Barbara Cole Walton (Soprano), Michal Gajzler (Piano)
The idea to form a duo grew from Barbara and Michal’s shared love of art song, but opera and show tunes were swiftly added to the mix! The two enjoy programming recitals to delight audiences, whatever their musical tastes: evenings of relaxed French song, show-stopping operatic highlights, nostalgic trips down Rodgers & Hammerstein lane, or a pick ‘n mix bag of genres.
Canadian-British coloratura soprano Barbara Cole Walton comes from Vancouver Island, Canada. She moved to Glasgow in 2011 to do her postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, fell in love with the city, and never left.
As a freelance musician, she finds her time split between recitals, concert work, and opera. Her 2018/19 season sees the tail-end of the Diva Opera summer tour of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in which she sings Blonde. At Wexford Opera she sings Norina, in their ShortWorks production of Don Pasquale, and joins the chorus for their mainstage productions.
Earlier in 2018 you may have seen her sing the Controller in Scottish Opera’s Flight: Unwrapped, a role she was covering for their main production. She also covered both Naiad and Echo in Scottish Opera’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos and, earlier in the season, sang Giannetta (L'elisir d'amore) at the New Generation Festival in Florence, Italy. She was a founding member of Scotland-based opera company Raucous Rossini (singing the leading-lady in three of their tours) and has performed with British Youth Opera, as well as in numerous operas and opera scenes during her time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
She holds an MMus in Opera (distinction) and an MMus in Vocal Performance from the RCS, a BMus in Vocal Performance from the University of Victoria, Canada, and was listed on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30, 2016 edition.
In addition to a busy solo-performance schedule, Barbara runs singing studios in the southside of Glasgow and in Helensburgh, and is part of an all-female a cappella quartet, The All Sorts.
Michal Gajzler, born and raised in Poland, recently graduated with an Master of Music in Repetiteurship from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Alexander Gibson Opera School. In 2010 he graduated with an MMus in Piano Performance from the Cracow Academy of Music and an MA in Musicology from the Jagiellonian University (Cracow).
In 2013 Michal moved to Scotland, where he became the piano accompanist for Aria Alba - Opera for All. His operatic experience includes performing Die Zauberflöte on piano for Aria Alba and Lyric Opera Studio Weimar; Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni and Ariadne auf Naxos for VoiceArc; Die Fledermaus and Semele for Aria Alba, CarMen for Kent Opera and L'occasione fa il ladro for Raucous Rossini. His répétiteur experience at the RCS includes The Bear and Owen Wingrave, performing Benjamin Britten’s two-piano arrangement of Les mamelles de Tirésias, playing continuo for Le nozze di Figaro, and accompanying opera scenes from the Hänsel und Gretel, Arabella, Werther, Pelléas et Mélisande, The Rake's Progress, Tancredi, Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, La rondine, and Der Rosenkavalier. He also appeared as a pianist at the Oxford Lieder Spring Weekend of Song.
Future engagements include Idomeneo (Aria Alba) and Petite messe solennelle (Falkirk Festival Choir). Michal works as an accompanist and vocal coach for the Academy of Sacred Music and as a rehearsal pianist for a number of choirs in the Glasgow area.