College of Communication and the Arts

Barbara Rondelli Perry

Barbara Rondelli Perry, lyric soprano, Professor of Voice, emerita at The University of Toledo

Barbara Rondelli Perry, lyric soprano, accepted an invitation to join the faculty of the Department of Music in 1975, after a notable career in Europe, South Africa, the United States, and Mexico.  She is a graduate of Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying there on a two-year Fulbright Scholarship, with the celebrated British soprano, Dame Eva Turner.  In the fall of 1999 Barbara was chosen for the cover and a four-page feature article for the University of Toledo Alumni Magazine.  She was chosen for the “Meritorious Achievement Award” from Pittsburg State University, which was conferred in May 2000.  Pittsburg State University honored Barbara with a cover article in its Fall 2010 alumni publication. 

Highlights of her career include: Prizewinner in the International Bavarian Radio Competition in Munich; Diploma Winner in the International Tschaikovsky Competition in Moscow; the title role of Madama Butterfly with the New York City Opera and the Honolulu Opera; soprano soloist in New York’s Carnegie Hall in Bach’s B minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion, and St. John Passion, Helmuth Rilling conducting.  Barbara can be heard as soloist on CD with the Bach Collegium Stuttgart in Bach Cantata No. 19, and on the Colosseum Label with Faun and Shepherdess of Stravinsky (sung in Russian), and Genzmer’s Jimẽnez Cantata for soprano, chorus and orchestra.  Other notable international performances: Soloist Monteverdi’s Vespers to the Virgin, Pierre Boulez conducting; Mendelssohn’s Elijah for Radio Lisbon; Soloist Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Bamberger Symphoniker, and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester in Hamburg; Soloist Carmina Burana with the Hamburg Symphony; Soloist Verdi’s Requiem for the Swiss Radio in Basel; Soloist in Hasse’s Attilio Regolo, and all soprano roles of Handel’s L’Allegro, Il Pensieroso, ed Il Moderato for the Göttinger Händelfestspiele and the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, both concerts recorded for the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (North German Radio); Soloist for the Hessian Radio in Frankfurt, Stravinsky’s Les Noces; Recorded Song Recitals, Mozart’s  Exultate, Jubilate, and opera arias from The Barber of Seville and La Traviata for the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg; Soloist in the opera Venetian Festival of Campra, for the Schwetzinger Festspiele, and Soloist in Jomelli’s “Miserere für 2 Soprane und Streichorchester”, both recorded for the Southwest German Radio.

Barbara has performed more than 40 major operatic roles, and more than 50 major oratorio roles in Germany, England, the United States, Mexico, and South Africa, in addition to many song recitals.  Her favorite operatic roles, among others, are: Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Marguerite in Faust, Mimì in La Bohème, Aminta in Strauss’ Die Schweigsame Frau, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Elsa in Lohengrin, and Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre.  Her vast repertoire includes music spanning the Renaissance to the most avant-garde.

Recent performances: Solo recitals and concerts: “Songs of the British Isles” (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales); a concert featuring songs and arias of Hungary; “La Bella Italia” (Italian songs and arias); Opera Arias with the university orchestra; the “Voices of Music Concert”; “La Belle Musique de France”, featuring Barbara and her students, and Solo Recital, “Salute to America-Songs of America” in the Great Gallery of the Toledo Museum of Art.

During her tenure at the University of Toledo, in the Annual Spring Festival of New Music, Barbara always performed the songs/arias of the visiting American composer, or recently composed music of other American composers.  Barbara is also the composer of  “Cadenzas and Embellishments for 17th and 18th Century Italian Songs and Arias”.  In April of 2015, in conjunction with the Richard R. and Barbara R. Perry Program Excellence Fund, she sponsored an Alumni Concert in Doermann Theatre, featuring songs and arias performed by her former students of the University of Toledo Music Department. 

WGTE, the Public Broadcasting Station for this region, asked her to appear for an interview and discussion of her operatic career.  This was broadcast in April of 2015, on Live from FM 91.  Three of her former students, Jodi Jobuck, Jo-Anne Chrysochoos, and Kevin Foos, along with Robert Ballinger, pianist, performed various arias.  This was Barbara’s third appearance on WGTE Radio.

The Barbara Rondelli Perry Scholarship for Superior Achievement in Vocal Performance was endowed by Dr. Richard R. Perry at the University of Toledo in 1998, and is awarded every year to a student or students majoring in either vocal performance or music education.   Beginning in 2012, the awards were given through the Barbara Rondelli Perry Voice Scholarship Competition. 

Dr. Richard R. Perry endowed The Barbara Rondelli Voice Scholarship at Pittsburg State University in 2005, awarding scholarships to voice students in the PSU Department of Music.  He has also agreed to fund the Barbara Rondelli Kansas Statewide Classical Voice Competition, which will award a significant prize to the best soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and baritone/bass student, won in statewide competition to be held at Pittsburg State University each year.

Last Updated: 6/9/16