“There’s your heavy opera, where basically people sing foreign and it goes like ‘Oh oh oh, I am dyin’, oh I am dyin’, oh oh oh, that’s what I’m doin’,’ and there’s your light opera, where they sing in foreign and it basically goes ‘Beer! Beer! Beer! Beer! I like to drink lots of beer!’, although sometimes they drink champagne instead. That’s basically all of opera, reely.”
– Nanny Ogg, Terry Pratchett, Maskerade
Known as a resourceful, irrepressible artist and inveterate performer of pants roles, Ivey Barr pivoted from her originally-planned 2020 debuts with Opera in Concert and Altered Shakespeare (as Dromio of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors) to virtual opera concerts with Spooky Goose Opera and virtual Shakespeare readings as Ariel, Berowne, Autolycus, and more with Plague Mask Players. She now resides in Atlanta, GA.
As a former student at UT Dallas and a founding member of Comet Opera, Ivey previously appeared as Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito), Ruggiero (Alcina), Despina (Così Fan Tutte), Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing) and Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro). She made her opera debut as Cherubino in April 2017 and was praised for her energy and physicality, which would become a trademark of her roles.
In April 2018, she designed the Mozart pastiche operetta Much Ado for the newly-founded student organization and, as Benedick, explored the music of two of Mozart’s early castrato roles, Cecilio (Lucio Silla) and Ramiro (La Finta Giardiniera). While working on Così (2018), she also began coaching student performers and partially translated the libretto, which became a recurring responsibility. Alcina (2019) also featured her English translations and music direction, while Tito (2019) featured English dialogue written for the production with castmates Avanti Dey (Vitellia) and Rachel Davies (director).
Outside of UT Dallas, she has appeared with Public Works Dallas at the Dallas Theater Center as Perdita in Lear DeBessonet’s musical adaptation of The Winter’s Tale, directed by Kent Gash, and as a featured singer in Shania Taub’s As You Like It, directed by Ann Yee; as Elizabeth in the historical stage play Juneteenth by Greg Ellis; as a street performer with PULSE Dallas; in the chorus of Dido and Aeneas in concert with Classical Fusion; and as Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) with North Carolina’s Little Opera Company of Charlotte.
She previously was a staff singer at Arapaho United Methodist Church, where she sang Handel’s Messiah and Martin’s Song of the Shadows, with occasional appearances at First United Methodist Church of McKinney and St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Dallas.
In summer 2018, she studied and performed with Opera in Concert in Italy under the direction of Edward and Heather Crafts. She continued to study with Edward Crafts in Dallas and act as the marketing coordinator for Opera in Concert until summer 2020.
Growing up in a culture of a capella vocal music in the Primitive Baptist church, Ivey began formally studying voice in 2010 with her mother, vocal/piano teacher Kathryn Ivey-Barr, and went on to work with Dr. Kathryn Evans in 2014. She received a minor in music from the University of Texas at Dallas in May 2017. As a Creative Practice MFA student in the Arts and Technology program, she studied marketing, web design, event production, and video-enhanced performance.
(On the rare occasion that her work does not directly involve singing, her friends often encourage her to sing anyway.)