Edward Barnes came to national attention when, at the age of 22, his first opera, FEATHERTOP, was produced in New York by the American Opera Center. The NY Times called him "extraordinarily talented", the NY Daily News "a national treasure" and the Times of London "a composer of considerable lyric gift". That same year he became the youngest composer ever to win a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.
Edward is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, and also studied in England as a scholarship student of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies at the Dartington Hall Summer School.
His original operas and musicals have been commissioned and produced around the US and abroad by companies including the Lincoln Center Theater Company, Opera Company of Boston, Opera Company of the Philippines, Mark Taper Forum, American Repertory Theater, Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis, L.A. Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe. He is a founding member of the Metro Ensemble, a new musical-theater group based in Los Angeles, for whom he wrote THE VAGABOND QUEEN, OLD AUNT DINAH'S SURE GUIDE TO DREAMS & LUCKY NUMBERS and THE BONES OF LOVE. All three works have toured widely and received multiple awards, the latter two winning Edward the Stephen Sondheim Award for "innovative musical theater". Edward is also the winner of NEA, NYFA and L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs fellowships and has been a resident artist at the Ucross Foundation, Instituto Sacatar (Brazil) and the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain).
More recently, Edward has concentrated his work on producing for theater, opera and concert organizations, both in New York City and Buenos Aires, Argentina. For MasterVoice / The Collegiate Chorale in NYC, he produced the critically acclaimed presentation of Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson's KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY at Lincoln Center, starring Kelli O'Hara and Victor Garber, and was also the producer of the live cast album of the work for Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom Records. Other projects he's produced for MasterVoices include Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie's opera, THE GRAPES OF WRATH at Carnegie Hall, starring Jane Fonda; the Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin operetta, THE FIREBRAND OF FLORENCE, with Victoria Clark and Nathan Gunn; Philip Glass' THE JUNIPER TREE; and a concert version of Leonard Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner's 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE at Jazz @ Lincoln Center. Other producing credits include Tracy Letts' play, SUPERIOR DONUTS, on Broadway, PRESENTAMOS for the Teatro Maipu in Buenos Aires, MAS ALLA DEL TIEMPO and other projects at Paseo La Plaza in Buenos Aires, A CHRISTMAS CAROL for Spoken Word America and Night Kitchen Radio Theater, and YOU ARE HERE for the NyLon Fusion Collective in NYC.
A leading senior level administrator, Edward has served as Managing Director of American Lyric Theater, Producing Director of MasterVoices / The Collegiate Chorale, Executive Director of Gotham Chamber Opera, and is currently Chief Operating Officer of African Parks Foundation of America.