Anthony Barrese, hailed by South Florida Classical Review as conducting “with passion and idiomatic fluency,” earns accolades as both a composer and a conductor. His original works earn numerous awards, and he is regularly engaged by opera companies in North America and Italy. Currently serving as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Southwest, Mr. Barrese’s conducting credits include Le nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, La Cenerentola, Rossini’s Otello with the American staged première of the finale lieto, and a “Return of Rossini” festival. This season, Mo. Barrese continues his tenure as Artistic Director of Opera Southwest with a production if Guillaume Tell, conducts Kurt Weill’s operetta Johnny Johnson with Chicago Folks Operetta, The Merry Widow for Opera Saratoga, and Orfeo ed Euridice in a return to Florida Grand Opera.
Last season, Mo. Barrese conducted Tancredi with Opera Southwest, L’italiana in Algeri with Sarasota Opera, and Semiramide with Opera Delaware. Additionally, in recent seasons, he made débuts at Florida Grand Opera conducting Les pêcheurs de perles and Norma, Opera Theatre of St. Louis conducting The Kiss, Opera North conducting L’elisir d’amore, and Boston Lyric Opera conducting Don Giovanni. In 2014, Mr. Barrese held the prestigious honor of leading the world première of Franco Faccio’s little known opera Amleto with Opera Southwest, not heard anywhere since 1871. With his background as a musicologist, Barrese worked vigorously for nearly ten years to rediscover, prepare, and edit the critical edition of Amleto, in conjunction with Casa Ricordi, for American audiences. In the following years, Amleto premièred on the east coast with Opera Delaware and as a part of the Bregenz Festival in Austria.
Mr. Barrese made his operatic conducting début in Milan with La bohème and made his début in France conducting Turandot at the Opéra de Massy. He led several productions with Sarasota Opera including, Lakmé, Le nozze di Figaro, and Hansel and Gretel; and a new production of Turandot in the historic Teatro Ventidio Basso, with a cast that included Nicola Martinucci as Caláf. Barrese was the Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Opera in 2006-2007 and later returned there as Guest Conductor for a production of Tosca, and La Wally. He also recorded Roberto Andreoni’s “quattro luci sul lago” with I Solisti della Scala, a chamber group made up of the first chair musicians of the La Scala Philharmonic, for broadcast on Italian National Radio (RAI 3).
Other notable highlights include being the recipient of numerous composition awards including a N.E.C. Contemporary Ensemble Composition Competition Award for his “Madrigale a 3 voci femminili,” The Sir Georg Solti Conducting award, and two B.M.I. Student Composers Awards.