School of Visual and Performing Arts

Denise Ritter Bernardini

Denise Ritter Bernardini, Professor of Voice, University of ToledoDr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, associate professor of voice, joined the faculty of the University of Toledo Department of Music in 2011. Prior to that she was a member of the voice faculty of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. In addition, she has also served on the faculties of Oklahoma City University and the University of Oklahoma. She received a Bachelor’s degree from East Central University, a Master of Music from Texas Christian University and her DMA from the University of Oklahoma, where she studied with Dolores Leffingwell and the great Marilyn Horne.

Denise appears on both the concert and opera stage in music of many periods.  She is known for her ability to sing a variety of styles, her brilliant high notes, pure tone, communicative warmth and musical intelligence.  She has been a performer throughout the US with extensive Oratorio experience under the batons of world renowned conductors such as Robert Shaw and John Rutter. Her recent oratorio performances have included Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Pergolesi’s Magnificat, Bach’s Missa in A Major, Dvorak’s Te Deum, and Mozart’s Requiem

In addition, she has performed with orchestras such as Fort Worth Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Symphony of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Symphony as well as many other symphonic organizations. Denise’s operatic roles include her recently performed  Mother in Amahl and The Night Visitors, La Traviata in Charlottesville Virginia as Violetta as well as with Master Works Festival. After receiving rave reviews, she was asked to return as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Oratorio Society of Charlottesville Virginia.

Denise has been featured in several radio and television broadcasts such as Hanna in The Merry Widow for KAUF FM, a special broadcast of Christmas in Tulsa on KTUL - ABC affiliate, radio broadcast of Poulenc’s Gloria on WBOI with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and a televised Handel’s Messiah as a soloist with Heartland Chorale.  She has been a soloist in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops as well as the Actor’s Club in New York, and has also received several prominent awards, some of which are from the Metropolitan Opera, American Traditions Competition and the Benton- Schmidtt Contest and the National Federation of Music Clubs. A recent performance of her one-woman classical cabaret show took her to Leibnitz, Austria where she performed for the International University of Global Theater to an audience representing 32 different countries. 


Last Updated: 3/19/18