Mr. Perry Ward has enjoyed a diverse musical career as a singer, teacher, director and conductor. During a performing career that has spanned more than thirty years, Perry has performed with many major regional opera companies in the United States, including Opera Theater of St. Louis, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Des Moines Metro Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Memphis, Knoxville Opera and Chautauqua Opera. His symphonic engagements include performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony, the West Virginia Symphony and the Knoxville Symphony. Perry made his Metropolitan Opera debut on twenty minutes notice on opening night of the new production of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West in October 1991. Additional Metropolitan Opera credits include roles in Britten's Billy Budd, Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann; and Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York under Eve Queler in performances of Verdi's Jerusalem in February 1997. Perry has worked with many distinguished conductors and directors including Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, Colin Graham, Christian Badea, Gian Carlo Del Monaco, Stephen Lord, Dottie Danner, Josh Major, Robert Lyall and Lucas Richman. For the past ten years, Perry has devoted his time to teaching voice and stagecraft for singers. Before coming to UTC he taught previously at Carson-Newman College and Pellissippi State Community College. At Carson-Newman, he formed the first opera workshop program in the college's history. As director of Lyric Theatre he produced or directed several musicals, including You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Carousel, Brigadoon and The Secret Garden. His students have consistently performed well in NATS auditions and in graduate school.
Recently, Perry has completed course work toward his DMA in choral conducting at the University of Kentucky, where he was a student of Dr. Jeff Johnson. While at Kentucky, he was named Acting Director of Choral Activities during Dr. Johnson's sabbatical in the spring of 2007. Additional conducting credits You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, HMS Pinafore, Bach's Magnificat and numerous opera scenes.
Perry is a native of East Tennessee and holds degrees in voice and opera from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and Temple University in addition to his doctoral work at Kentucky. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the Franz Schubert Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria. His awards include a Puccini Foundation Grant, a William Matheus Sullivan Role Preparation Grant, a Shoshana Foundation Award and Second Prize at the 2nd Mae M. Whitaker Vocal Competition in 1990. His voice teachers have included Edward Zambara, Louis Quilico, Hans Hotter, Walter Berry, John Wustman and Phyllis Curtin.