Opera School productions under Barbini's direction included Prokofiev's The Love of Three Oranges (1965), Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex (1967), Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande (1968), and Verdi's Falstaff (1973). In 1954 at Edward Johnson's instigation he established the Guelph Civic Symphony and Chorale and the Barbini String Orchestra, which performed intermittently in Toronto until 1965. For the COC he conducted 1953-76 a dozen operas by Puccini and Verdi and also The School for Fathers (1954), Carmen (1956), The Merry Widow (1957), Cavalleria Rusticana (1961), The Barber of Seville (1967, 1973), Faust (1970, 1974), and Lucia di Lammermoor (1971). He also conducted concerts by the CBC Symphony Orchestra (1958, 1959) for CBC radio, Otello (1962) and Rigoletto (1964) for CBC TV, Messiah (1964) with the TSO and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Cavalleria Rusticana (1964) with the Edmonton Professional Opera, and Mercure's Triptyque with the Belgrade Philharmonic (1965). Barbini was music director of the Manitoba Opera 1975-7, conducting its productions of Rigoletto, Aida, Faust, Manon Lescaut, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Lucia di Lammermoor. At the Banff SFA he conducted the 1979 festival production of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. A series of strokes curtailed his activities in 1983. Barbini was respected widely for his affectionate and idiomatic readings of the Italian repertoire and his memorable Faust. The Italian Republic made him a Knight Officer (1964), then a Knight Commander (1967) of the Order of Merit.
Bass Arias and Monologues: Verdi - Rimsky-Korsakov - Verykivsky - Fomenko. Canadian SO, Hoshuliak bass. 1975. Boot BMC 3005
Verdi Aida. Chor and Orch of the Teatro dell'Opera, Rome. 1958. 3-Musical Masterpiece Society MMS-2157
Graham, June. '"Cav" and Tosca are red-letter operas for maestro Barbini,' OpCan, Sep-Oct 1961
'Maestro Ernesto Barbini,' Crescendo, Jan 1971