RSNO Youth Choruses Director Patrick Barrett
Patrick Barrett is a conductor specialising in choral music and opera. He is currently Chorus Director of the RSNO Youth Choruses, Royal Opera House Youth Opera Company, Irish Youth Training Choir and the award-winning Farnham Youth Choirs.
Recent work has included conducting the RSNO Youth Chorus alongside soloists Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Benjamin Grosvenor and Nicola Benedetti in the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s All-Star Gala performances, and preparing them for the recording of Jonathan Dove’s Gaspard’s Christmas, which is available on all streaming services. Over the summer, he led FYC to success at the Hull International Choral Competition and the International Choir Competition in Provence, winning the Youth Choirs of Equal Voices and Children’s Choir categories respectively, and will be competing with them in the World Choir Games 2024 in New Zealand. In the past year, he has also premiered a number of new works including Jonathan Brigg’s The Sapling with the ROH Youth Opera Company and pieces by Emma O’Halloran and DJ and producer R.Kitt with IYTC. This summer, he took up the position of Guest Conductor with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain’s Girls’ Choir and has been invited back for 2024.
Much of Patrick’s work revolves around championing young people within choral music and, for the past two years, he has been invited to address the annual conference of the Post Primary Music Teachers Association in Ireland. His work in this area began as a Trainee Music Leader with Spitalfields Music between 2015-16 and he is now firmly established as a music educator, having delivered projects for organisations including the BBC Singers, Sonoro, The Sixteen, Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, and Ark Schools.
In opera, Patrick works with many of the UK’s major companies including the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Garsington Opera. For the ROH, he is the Musical Director of the Youth Opera Company, preparing them for main stage performances of Verdi’s Otello under Sir Antonio Pappano and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel under Sebastian Weigle, and conducting them in the world premieres of specially commissioned works including Lewis Murphy’s A Different Story in the Linbury Theatre. He is also a regular leader on their Create and Sing programme, working with secondary school teachers to stage specially-devised operas in classrooms across the country. For the ENO, he has prepared the children’s chorus for Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen under Martyn Brabbins and Bizet’s Carmen under Kerem Hasan. For Garsington Opera, he has worked on a specially-commissioned community opera called Dalia by Roxanna Panufnik as the Youth Chorus Director.
Patrick was previously the conductor of the University of Birmingham’s Upper Voices Choir and Brockham Choral Society.