by Scott Roos
It was a concert two years in the making this past Wednesday, February 9th as critically acclaimed, world renowned countertenor Terry Barber took the stage at the EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts in Prince Albert. Barber was first booked to play the Rawlinson in March of 2020. As Rawlinson general manager Roxanne Dicke explained during her brief introduction of Barber, for that first booking Barber had literally just landed at the Saskatoon airport when he got the call that his show was cancelled due to COVID. The rest, as they say, was history; a history we are still working through. But, at least music enthusiasts of Prince Albert finally got to see Barber perform and it was well worth the wait.
“Like most touring artists, I haven’t been able to travel and connect with folks from the stage for about two years,” explained Barber in a brief chat with NSMZ,”It’s events like Wednesday night that remind me I am where I need to be. I particularly like more intimate venues like the EA Rawlinson Centre because it gives me a real chance to interact with people and connect.”
Billed as an evening featuring the music of broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber, Barber, along with accompanist Grace Field, cycled through classics from Cats, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar to name a few. Sprinkled throughout were also a few non-Webber songs that feature prominently in the other various theme related shows that Barber puts on during a typical touring year. Field,who is a well respected, and award winning songbird in her own right, was also able to take the stage for a few solo numbers much to the delight of the enthusiastic Rawlinson crowd.
“Grace Field is more than just a triple threat. She’s got so many talents and such bubbly energy on stage; especially when it comes to musical theater repertoire where she is most at home as a singing actress, model, pianist, dance and now producer of her own tours.”
On the whole, the concert was eclectic and most entertaining. The Rawlinson and, by extension, Prince Albert was fortunate to have talent the caliber of Barber and Field. Barber was informative and engaging as he educated the audience in the definition of just what a countertenor is. It’s a rare gift to be sure, and Barber’s instrument is capable of soring to stratospheric heights whilst he can also exhibit the ability to reign it in, giving the songs themselves the ability to connect and speak for themselves. To her credit, Field was equally engaging as her wit and charm was evident whether she was front and center singing or behind the piano in a supporting role.
“The venue itself - the talent of the supporting staff, and the engaging, warm crowd all exceeded my expectations. I look forward to returning to the EA Rawlinson Centre again someday,” said Barber.
Let's hope he does because if this recent performance is any indication, Barber has a lot more to offer Prince Albert and we’d be most fortunate for another opportunity to see him shine. With a world slowly inching its way back to some sense of normalcy in the wake of the omicron variant, Barber is hoping to book as many shows as he can in 2022. Check his website at terrybarber.com for info on future shows and tours.