Barbara Landis

Mezzo-Soprano

Biography

Barbara Landis, mezzo-soprano, recently adapted, created, and starred in an original musical drama based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which received its world premiere at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago in 2011. The newly revised adaptation received rave reviews when it was performed on tour in England at the Shanklin Theatre on the Isle of Wight, at the Winchester Royal Theatre in Winchester, England, at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago, and at the Dicapo Opera Theatre in New York City in 2013.

“Mezzo-soprano Barbara Landis Seid, an attractive young woman, was just right for Azucena. Her lower register was especially impressive; the top secure…..” – Chicago Tribune

Ms. Landis has a passion for music with a Spanish flair.  She studied Spanish dance with Pascual Olivera and Angela Del Moral and has been active as a soloist in the art of zarzuela with the Opera Factory of Chicago and the Jarvis Zarzuela Festival in Napa, California.  Her signature role has been the title role of Carmen.  “Ms. Landis as Carmen, wasn’t afraid to play the role with the seductiveness and even raunchiness it requires.  She was outstanding…” (Wheaton Daily Journal, IL).  “Miss Landis can weave a spell over the audience.” “…a dynamic mezzo‑soprano voice.” (Naperville Sun, IL).  She has performed for the National Symphony Orchestra in the Dominican Republic, the San Francisco Lyric Opera and Golden Gate Opera in San Francisco, American Opera Group in Wisconsin and Illinois, Opera Theatre North, DuPage Opera Theatre, Pegasus Playhouse in Chicago, and Chamber Opera Chicago.  Her portrayal of Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha has been seen throughout the Midwest, at Chamber Opera Chicago, and at the Colorado Lyric Theatre Festival.
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Barbara has also been praised for her portrayal of the title role in Menotti’s opera The Medium, a role she performed for the composer at the Spoleto Festival in Italy and again with Chamber Opera Chicago.  She returned to Italy to sing in recitals at the festivals of both Spoleto and Modena.  Barbara is also known for her comedic skills as an actress, performing comic roles with Komische Oper München (Munich Comic Opera) in Germany as well as Light Opera Works.  Roles for which she has received critical acclaim include Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus and many of the Gilbert and Sullivan mezzo-soprano roles such as Katisha in The Mikado, Mad Margaret in Ruddigore, and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Light Opera Works; Azucena in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with da Corneto Opera; the Witch in Hansel and Gretel with both DuPage Opera Theatre and COC; and the Secretary in The Consul (a role she also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Guild), the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Erika in Vanessa, Maria in The Sound of Music, Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice: A Musical, and Jane Austen/Anne Elliot in Persuasion: A New Musical Drama with Chamber Opera Chicago.  She participated in the 2010 Jane Austen Festival in the review Cheers from Chawton in Bath, England.

 

Barbara studied at the American Conservatory of Music and was a student at the Britten-Pears School in England, where she sang the title role in The Rape of Lucretia which was recorded by the BBC for public broadcast.  She also trained as a member of the Sarasota Opera (Florida) Apprentice Program and the Chicago Opera Theater Young Artists’ Program.  She can be heard on Cedelle Records’ The Medium starring Joyce Castle with Chicago Opera Theater.  She has also performed at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where she was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her premiere role in advancing culture and education in the arts.

 

Ms. Landis has recently been the Artistic Director of Chamber Opera Chicago where she created and directed a multimedia show combining song, dance, and film entitled Te Amo (“I Love You”) in memory of former Spanish dancers Pascual Olivera and Angela Del Moral, for which she also edited and incorporated the film dance clips.  Te Amo was an instant hit and sold out for two consecutive years.

Press Materials

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Reviews

“I was fortunate to attend a performance of the musical adaptation of “Jane Austen’s Persuasion: A Musical Drama” by Barbara Landis […] It was a brilliant performance.

I was especially impressed by the acting and singing of the dual roles of Anne Elliott and Jane Austen by Barbara Landis… the gifted and well-experienced soprano pulls off the multi-faceted role and character changes well […] she is the glue that holds the production together.

Landis did a marvelous job of timing and matching the music to create a seamless production with so many actors and songs.

Barbara Landis’s adaptation of Persuasion was perfect Austen, wonderful Regency, and a melange of music proven to please all preferences. Brava!”

Suzan Laner – Bath, England
Full Review

“The 2018 Jane Austen Festival at The Mission Theatre opened to full audiences, beautifully costumed and eager to learn more about the famous novelist’s life and history through a range of magnificent events, shows, talks and demonstrations. Without doubt one of the most memorable productions in this year’s festival must be Persuasion, brought to The Mission for the second time by Chamber Opera Tours from Chicago. With the glamourous Barbara Landis playing Jane Austen/Anne Elliot in a production for which she is also the Playwright, Librettist and Musical Arranger, a company of over 40 talented actors and singers took to the stage accompanied by a 9 piece orchestra. For over 2 hours audiences were mesmerised by Barbara’s fresh take on Jane Austen’s famous novel and were delighted with the beautiful costumes and the setting which transformed The Mission’s versatile interior.”
Jane Austin Festival, Bath, England

 

“much comedic individuality…Barbara Landis’ deliciously nasty Zita.”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

 

“Barbara Landis brought a plummy mezzo to her covetous Zita.”
Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

 

“The role of Jane Austen/Anne Elliot is brilliantly handled by Barbara Landis, who truly got into the inner story she adapted.” (Persuasion)
Alan Bresloff, aroundthetownchicago.com

 

“Chamber Opera Chicago’s production of Persuasion, a musical adapted by Barbara Landis from the Jane Austen novel, was a treat for the eyes and ears at Shanklin Theatre on Sunday. Landis played a strong Anne Elliot, but her performance as the story’s heroine soon paled in comparison to her portrayal of Jane Austen, who was a lively and likeable narrator.   Anne Marie Lewis as Mary Elliot Musgrove and Landis, as Anne Elliot, complemented each other well, and their encounters often brought with them a sweet, sisterly humour.
Emily Scotcher, Isle of Wight County Press, Yoppul.co.uk.

 

“Barbara Landis (as Amahl’s Mother) managed this dramatically difficult role well, convincing in its progress from a strict disciplinarian to a sympathetic young woman. The parting of mother and son at the work’s close was moving indeed.” (Amahl and the Night Visitors)
Richard Covello, NIB Foundation

Barbara Landis’ portrayal made Maria la O so likable, and the character had such pride, nobility and compassion…” (Maria la O)

Dennis Polkow, New City Stage

“…Landis throws herself with gusto into a complicated role that ideally requires a Carmen and Don Jose rolled into one.” (Maria la O)

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“Barbara Landis steals the show with her affecting portrayal of the vulnerable Erika’s inner distress.” (Vanessa)

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

For a COMPLETE listing of: Repertoire|Resume|Reviews – Download the Media Kit

Video

Menotti – Excerpt from the Consul

Barbara Landis, Mezzo Soprano