TITLE: Board of Directors President
FUNDING AREA: Vocal music performance and emerging vocal artists
CONTACT: (860) 927-1320
PROFILE: Barbara Bliss is president of the board of directors for the Wililam Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation (known as the Sullivan Foundation). Bliss' bio on her own (now inoperative) website stated:
After winning the Maria Canals Concurso in Barcelona, Spain, Ms. Bliss sang with the Barcelona Symphony and began a career that included opera companies in Europe, South America, and the U.S.. She also sang with the Washington, D.C. Symphony and the New York City Ballet at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
In addition to her classical engagements, Barbara Bliss was invited to perform her act "A Night in Vienna" at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, The Pierre Hotel, the Essex House and the Lotus, Cosmopolitan, University, Knickerbocker and the National Arts clubs. She performed her cabaret acts at Judy's and Danny's Skylight Room in New York City and the Gardenia and Cinegrill in Los Angeles.
Barbara Bliss grew up in New York during the period when her grandfather, Cornelius Bliss, was chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Opera in the 1940s and then when her father, Anthony Bliss, held the same position during the '50s and '60s. During the '70s he was promoted to executive director. As a result, Barbara had a unique opportunity to witness the daily workings of the theater and to hear all the legendary singers of a period that is often referred to as the Met's Golden Age. Simultaneously, Musical Theater played a large part of her musical education and she was lucky enough to hear first-hand the likes of Ezio Pinza, Mary Martin, Robert Preston, Ethel Merman, and the very young Julie Andrews.
Barbara Bliss has been a member of the board of the Sullivan Foundation for 30 years where she has served as president for the past ten years and often as a judge for the annual auditions. She is also board chair of Encompass New Opera Theater.
Ms. Bliss has judged the Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Los Angeles and audited opera companies for the National Endowment for the Arts.