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.
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.
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.