Marianne Barrett was born and educated in Germany. She grew up in Munich and studied German and English literature at the Ludwig-Maximiliansuniversität in Munich. She also attended the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich, where she was a voice major.
After immigrating to the United States, she lived in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where she taught at the University of New Mexico, sang in recitals and oratorios, and performed many mezzo roles with AOT. She was co-founder of the UNM German summer school in Taos and acted as co-director and language coordinator for many years.
Since coming to New York, Ms. Barrett has taught German at Hunter College and Columbia University. She has been on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music since 1990 as German diction instructor/coach and language instructor. She holds the same position at Mannes College of Music and joined the faculty of the Juilliard School as German diction instructor/ coach in 2006.
When her busy teaching schedule allows it, she coaches at the Metropolitan Opera (Magic Flute, Abduction from the Seraglio). She spends her summers coaching singers at the Santa Fe Opera in their German opera productions (Magic Flute, Salome, Daphne). An important part of her work in Santa Fe is with the young artists in the apprentice program.
Most recently, she coached Ariadne at the Metropolitan Opera and Wozzeck in Santa Fe in 2011. She has worked on many full-scale opera productions in the three conservatories and for other opera organizations throughout the city and is often asked to coach singers for Lied recitals or Oratorio.
Ms. Barrett is an avid fan of Lieder, opera, chamber music, and her students.