John Charles Pierce, heldentenor
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. In 1985, 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, Walkuere and Flying Dutchman, Verdi's Otello, Hoffmann, Freischütz, Fidelio, Jenufa, Katia Kabanova, Pique Dame, Samson and Dalilah and many others. He sang these and other roles in countless theaters in Germany. As a contrast, he sang dozens of performances of Tony in West Side Story to acclaim. His collaboration with John Wustman yielded wonderful performances of Schubert's Winterreise, both at home and abroad. The Requiems of Verdi, Dvorak and Mozart, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Elijah and Messiah count among the many concert works he has performed. His Tristan debut was in 2000 in Dortmund, Germay. Since then, he has sung that role in Prague, Poland, Rio de Janeiro, Rotterdam, Victoria-Canada and in many cities in Germany and Austria. He recently was seen as Tristan in Japan, Argentina and Manaus, in Brazil. The role of Parsifal, was added recently in Zagreb, Croatia. He has since performed it in concert in Germany, as well as with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México. Other performances in 2013 included Wagner concerts in Lima, Peru and Zagreb, Croatia. He also debuted at the famous Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, singing the role of Erik in Wagner's Flying Dutchman. Conductors he has worked with include Valerie Gerghiev, Niksa Bareza, Anton Marek, Reinhard Petersen, Stefan Blunier, Frank Beerman, Michael Hofstetter, Ryusuki Numajiri, Alejo Perez, Jose Arena and Luis Malheiro. Now a resident of Duluth, Pierce is one of the founding members of the Twin Ports Tenors. He has been seen and heard in performances at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he teaches singing, most notably in his collaboration with Tracy Lipke-Perry on Winterreise by Schubert. Other activities include being Director of the Sanctuary Singers at Concordia Lutheran in Duluth, and sitting on the board of Friends of the Lakewalk. He is the owner of Duluth Fine Pianos, LLC in downtown Duluth.