1968 - 2016
Lyric Tenor Richard Heard was a regional finalist of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, he received prestigious awards and grants from the National Society of Arts and Letters, Rotary International, the Fuchs Opera Awards, and Mu Phi Epsilon. A graduate of Southern Methodist University and the University of California, Mr. Heard made his operatic debut at the Aspen Music Festival and has since won praise for his characterizations of leading tenor roles in Italian Bel Canto opera and in all of the major Mozart repertoire. His performance of Nemorino in Donizetti\'s L'Elisir d'amore was pronounced "… clear, strong, and effortless. He drew the most sustained applause of the evening when he unleashed his full power…" (Press Citizen, Iowa City). As a concert singer, Mr. Heard has been engaged by orchestras across the western, mid-western, and southern regions of the United States, specializing in the works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. Mr. Heard has appeared with Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Charlotte Repertory Orchestra, Choral Society of Greensboro, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Lake Charles Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Piedmont Chamber Singers, Raleigh Oratorio Society, Roanoke Symphony, Salisbury-Rowan Symphony, Virginia Beach Symphony and Winston-Salem Piedmont Symphony. Mr. Heard\'s recital appearances include Bennett College, Cameron University, Davidson County College, Fayetteville State University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Grinnell College, Jackson State University, Mississippi College, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T University, St. Mary's College of the Plains, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwest Missouri State University, Tougaloo College, University of Arkansas, University of Northern Iowa, University of Southern Mississippi, and Wake Forest University. Mr. Heard made his European debut in December 1994, performing concerts in Merzig, Emden, and Berlin. In the summer of 1996 he made his debut with Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Costa Rica performing the role of Remus in Scott Joplin's Treemonisha. In April 2000, he gave the world premiere performance of William Banfield's opera Luyala with Triangle Opera Company. Mr. Heard was a 1998 finalist in the American Traditions Voice Competition, and released his first compact disc in October 1998 featuring "Art Songs by African-American Composers." He was a member of Mu Phi Epsilon and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Mr. Heard was an Associate Professor of Music at Wake Forest University.