AboutMusic PEI WeekShowcase PEICanadian Song ConferenceJoinMembers LoungeNews & EventsMusic PEI Programs
Member Profile
Olivia Barnes
Olivia Barnes is a singer, violinist, actor, comedian and writer-director from Charlottetown. After winning the NATIONAL MUSICAL FESTIVAL for Voice in 2018, Olivia was invited to be Artist-in-residence with Opera McGill in Montreal. "A warm, powerful mezzo soprano voice performed with strong dramatic commitment" (Claudia Friedlander, Carnegie Hall). Olivia trains with Ariane Girard and Pierre McLean in Montréal. She is represented by the Amanda Rosenthal Talent Agency in Montreal.

Selected musical theatre, opera and dramatic credits include Reporter in Sadie Off the Rails, the Fairy Queen in Iolanthe, Paquette in Candide, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Nettie Fowler in Carousel, the Sorceress in Dido & Aeneas, La Chatte in L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Mrs. Dilber in Mavor Moore's Christmas Carol, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In fall 2017, Olivia directed the hit opera, Thomas & Sally in Montreal.

Having won Gold in Quebec's Music Festival 2018 and 2016 for classical singing, Olivia was invited to represent the Province of Quebec at the National Music Festival. Following her win in PEI's provincial competition in 2015, Olivia was a Finalist at the FCMF National Music Festival in Edmonton for Musical Theatre. In 2013, she won the Outstanding Vocal Performance Award bestowed by the PEI Registered Music Teachers' Association. In 2008, Olivia received the Excellence in Music bestowed by Rowan Fitzgerald, recipient of Music PEI’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Olivia has been the fortunate recipient of many scholarships and fellowships.

Olivia has a Graduate Performance Diploma from McGill where she studied with renowned soprano, Dominique Labelle, opera director Patrick Hansen and vocal coach Stephen Hargreaves. She received her Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the Universite de Montreal where she studied under legendary soprano, Rosemarie Landry, mezzo-soprano Catherine Sévigny, baritone John Fanning and opera director, Robin Wheeler.

A graduate of UPEI's music program, Olivia worked with acclaimed soprano, Sung Ha Shin-Bouey. Her degree also included a minor in Theatre. Olivia has taken Master Classes in classical singing with Richard Margison, Suzie LeBlanc, Dalton Baldwin and Carrie Ann Matheson to name a few. In musical theatre, she has participated in Master Classes with Andrew Chapelle from the Broadway hit, "Hamilton" and Michael Cerveris who Playbill called, "arguably the most versatile leading man on Broadway."

Olivia performed as a soloist at Universite de Montreal's Baroque, Chamber and Contemporary music concerts at the Salle Claude-Champagne as well as Churches throughout Montreal. In addition to having served as Director for the First Baptist Church Choir, Olivia was a member of UPEI's Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Women's Ensemble. She was also featured as a guest singer and violinist with the UPEI Jazz Ensemble.

Working with the Confederation Players at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in PEI, where in addition to acting and interpreting history, Olivia was seen and heard leading the troupe's musical vignettes and choral performances as Music Director for three seasons.

When a member of the Strathgartney Chamber Orchestra, Olivia played classical violin. She studied with John Clement for many years. Olivia also plays violin in an acoustic duet with her father, Tom Barnes, singing and harmonizing on a variety of tunes ranging from early jazz to country, gospel, bluegrass, traditional folk, vintage pop and more. They play at churches, ceilidhs, weddings, banquets and other events.

In past summers, Olivia played jazz violin in the Barnes Johnston Quartet and the Rehder Barnes duet on Victoria Row in Charlottetown. She has taken various jazz workshops and also jazz/swing classes with nationally renowned musical educator, Chalmers Doane, recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia.