Barrientos, Maria, celebrated Spanish soprano; b. Barcelona, March 10, 1884; d. Ciboure, France, Aug. 8, 1946. She entered the Barcelona Cons, at age six, where she received training in piano, violin, and composition before graduating at 12; then studied voice with Francesco Bonet. In 1898 she made her operatic debut as Inèz in L’Africaine. While still a youth, she appeared in Rome, Berlin, Leipzig, Milan, and other European music centers. On Jan. 31, 1916, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Lucia, continuing to sing there until 1920. She then devoted most of her time to concert engagements; she also taught in Buenos Aires (1939–45). In her heyday, Barrientes was acclaimed as one of the finest coloratura sopranos. Among her notable roles were Rosina, Gilda, Amina, Lakmé, Norina, and the Queen of Shemakha.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire