TATIP Anthology


Rachel Barker-Asto, Opera Singer

Rachel Barker, soprano, has been praised for her nimble lyric voice, capable of immense artistry and vitality. Recent roles include Queen of the Night, Adina and Pamina. In 2013, she co debuted as Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Dell’arte Opera Ensemble and the early music group The Sebastians. She has also been a participant in the Caramoor Festival as an apprentice during the summers of 2014, 2012 & 2011 where she studied and performed music and operas from the bel canto period. Rachel is a frequent recitalist, often focusing on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year, she presented a recital featuring the works of George Crumb, Thomas Whitaker, and Paul Moravec. In 2014, she premiered the works of local composers in Bristol, TN with the chamber ensemble the Paramount Players. Other solo engagements include various oratorio works such as Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Brahm’s Ein Deutches Requiem. Rachel is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where she sang under the batons of Alan Gilbert, John Adams and Joseph Flummerfelt. Rachel has also ventured into the entrepreneurial world as the co-founder of Princeton Opera Alliance, a group that seeks to foster collaboration in the greater Princeton community through the art of Opera. She is currently also working as a teaching artist in the New York City area. 


“This year, I was thrilled to observe and assist Scott Lilly and Mary Cinadr in teaching music, theatre, and poetry at P.S. 279 in the Bronx. The kids were energetic, and I was amazed at how quickly they caught on to the ideas presented and then turned around to create beautiful work of their own! Scott and Mary were instrumental in encouraging and directing me for my own lesson plan for the kids. I was able to teach the class how to speak with confidence and resonance, something I am very passionate about. We recreated the Erie Canal in the class room (we had been learning the folk song) and we called over to our neighbor. The students responded by writing poetry about how it felt to speak and sing with a powerful voice. Because poetry is not my area of specialty, seeing their thoughtful responses (that had been aided by adept scaffolding in previous lessons by Scott and Mary) was truly an inspiring moment.”

“As of February, I have also been teaching song writing as a volunteer for Citizen Schools in East Harlem. Teaching middle school can often be a daunting process, but I was well prepared from TATIP. I had a bunch of tools to give them options for creating songs together. The creative responses from these kids never ceases to amaze and inspire me. TATIP has given me the tools and a process that I know will ensure successful collaborations with students in the future!”

Most memorable TATIP moment:

“If I have a favorite moment from TATIP (and it’s really difficult to choose a favorite), it would be a particular day that we ended class with our affirmation of “I have a voice, my voice is powerful, my voice can change the world!” Some of the trainees began to lead the affirmation in their own languages. It was a beautiful moment, not only because they were sharing a little more of themselves, but also because it was a reminder that our cohort is a representation of the world and to the world. I’m not sure that I have ever been in a group so diverse, and it is often said by researchers that diversity breeds creativity because of the wealth of knowledge and experience coming together. I definitely can confirm this because I have learned a lot from these beautiful people during our time together.”

Find out more about Rachel here:

Check out Rachel’s Lesson Plan she presented with her partner Cheree Alexander.

Interested in TATIP? Find out more about our 2017-18 Program!

See more of our 2016-17 Graduates in the 2017 TATIP Anthology!