Mandi Barrus (she/her), mezzo-soprano, is a musician, educator, and opera producer originally from Seattle, Washington. With her "impressive technique and clear tone", Ms. Barrus' performances are described as "a breath of fresh air" (Front Row Reviewers). She is known for her versatility of performance, with credits in musical theater, concerts, and opera in the US and abroad.
Mandi’s 2022 season included the world premiere of J. Taylor Arnold’s The Bitter Price with NEXT Ensemble, singing Judy Shepard in Considering Matthew Shepard with the Salt Lake Choral Artists and Orchestra, and the role of Signora Naccarelli in Hale Centre Theatre’s production of The Light in the Piazza. She sang the alto and second soprano solos in Vivaldi’s Gloria with Salt Lake Symphony and Utah Voices, as well as the alto solos in Handel’s Messiah with Holladay Messiah Orchestra and Chorus. As a member of the NEXT Core Ensemble, Ms. Barrus works to support composers of new music in their premieres.
Her 2023 season has included the concert series with NEXT Ensemble; her house debut with Opera San Luis Obispo as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus; a recital “A Song for All Seasons” and the role of Dinah in “Trouble in Tahiti” as the Visiting Artist at Blinn College in Texas; producer and Singer 6 in Twice Through the Heart, an evening of chamber opera and conversation around domestic violence; and Prince Charming in “The Cinderella Project”—both events with Opera Contempo. In November 2023, she will sing the role of Artemis in a reading of Act I of “Protectress” by Jessica Rudman and Kendra Leonard; and will premiere the role of Nature in Anthony Thomas Buck’s new opera “The Romance of Silence.”
Ms. Barrus has been in demand as a voice teacher and choir director for 15 years, both privately and in the university setting. Mandi is a current member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and has conducted choirs in multiple congregations and elementary schools.
Recently awarded a sizable Artist Career Empowerment Grant by the Salt Lake City Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Barrus holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Utah. Mandi shares her love of music as a teacher of private voice lessons at Bella Voce Studio, weekly at St. Paul's Episcopal Church as the Mezzo-soprano Artist-in-Residence, and by presenting opera outreach programs in elementary schools throughout Utah with ARTS, Inc. Ms. Barrus is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Opera Contempo, a chamber opera company promoting new voices, commissioning new works, and producing new opera settings. She lives with her three children and her partner, composer David Campbell, in the Greater Salt Lake area.