alto soloist in Mozart's Requiem and in the role of Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte.
The European tour will feature performances in Budapest, Amsterdam, London, Bruges, Baden-Baden and Berlin.
This March Barbara returns to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as part of the ZaterdagMatinee to perform in the first-ever performance of the complete Pessoa Cyclus by Jan van de Putte. Together with the Asko|Schönberg ensemble and Reinbert de Leeuw, Barbara will sing in the second part, Addiamento for mezzo-soprano and ensemble and in the third part, Bamboleamos no mundo, that was written for her and soprano Keren Motseri.
Barbara will join conductor Jan-Willem de Vriend in performances of Bach's Matthäus-Passion at the end of March.
A five-star review from Bachtrack: “Mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj, whose voice has a beautiful liquid gleam, delivered her aria “Können Tränen meiner Wangen” magnificently, poised and stately, yet suffused with emotional immediacy. “Erbarme dich” was profoundly moving…” - Bachtrack
'Dobro Do' in the Concertgebouw
Barbara premiered '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 performed in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam last October as part of the program 'Levenslied'.
"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!” Bachtrack.com
“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.” Feastofmusic.com
“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
St. Matthew Passion J.S. Bach
Erbarm es Gott! Hier steht der Heiland angebunden (recitativo) Können Tränen meiner Wangen nichts erlangen (aria)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Iván Fischer, conductor
recorded live in concert, March 2012
"Door weg te gaan bleef ik trouw aan mezelf" "By leaving I stayed true to myself"
The Slovenian mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj (37) studied at the conservatory in The Hague and found love in the Netherlands. Together with the Dutch Chamber Orchestra she will perform a song cycle about her life. "Sometimes I miss here a bit of Slavic warmth."