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Mezzo soprano singing at the next Picnic at the Piano

Singer Barbara King is performing at the upcoming Picnic at the Piano
Barbara King is performing on July 27 at the Picnic at the Piano event. (Photo submitted)

Mezzo soprano Barbara King has been singing since she was five years old.

The singer is performing on Wednesday, July 27 at the Okotoks Art Gallery as part of the Picnic at the Piano series. She will be joined on stage by her mother, who will be playing the piano. King is to perform a variety of pieces, many of which will be opera. 

“I’m going to be explaining my journey as I go through each piece and how I got to be where I am today,” King said about the upcoming performance. 

Along with some pieces from popular operas such as Carmen, she will also sing some Josh Groban and musical theatre songs. King will also be performing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the first big song she ever sang in public. 

“Opera will be the main focus but I will also incorporate some, I call it popera. So incorporating your operatic voice to sing some pop songs, like Josh Groban,” she said. 

King has had an extensive career ever since she began singing opera when she was 25.

Throughout the years she has performed across Canada with major opera companies and has sung in Italy, Germany, England and around the United States as well. 

She grew up with opera as her mother was a concert pianist and her father was a tenor signed with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

When she turned seven she decided to follow gymnastics instead. King was a gymnast in Montreal for many years and even started coaching gymnastics until she was in an accident. 

“I got into a really bad car accident and during my recovery, I started singing with my mom while she was playing the piano. A friend of hers heard me sing and they actually found me a singing teacher and they said, 'What are you doing? Like you should be singing,'” King said.

King started the Calgary Concert Opera company with her husband in 2011, which follows the concert format and puts on full operas.

She also started the Divas Opera with soprano Kathleen Morrison in 2019, which has operas as well as operas incorporating pop songs.

“We basically started it because we realized that in Calgary and in Western Canada, there were not very many venues or opportunities for singers to sing here,” she said.

This will be the third installment of the Picnic at the Piano series, which provides free monthly concerts from noon to 1 p.m. from May to August.

The event is organized by the Town of Okotoks Culture & Heritage and the Okotoks Arts Council and located at the Okotoks Art Gallery. People are encouraged to come out with a blanket and lunch and enjoy the performance.

For more information about Barbara King, visit