Born Jean Baurès, he studied both voice and painting in his native Marseille.
(Painter was to become, and to remain, his second vocation; also while singing professionally, he had exhibitions
of his paintings.)
He started his career in the French provinces, before arriving at the Paris Opéra-Comique, where he was successful
as Vincent in Gounod's Mireille – his signature role. In 1961, he became a member of the Opéra, where he
sang Alfredo, Valère (Les Indes galantes), Tybalt (a role that he also sang at the Orange Festival in July 1963),
the First Prisoner (Fidelio) and Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor).
He participated in at least two world premieres: L'Atlantide by Henri Tomasi (Mulhouse, 26 February 1954), and
Sardanapale by Jean-Jacques Grunenwald (Monte Carlo, 25 April 1961).
He died in a car accident when heading home to Marseille, on the dreaded Route National no. 7. Barrès died
on the spot, his travel companion, actress Jeanine Renaud, lost one leg.
Reference 1: L'Impartial, 25 July 1964; reference 2; reference 3; reference 4: Le Progrès, 1 August 2015; reference 5: Journal
de Monaco, 1 May 1961