Gerald Barry was born in Ireland in 1952 and studied composition with Stockhausen and Kagel. His first opera, The Intelligence Park was premiered at the 1990 London Almeida Festival. A second opera, The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit opened the 2002 Aldeburgh Festival, followed by performances in London and the Berliner Festwochen conducted by Thomas Adès. A new staging took place in 2013 at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant was at English National Opera and the Basle Opera. La Plus Forte (The Stronger) a one-act opera on the Strindberg play, was commissioned by Radio France for the 2007 Festival Presences. Sung by Barbara Hannigan, it toured to Amsterdam, London, Miami and Toronto.
A recording of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant has been rereleased on the Discovery label. Recent works include The Destruction of Sodom for 8 horns and 2 wind machines and an organ concerto for the CBSO, LPO and RTENSO. His most recent opera, The Importance of Being Earnest, was with the LA Philharmonic and the Barbican in London, and received its world premiere staging at Opera national de Lorraine – Nancy in 2013. Two further productions were staged the same year at the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, and on tour with NI Opera. In 2016 the ROH staging of Earnest was revived in London with the Britten Sinfonia and in New York with the New York Philharmonic. Earnest received the 2013 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Large-Scale Composition and a recording was released on NMC and nominated for a Grammy. His opera, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, was premiered in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and in London and Dublin with the Britten Sinfonia.
Canada for voice and orchestra was premiered at the 2017 BBC Proms with Allan Clayton and the CBSO conducted by Mirga Gražinyté-Tyla. A new staging of The Importance of Being Earnest opened in Fribourg and Paris in 2019.
New productions of The Intelligence Park and Alice’s Adventures Under Ground will be presented at Covent Garden in 2019 and 2020.
His music is published by Schott.