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John Pierce

John Pierce Head Shot

Professional title

Voice Teaching Specialist


One of the leading heldentenors of his generation, John Charles Pierce has sung in opera houses and concert halls around the world. His interpretation of the role of Tristan in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, a pinnacle of the tenor repertoire, has been the pillar of his career. Pierce graduated from the University of Illinois with a BM and MM in Vocal Performance. Further studies followed at Indiana University. He was an Apprentice with Santa Fe Opera and a Metropolitan Opera Regional Finalist as a baritone. After making the switch to dramatic tenor, he won the Wagner Prize at the Liederkranz Competition in New York City, then moved with his family to Germany, where he sang full-time at the Brandenburg State Opera House in Cottbus for ten years. There he sang much of the important repertoire for his voice type, including Wagner's Lohengrin, Tannhaueser, Rheingold and Flying Dutchman, Verdi's Otello, Hoffmann, Freischütz, Fidelio, Jenufa, Katia Kabanova, Pique Dame, Samson and Dalilah and many others. He has sung these and other roles in countless theaters in Germany. Pierce has shown surprising flexibility, singing music in all styles. As a baroque singer, his ornamentation and trills have been lauded. At the other end of the spectrum, he sang dozens of performances of Tony in West Side Story to acclam. His collaboration with John Wustman has yielded wonderful performances of Schubert's Winterreise, both at home and abroad. Verdi's, Dvorak's and Mozart's Requiems, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Elijah and Messiah count among the many concert works he has performed.