College of Communication and the Arts

Barbara Rondelli Perry

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

After a notable career in Europe, South Africa, and the United States, Barbara accepted an invitation to join the faculty of the Department of Music in 1975. She is a graduate of Pittsburg State University, Kansas, and the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where she was a Fulbright scholar for two years, studying with the celebrated British soprano Dame Eva Turner. 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 Cio-Cio-San in 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, the St. John Passion, and the St. Matthew 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” (Three Songs with Orchestra) of Stravinsky (sung in Russian) and in Harald Genzmer’s Jimẽnez Cantata for soprano, chorus, and orchestra.

Barbara has performed more than 40 major operatic roles, and just as many major oratorio roles, in Germany, the United States, and South Africa, in addition to many song recitals. Her favorite operatic roles, among others, are as, Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Marguerite in Faust, Mimì in La Bohème, Aminta in Richard Strauss’ The Silent Woman, Rosina in the Barber of Seville, Elsa in Lohengrin, and Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Her vast repertoire includes music spanning the Renaissance to the most avant-garde.

Barbara was chosen for the “Meritorious Achievement Award” from Pittsburg State University, which was conferred in May 2000. Recent performances include solo recitals “Songs of the British Isles” (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales), a concert featuring songs and arias of Hungary, and “La Bella Italia” (Italian songs and arias), opera arias with the university orchestra, the Voices of Music Concert, and “La Belle Musique de France”, featuring Barbara and her students. She has always performed on the annual Spring Festival of New Music, the music of the visiting composer, or recently composed music of other American composers. Barbara has also composed cadenzas and embellishments for 17th and 18th century Italian songs and arias. Every year the Barbara Rondelli Perry Scholarship for outstanding achievement in vocal performance is awarded to a student majoring in either vocal performance or vocal music education.

Most recently, Barbara performed the recital SALUTE TO AMERICA-SONGS OF AMERICA, April 2011 at the Great Gallery of the Toledo Museum of Art. Barbara is proud to be the teacher of so many wonderful students over the years at UT, and has sponsored many of them in various state, regional, and national competitions where her students have had great success, as well as successful operatic careers, and careers in music teaching.

Last Updated: 3/23/15