John Pierce (tenor)

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John Charles Pierce (born January 11, 1959) is an American operatic tenor and academic voice teacher. He made an international career based in Germany, and focused on Wagner roles such as Tannhäuser, Lohengrin and Tristan.


Born in Woodstock, Illinois, Pierce was born to parents who were both music professionals. He studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to 1982, with William Warfield, Grace Wilson und John Wustman, graduating as a Master of Music.[1] He began his career as a baritone,[2] but turned to the heldentenor repertoire, and won the Wagner-Preis of the Liederkranz Competition in New York City.[2]

In 1992, he moved with his family to Germany where he became a member of the Staatstheater Cottbus [de].[3] In 2002, he turned to freelance singing. He appeared at international opera houses. In 2004, he appered in the title role of Friedrich Cerha's Der Rattenfänger at the Wiener Festwochen. He performed the title role of Wagner's Tannhäuser at the Stadttheater Minden in October 2005,[4] and of Lohengrin in 2009.[5] He appeared as Tristan first at the Opernhaus Dortmund in 2000, and performed the role internationally, including in Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Innsbruck, Rotterdam, and at the 2010 Richard Wagner Festival Wels [de].[2]

Pierce has also been active as a concert singer, performing oratorios such as Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Dvořák's Requiem and Verdi's Requiem. He has performed lieder, such as Schubert's Die Winterreise with accompanist John Wustmann.[2]

Pierce was extraordinary professor of voice at the University of Michigan School of Music.[2] He has lectured at the Department of Music at the University of Minnesota Duluth.[2]


Pierce has appeared in operatic roles including:



  1. ^ a b "John Pierce". (in German). Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "John Pierce / Instructor, Vocal". Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Ehrenmitglieder der Hans-von-Bülow-Gesellschaft" (in German). Bülow-Gesellschaft: Die Ehrenmitglieder. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Das Wunder von Minden" auf
  5. ^ Stuke, Franz R. (24 September 2009). "Kammerspiel – voll orchestriert". Opernnetz (in German). Retrieved 16 July 2017.

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