Carl Ratner

Photo of Carl Ratner
Carl J. Ratner
Professor, Voice
(269) 387-4706 or (269) 387-1113
1718 Dalton Center, Mail Stop 5434
Mailing address: 
School of Music
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
  • D.M., Northwestern University
  • M.A., Northeastern Illinois University
  • B.M., Oberlin College

Carl Ratner currently serves as a professor of voice for the School of Music at Western Michigan University. He teaches applied voice, French and German diction for singers and vocal literature. From 2001 to 2010 he served as director of opera. He is professionally active as a baritone soloist, stage director and opera consultant.

He was awarded a 2010–11 Fulbright grant to perform in recital, give lectures and master classes, direct an American chamber opera and research Russian art song at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in the Russian Federation. In 2011 he toured the eastern United States with a recital of songs by Russian and Russian-American composers, beginning with a performance at the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. He also collaborated with the Bach Ensemble of Naples Florida for performances of Messiah as well as a mixed program of sacred music that was toured to Germany and the Czech Republic.

His operatic engagements have included the leading baritone roles of Mozart′s The Magic Flute, Verdi′s Falstaff, Puccini′s Gianni Schicchi, Madama Butterfly and Turandot, as well as Robert Ward′s Pulitzer Prize winning operatic version of The Crucible. He has performed in concert and recital in 10 states and four European countries and has sung in 14 languages.

Ratner′s career also includes more than two decades of experience as an opera director. He learned his craft assisting directors at major opera houses including Covent Garden (London), the Metropolitan Opera, Munich Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera and the Spoleto Festival in Italy, where he worked with eminent composer Gian Carlo Menotti. From 1994 to 1999 served as artistic director of Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago′s second largest opera company, and previously held the same position with Chamber Opera Chicago from 1984 to 1993. He has staged professional productions throughout the United States.

He received his Bachelor of Music degree in music history from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and also participated in an internship in opera, dance and drama production at The Juilliard School in New York City. He earned a Master of Arts in vocal pedagogy at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and his Doctor of Music degree in vocal performance from the School of Music at Northwestern University.

Carl Ratner′s website