Gerald Barry was born in Ireland in 1952 and studied with Stockhausen and Kagel. Canada was sung by Allan Clayton with the CBSO under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla at the 2017 BBC Proms. Barry's Piano Concerto was premiered at Musica Viva in Munich with the BRSO under Peter Rundel.
His first opera The Intelligence Park, recorded on NMC was at the 1990 Almeida Festival directed by David Fielding. A new production by Nigel Lowery opened at Covent Garden in September 2019. A second opera, The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit (1991) also staged by Lowery, opened the 2002 Aldeburgh Festival, followed by performances in London and the Berliner Festwochen conducted by Thomas Adès. A new staging by Sam Brown took place in 2013 at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant was at English National Opera in 2005 and Theater Basel in 2008 directed by Richard Jones. La Plus Forte (2007), a one-act opera for the 2007 Festival Présences, Radio France, was premiered by Barbara Hannigan. An English version of the work was made for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Barry’s opera, The Importance of Being Earnest (2009–10), was co-commissioned by the LA Philharmonic and the Barbican and staged at Opéra national de Lorraine, Nancy, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and given a US premiere at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic and by Northern Ireland Opera. Earnest received a 2013 RPS Award for Large-Scale Composition and the recording, released on NMC, was nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award. It was staged by Julien Chavaz for Nouvel Opéra Fribourg and in Paris. Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, premiered with Thomas Adès conducting the LA Phil and Barbara Hannigan in the title role. It was at Covent Garden in February 2020 in a production by Antony McDonald. A new production by Julien Chavaz will open at Theater Magdeburg in 2023. His latest opera, Salome, for the LA Phil, the South Bank and Dutch Radio, was covid postponed and awaits its premiere. He is currently writing a Double Bass concerto for the Berlin Philharmonic in 2022.