Soprano to salute American songs April 17

April 14, 2011 | Arts, UToday
By Staff

Rondelli Perry

Rondelli Perry

Barbara Rondelli Perry, lyric soprano and voice faculty member of The University of Toledo Department of Music, will perform “Salute to America — Songs of America,” Sunday, April 17, at 3 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Great Gallery.

She will be accompanied by pianist Robert Ballinger, UT lecturer of music, at the free, public concert.

“This American song recital will include folk songs, patriotic songs, popular songs, sea shanties, art songs, and songs and arias from musical theatre and operetta, with selections dear to the hearts of all Americans,” Rondelli Perry said.

The performance is part of a concert series performed by the UT professor of music that highlights songs of England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, Germany and Hungary.

Composers featured in the concert will include Aaron Copland, Richard Rodgers, Ernest Charles, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Frederick Loewe and Stephen Foster. Selections to be performed will be from “West Side Story,” “My Fair Lady,” “Kismet,” “South Pacific,” “State Fair,” “Oklahoma,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

“My performances in opera and concert in the great music halls and theaters of Europe and the United States, including the New York City Opera and Carnegie Hall, wonderful as they were, served to heighten my appreciation of my own country and its music, my America!” Rondelli Perry said. “My living in Europe for a dozen years and in South Africa for three years, associating with the people, and beginning to understand their lack of freedoms and opportunities that we have in America strengthened my admiration and love for the United States. Unless one has lived in foreign countries, one cannot have a full appreciation of the blessings of living in the United States.”

The songstress also expressed her gratitude.

“I do want to thank my husband, Richard R. Perry, for his oftentimes behind-the-scenes support, advice, and almost unlimited knowledge of the era from which the program ‘Salute to America’ has been chosen. Dick is a quiet man whose advice and suggestions have considerable beneficial effects in getting to the heart of the matter and getting the job done,” she said.

“None of my concerts and recitals would be successful without the musical and pianistic talent of Robert Ballinger, a fine classical pianist, who provides the best collaboration for my concerts,” Rondelli Perry said.

During her career, she has performed more than 50 major operatic roles on three continents. She joined the UT faculty in 1975 and has taught several award-winning students who have gone on to their own distinguished singing careers.

In 2000, Rondelli Perry was honored by her Kansas alma mater, receiving Pittsburg State University’s Meritorious Achievement Award.

“This award is the highest recognition that Pittsburg State University can grant an alumnus or alumna, and it means the world to me,” Rondelli Perry said.

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