Barbara Landis has been the General and Artistic Director of Chamber Opera Chicago since 2005. She recently adapted and created an original musical drama based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which first premiered at the Athenaeum Theatre in 2011.
She received critical praise for her portrayal of Baba in Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera The Medium with COC in 2005, a role she also covered and studied with the composer at the 2002 Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Ms. Landis can be heard on Cedelle Records’ The Medium starring Joyce Castle with Chicago Opera Theater. In 2003, she sang in recitals at the Spoleto Festival and then in 2004 in Modena, Italy. She has sung roles with Komische Oper München (Munich Comic Opera) in Germany and while studying at the Britten-Pears School in England, she sang the role of Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), which was taped for broadcast by the BBC. Barbara has also specialized in roles with a Spanish flair. She has performed the role of Carmen with numerous opera companies including Chamber Opera Chicago, Opera North Theater, American Opera Group, in San Francisco with the Golden Gate Opera and the San Francisco Lyric, and in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra in the Dominican Republic. She has portrayed the role of Aldonze in Man of La Mancha with COC, in the Colorado Lyric Theatre Festival, and throughout the midwest. Other 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 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, Jane Austen in the original musical Pride and Prejudice, Maria in The Sound of Music, and Jane Austen/Anne Elliot in Persuasion with Chamber Opera Chicago. Barbara participated in the review Cheers from Chawton at the 2010 Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England. She 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.