Fernando Varela


Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center

Imagine a three-year-old boy growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, imitating the musical acrobatics of the iconic Michael Jackson. Those melodious antics helped the young Fernando Varela develop a strong, tenor voice, paving the way for his discovery on YouTube by one of Jackson’s producers, hit-maker and 16-time Grammy Award winner David Foster. Ultimately, Fernando won Foster’s “Born to Sing” contest culminating in a guest appearance with David Foster and Friends at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Fernando’s performance was reviewed as a show stopper and has been followed by numerous appearances with Foster, singing alongside an incredible list of super stars including Barbra Streisand, Lionel Richie, Neil Diamond, Peter Cetera, Babyface, Carole Bayer Sager, Kelly Clarkson, Keith Urban, Seal, Chris Botti, Jewel, Chaka Kahn, Ruben Studdard, Jessica Sanchez, Robi Draco Rosa, Charice, Australia’s Delta Goodrem and British superstar Katherine Jenkins.

At age eight, Fernando relocated with his parents to Central Florida, and while he loved music, he neither trained as a singer nor thought of becoming one until he was well into his teenage years. During his senior year, Fernando was inspired to sing and was accepted into the Central Florida Lyric Opera. During the next five years, he was transformed from an amateur singer into a dynamic professional performer.
While with the CFLO, Fernando performed throughout the country in over 16 fully staged operas and hundreds of concerts. His favorite role remains Madame Butterfly’s Lt. Pinkerton in a production directed by Metropolitan Opera legend Licia Albanese. Fernando went on to study privately with Madame Albanese in Orlando and New York. Impressing her with his enormous potential, she invited Fernando to compete in the prestigious Licia Albanese/Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition where, despite the fact that he was one of the youngest competitors, he received study grants from the Foundation both in 2001 and 2002. Madame Albanese has said of Fernando, “At 20 years old, he is better than Pavarotti (at that age).”

In the fall of 2004, Fernando joined the Resident Artist Program with the Palm Beach Opera and covered the role of Rodolfo in La Boheme. It was in Palm Beach that Fernando met two people who drastically changed his career. The first was world-renowned voice instructor Cesar Ulloa, with whom he was able to fine-tune his technique. The second was one of the greatest tenors of all time, Maestro Placido Domingo. Fernando was able to work for his operatic idol at Palm Beach Opera’s Gala in February 2005.

Fernando’s global performances span more than 31 countries in which he has won critical acclaim. In 2006, he was invited to coach with Maestro Giancarlo Chiaramello, conductor for the late Luciano Pavarotti in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The Maestro said of Fernando, “I have heard very few voices like yours.”

August 2008, Fernando recorded his first CD, “Dare to Live,” and performed for 50,000 guests of Spiritual Master Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj in Haridwar, India. In May, 2010 Fernando traveled to Canada to debut his orchestral pops concert with The Saskatoon Symphony. He has since performed with Florida’s Orlando Philharmonic, The Sarasota Orchestra, and more recently, as David Foster’s guest with The National Symphony at The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Each concert has been met with rave reviews from both his presenters and the media.

September 2012 saw the release of two brand new studio albums, “Prelude” and “Inspiration,” which feature beautifully orchestrated songs from Fernando’s signature “Orbison Medley” to John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and numerous other exciting titles. 2012 closed out with an Asian tour of 5 countries with David Foster and Friends. These performances inspired standing ovations for Fernando on every occasion in arenas as big as 10,000 people strong.

All of these accomplishments are just the beginning! Fernando is a great talent. His heart surrounds each song that he performs. His charisma warmly embraces his audiences. His music uplifts the soul – and an evening spent listening to him becomes a very memorable experience.

Fernando Varela . . . his future is in the stars!

Terry Barber

Terry Barber

MONDAY, FEB. 25, 2013 – 7:00PM
Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center 

With an extraordinarily broad vocal range and natural fluency in a wide range of musical styles, American countertenor Terry Barber is a performer in a class by himself. He has been featured on some of the world’s most prominent stages and has worked with many of the music industry’s most prestigious songwriters, composers and producers. His recorded voice has appeared on every major label, as well as his own label, rEvolv Music. Whether performing classical or popular favorites, he “breathes new life into everything he sings,” and crafts what the Los Angeles Times calls “performances of great vitality and verve.”

As a member of the multiple Grammy-winning ensemble Chanticleer, Terry was called “…the jewel in Chanticleer’s crown…” With them, he worked his way through the repertoire performing opera, classical, gospel, jazz and folk music in a dozen languages at over a hundred concerts around the globe. In 2002, Terry joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for their staging of Sly, starring Placido Domingo. He made his New York City Opera debut in 2001 in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and covered Daniel Taylor in the NYC Opera’s production of Handel’s Rinaldo starring David Daniels. In summer of 2002 he performed at the International Spoleto Festival both the Spirit and the Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

Terry made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2004 singing the role of Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus with the National Chorale under Martin Josman. He was also featured with the Portland Baroque Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah under the direction of Nicholas Kramer and with the New Trinity Baroque Orchestra of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (with Evellyn Tubb) which prompted the Atlanta Journal Constitution to rave that “…his grasp of the texts and elegant phrasing made for charismatic singing.” and “Barber has star quality”.

Following incredible success at Moscow’s Svetlanov Hall for the international “Art-November” festival last year, Terry will return to Russia for the third time at the specific request of the Lithuanian composer, Georgs Pelecis, to perform his “Revelation”, a grand work for countertenor, trumpet, and piano soloists and orchestra.
In 2009, Terry founded Artist for a Cause, a non-profit corporation created to organize collaborations between artists and the charities they support. His personal performance project for the organization, A Sacred Journey features Terry singing sacred music in the baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano ranges by the best composers through time. The U.S. tour began in early 2010, has its 35th performance this year, and has raised thousands of dollars for community outreach.

Terry received his Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance as well as the Musical Theater Certificate from Northwestern University. He received his Master of Music degree in historically informed performance from London’s Trinity College of Music where he also received a post-graduate performance certificate with highest distinction. Immediately following the completion of his degree, Terry was hired to teach advanced vocal ensembles at Trinity College, while simultaneously touring England with the Kent Opera’s production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo.

Whether performing classical or popular favorites, Terry Barber “breathes new life into everything he sings” and crafts what the Los Angeles Times calls a “performance of great vitality and verve.”

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