BBC Proms – Jamie Barton

Prom Season in the U.S. may be many months away, but across the pond, another prom season was finishing up. The Proms, since 1895, is an eight-week summer season of classical music concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Now organized by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the program’s Last Night remains the most popular and most recognized. This year proved no exception.

The American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton took to the stage at the height of Saturday’s performance. The Georgia born studied vocals before making her breakthrough at an international competition in 2013. To perform as the highlight of the Last Proms is anything short of an honor. Among the night’s repertoire included Georges Bizet’s “Habanera,” George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” and Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” – an unofficial ‘anthem’ for the LGBTQ+ community.

Jamie, 37, came out as bisexual in 2014. She told BBC she wanted to “make a very clear statement of Pride” at this year’s Proms. “It’s not just queer pride, it’s a connective celebration of people being exactly who they are and loving who they are.”

The highlight of the annual concert season includes a rendering of “Rule Britannia.” Amidst the sea of E.U. and national flag-waving – a not-so-subtle nod to the era of political uncertainty over Brexit – Jamie proclaimed her stance as she unfurled the flag of the LGBTQ+ movement to resounding applause. It was a Last Night for the books.

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