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Barbara Rondelli Perry Collection

Creator: Perry, Barbara Rondelli

Date: 1954 - 2012

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Cool Storage, Cabinet 3 (CD's)
B Perry, Barbara Rondelli *1-14 (Photographs)
Manuscript Collection # 867

Unit ID: 227930

Restrictions: Notwithstanding any provisions herein, Donor retains the right to place the donated materials on her website, and donate copies to the Special Collections at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Space Required/Quantity: 0.27 cubic feet

Title (Main title): Barbara Rondelli Perry Collection

Language note: Materials are in English.


Biog. Sketch (Full): Barbara Ann Rondelli Perry was born October 19, 1939 in Chicopee, Kansas to Joe and Katie Rondelli (nee Limity). Her father was a high school teacher and principal and her mother was an elementary school teacher. She has two older siblings, Roselie Rondelli Lampl (born approximately 1926) and Charles Joseph Rondelli (born approximately 1931).

Barbara attended Chicopee Grade School (1944-1952) and Cherokee High School (1952-1956). Rondelli attended Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg, Kansas, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music and Vocal Performance (1956-1960). After graduation, Barbara was the first graduate of Kansas State Teachers College to be awarded the Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied with Dame Eva Turner, (1960-1962). She received a Licentiate Diplomas from the Royal Academy of Music in Performance and Teaching of Singing. Barbara attended the Accademia Chigiana, Siena, Italy, where she studied in Art Song and Performance (1963). In 1978, she received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Kansas State College (now Pittsburg State University) in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Barbara, a lyric soprano, sang professionally in Europe, the United States, Mexico, and South Africa from 1964-1975. She performed in more than 40 major operatic roles and more than 50 major oratorio roles. Barbara debuted in the title role of “Madama Butterfly” in September 1969. In 1971, she performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the Stuttgart Bach Chorus.

Barbara received an honorable mention as an American finalist in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Singing Competition in Moscow. She graced the pages of the New York Times in June 1966 when she had the music for her chosen piece, “Steal Me, Sweet Thief” by Gian Carlo Menotti flown from New York to Moscow at the last moment so that she would be able to perform it for the contest. In September of the same year, Barbara attended a dinner in honor of the winners of the contest at the White House featuring then President, Lyndon Johnson.

In 1975, Barbara became a Professor of Music and Voice in the Department of Music at the University of Toledo. She is now Professor Emerita. A retirement concert in honor of her career was performed at the University of Toledo on June 2, 2012.

In May 2000, Barbara received the “Meritorious Achievement Award” from Pittsburg State University and was featured in the commencement program for the same year. She was featured in the Toledo Alumni Magazine in Fall 1999 and Pitt State Magazine in Fall 2010. In 2012, Barbara created the Barbara Rondelli Perry Scholarship for Superior Achievement in Vocal Performance at both Pittsburg State University and the University of Toledo.

In 1963, Barbara married Johan van der Merwe, an orchestral conductor from South Africa, and they had a daughter, Brenda Rochelle van der Merwe, who is a classical violinist. Johan van der Merwe died in 1996. Barbara married Richard Russell Perry, Professor of Higher Education, Emeritus, University of Toledo on June 11, 2000. Barbara and Richard currently live in Toledo, Ohio.

Scope and Content

Scope and content: This collection documents the professional operatic and performing career of Barbara Rondelli Perry, a soprano. She is a native of Chicopee, Kansas and graduated from Pittsburg State University. The collection contains photographs; professional biography; operatic repertoire list; oratorio and concert repertoire list; reviews of opera, oratorio, and recital performances; program for her retirement concert on June 2, 2012; University of Toledo Scholarship plaque information for the Barbara Rondelli Perry Scholarship for Superior Achievement in Vocal Performance; Pittsburg State University Scholarship plaque information for the Barbara Rondelli Scholarship for Superior Achievement in Vocal Performance; articles from Pittsburg State University Magazine, Fall 2010, University of Toledo Alumni Magazine Fall, 1999, and Pittsburg State University Commencement Program 2000, where she received an Alumni Meritorious Achievement Award; reproductions of plaques in Immigrant Park, Pittsburg, Kansas, representing Barbara Rondelli Perry and Joe and Katie Rondelli; and curriculum vitae.


Locator Contents
121-10-04-11  Manuscript materials 

Related Records or Collections

Related materials: 11 photographs of Barbara Rondelli taken while performing in various opera roles B Perry, Barbara Rondelli *5-14

4 portraits of Barbara Rondelli B Perry, Barbara Rondelli *1-4

1 aerial photo of the Rondelli farm near Chicopee, Kansas, FK2.C11 .75 R *1

1 CD Rondelli Remembered
2 CDs Remarkable Rondelli Sempre

Digitized program from Rondelli Remembered available via Kansas Memory, Electronic resource. Topeka, Kan. : Kansas State Historical Society, year: http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/229012

Index Terms


    Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg
    Pittsburg State University. Dept. of Music
    Chicopee (Kan.)
    Pittsburg (Kan.)
    Perry, Barbara Rondelli
    Fulbright scholars -- Kansas
    Singers -- Kansas -- Chicopee
    Vocal music

Creators and Contributors

Additional Information for Researchers

Restrictions: Notwithstanding any provisions herein, Donor retains the right to place the donated materials on her website, and donate copies to the Special Collections at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Use and reproduction: Information on copyright available from the Kansas Historical Society.

Cite as: Barbara Rondelli Perry Collection, Ms. Coll. 867, State Archives and Library, Kansas Historical Society.

Action note: Processed Elizabeth Tschetter, student, 2013

Holder of originals: Kansas State Historical Society, Archives Division