The American baritone, Barry McDaniel, was a student at the Juilliard School of Musik in New York, where he studied with Mack Harrell. In 1953 he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Stuttgart Hochschule für Musik with Alfred Paulus and Hermann Reutter.
In 1954 Barry McDaniel made his recital debut in Stuttgart. After his first opera engagement in Mainz (1954-1955) he was drafted into the US Army from 1955 to 1957, stationed with the 7th Army Symphony in Stuttgart, where he appeared as vocal soloist with the orchestra. From 1957 to 1959 he was a member of the Stuttgart Opera Company. After 3 seasons in Karlsruhe (1960-1962) he became a principal member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Berlin from 1962 to 1999, when he went into retirement. In 1970 the Berlin Senate awarded him the title of "Kammersänger". He sang over 1800 performances at the Deutsche Oper and 3300 in his whole career, which included recitals, concerts and guest opera-appearances in most of the leadings opera houses and festivals. In January 1972 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande (his only season, 7 performances).
Barry McDaniel's expansive repertoire ranged from early music to contemporary scores. His principle opera roles were Papageno, Wolfram, Pelléas, Guglielmo, Harlekin, Dandini, the Barber of Seville, the Barber in Schweigsame Frau and other lyric-baritone roles.