Ricardo Barros PhD
is one of the few specialists to conciliate an exuberant and passionate performance with an in-depth understanding of the Music & Dance panorama in the Baroque period. His musical and dance performances are dramatic and intense expressions of Passions. Ricardo has been recently awarded with the prestigious ARAM (Associate Royal Academy of Music) title for his ‘significant contribution to the music profession’.
Brazilian-Portuguese Ricardo was born in São Paulo where he graduated with a BMus. He pursued postgraduate studies at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London (1993/4) with a British Council scholarship, under Chris Kite and Neal Peres Da Costa (harpsichord), and Madeleine Inglehearn (early dance), and at Royal Academy of Music (1996/8) with a Brazilian Government scholarship, under Laurence Cummings and Neal Peres Da Costa.
Ricardo attended various master-classes with harpsichordists and conductors such as Christopher Hogwood, William Christie, Christophe Rousset, Jacques Ogg, Ketil Haugsand, Kenneth Gilbert and Andreas Staier.
He furthered his training as a Baroque Dancer with Christine Bayle (France), and also Jane Gingell in Escuela Bolera and Spanish Baroque, attending workshops with Jürgen Schrape (Germany) and Isabel Gonzaga (Portugal). Ricardo had his harpsichord solo début during the 1994 Edinburgh Festival, playing the complete works for harpsichord by Pancrace Royer in the World famous 1769 Taskin harpsichord, at St Cecilia's Hall, The Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments. Since then he has continually been invited to perform in that series.
He directs and performs with his innovative Mercurius Company in fully and semi-staged concerts involving dancers, singers and instrumentalists, and also performs with flutist Lisete da Silva and cellist Nick Stringfellow in Spirituoso, former ensemble-in residence at Handel House Museum during 2009 and 2010. He is in high demand for his directing, playing and dancing in concerts around Britain. Ricardo has performed for HRH Princess Alexandra and also in Festivals in Europe and South America. Ricardo has concluded his PhD at the University of Hull under Professor Graham Sadler and Dr Caroline Wood researching 17th- and 18th-century French stage dances in his thesis ‘Dance as a discourse: the rhetorical expression of the passions in French Baroque dance’, published by Lambert Academic Publishing with worldwide distribution. Research interests also include the inheritance of 17th-century French and Iberian festivities in the contemporary Brazilian carnival parade. Ricardo regularly gives master-classes, summer courses, and lectures in Baroque Dance.
Dr Barros’s previous engagements include academic activities such as presentation of a paper at the Annual Royal Music Association conference (Birmingham, November 2004); publication of a paper on the expression of passions in baroque dance in Choreologica, the Journal of the European Association of Dance Historians (July 2005); organisation of a conference for the European Association of Dance Historians (York, October 2005); workshop in Baroque Dance, Gesture & Etiquette at the Handel House Museum, London (November 2005 and September 2006) and at the Wallace Collection, London (February 2006); presentation and publication of a paper in the Conference ‘L’Italia e la Danza’ (Rome, October 2006); presentation of papers in a conference in Leiden (Holland, October 2008), Amsterdam (Holland, February 2009) and Schwetzingen (Germany, October 2009). Ricardo was also involved in the organisation of a conference on ‘Marie Sallé’ in partnership with the EADH, Handel House Museum, Foundling Museum and Royal College of Music (London, November 2007), in which he premièred his newly commissioned choreography for Rebel’s Les Éléments. Lastly, Ricardo recently featured in a video documentary about his work and research as an affiliated artist of the prestigious Wallace Collection London, in conjunction with the ‘Creative Journeys’ project involving the eight major museums in the UK, now online (http://twc.nmolp.org or alternatively at http://www.vimeo.com/3269027).
Recent performing commitments include dance concerts with Mercurius Company’s début at the prestigious Cadogan Hall in London in a fully staged performance of ‘Orpheus Britannicus’, celebrating Purcell’s 350th anniversary, including a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 programme ‘In Tune’. Mercurius also delivered its lottery funded ‘Living Arts Project’ during March and April 2010, with educational activities, concerts at the Wallace Collection and a gala concert at St James’s Piccadilly Church in London. Other engagements include choreography and performance of Purcell’s Dioclesian with Mercurius (London, March 2010) in collaboration with the Royal College of Music, concerts at the Banqueting House’s lunch time series (London, September 2005 and May 2006) and at the Wallace Collection in London (regularly since 2006); choreography and performance for a production of Purcell's Dido & Aeneas (August 2005) and Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley (August 2006) in Ross-on-Wye; concerts with Spirituoso at the Edinburgh Festival (August 2006); Royer harpsichord recital for the British Harpsichord Society (July 2005); concert of Medieval dances with Dança Amorosa and acclaimed Les haulz et les bas of Switzerland in the Brighton Early Music Festival (October 2006); several concerts as a dancer with The Daughters of Elvin around the UK; choreography for Rameau’s Dardanus with Ensemble Florilegium at the Two Moors Festival (October 2007); movement coaching for Handel’s opera Rinaldo in Latvia (July 2008); choreography and performance at ‘Nox Illuminata Festival’ in Basel (March 2009); running harpsichord masterclasses and Baroque dance workshops in Brazil (April 2009); presentation of papers in conferences in London (Royal Academy of Music, May 2009) and Oxford (New College, May 2009); a programme of Spanish dances with Mercurius at Leeds University (June 2009) and a dance concert at Waldenburg Schloss in Germany (September 2009). His trio Spirituoso (www.spirituoso.co.uk) was ensemble-in-residence at Handel House Museum for 2009/10. Spirituoso recently performed on a tour including concerts in Tomar (Portugal) and Edinburgh Festival (August 2009). Spirituoso recently had its Wigmore Hall début (March 2010) and also featured in a documentary for Deutsche-Welle television on Handel’s 250th anniversary. They now start a series as Associate Ensemble at St George's Bloomsbury Church, London.
Future performing engagements include teaching and performing with Spirituoso in Brazil (June 2011), choreography and performance with The Parley of Instruments (Cambridge, August 2011), a fully-staged production of a 17th-century Lullian divertissement in São Paulo (Brazil, September 2011) and London (2012), choreography for Desmarets' Didon in Brazil (2012).