Runner Up in America’s Got Talent, Bárbara Padilla is a classical Crossover soprano that transcends languages and genres. Named by her fans “America’s Angel,” Bárbara has won the hearts of millions not only because she possesses a magnificent voice, but also by her life story of survival and strength that transforms lives through the healing power of her interpretative beauty. Her approach to singing is honest and informed by years of diligent preparation. This academic approach to her craft coupled with her fearless, nuanced interpretations of pieces across genres has attracted the attention of her loving fans around the world. Bárbara has shared the stage with such stars as Juan Gabriel, David Foster, Fernando de la Mora, and many more!
Recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Abbey Road Studios in London (with the London Symphony Orchestra) Bárbara Padilla combines the artistry of a multi-Grammy Award-winning team: Gregg Field (producer and recording/mixing engineer) and Jorge Calandrelli (producer, conductor and arranger) Renowned late producer Phil Ramone contributed his expertise and shares mixing engineer credits with Gregg Field. Rounding out the team are Al Schmitt and Mike Hatch (recording engineers) and Paul Blakemore (mastering engineer).
Bárbara’s musical journey began when she was a very young child and she was captivated by her mother’s impressive collection of classical music albums. Raised by a spiritual, tight-knit family in the rich artistic community of Guadalajara, Mexico, Bárbara’s delight in music took hold of her soul and she was captivated by stunning recordings of pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi and Joaquín Rodrigo. She was particularly moved by the interpretations of legendary vocalists such as Plácido Domingo and Edita Gruberova. She marveled at how these composers and artists were capable of finding beauty in every note and of heightening her own emotions while enhancing the lush physical landscapes of the world around her. Her natural instinct to sing along and perfectly match the soprano melodies revealed her extraordinary need to sing, and she began to take piano lessons to explore her artistic talents while pursuing her love of dance and visual art.
Bárbara officially resolved to become a singer in high school while studying with Alicia González Pacheco, one of the premier voice teachers in her home city. She began singing with choirs throughout the city as she honed her vocal technique and enrolled in the program at the School of Music of the Universidad de Guadalajara, where she excelled both as a musician and an academic. During this time, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, fighting the disease while keeping up with her studies, strengthened in her resolve to thrive by music. Three years after her diagnosis, she was the soprano section leader and soloist of the State Choir of Jalisco. To ensure she received the best treatment, Bárbara traveled to the U.S. to visit the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a second opinion. While there, she was asked to audition at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and was offered a full scholarship. After several rounds of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation that should have damaged her vocal cords, doctors predicted she would never sing again. But after she returned to Guadalajara for a life-saving bone marrow transplant, astoundingly, the quality of her voice was unaffected.
After completing her Master’s degree in 2004, Bárbara earned several roles with various opera companies and began teaching voice. However, she took a break from the spotlight after she and her husband adopted their daughter, Elizabeth. At the end of 2008, she was encouraged by her mother and husband to spread her wings again and nourish her love of music and live performance. A search for challenging and exciting opportunities led her to audition for the fourth season of the popular television program America’s Got Talent in 2009.
Her spectacular performance of Charles Gounod’s “Ave Maria” prompted judge Piers Morgan to declare: “It was the greatest single vocal performance we’ve ever had on ‘America’s Got Talent’.” Bárbara’s luminous renditions of songs as well as her charisma and determined pursuit of her dreams made her a fan favorite, and she finished first runner-up. Once the show wrapped, Bárbara participated in the America’s Got Talent Live Concert Series in Las Vegas, which ran for ten weeks in Las Vegas and for three weeks at Foxwoods Casino.
Fluent in Spanish, English, Italian and French, Bárbara has been particularly inspired by dynamic musical pioneers including Maria Callas and Renée Fleming. Her approach to singing is honest and informed by years of diligent preparation; she revels in learning as much as possible about each piece of music she sings, including its origin and why the composer created it. This academic approach to her craft coupled with her fearless, nuanced interpretations of pieces across genres has attracted the attention of renowned artists, musicians and entertainers worldwide and endeared her to fans. She has performed as a soloist at symphonic events and has given concerts and recitals throughout the United States, Italy and Mexico. Her repertoire spans from beloved operas such as La Boheme, Turandot, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, to poignant oratorios like Verdi’s and Mozart’s Requiem Masses and other masterworks including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Joseph Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Her versatility has allowed her to excel at “popera,” and she has sung favorite songs within that genre such as “Time To Say Goodbye,” “Gira Con Me Questa Notte,” Alfonsina y El Mar” and others.