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Debra Rentz

Chair of Voice Division & Lecturer, Music

371 Glidden Hall
(740) 566-6450

Debra Rentz

Chair of Voice Division & Lecturer, Music

Debra Rentz, Soprano, a native of Illinois, has performed extensively in opera, operetta, oratorio, recitals and orchestral concerts. Rentz has performed leading roles with many professional companies, including Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Light Opera, Pamiro Opera, Boston Academy of Music and Whitewater Opera.  Rentz’s operatic roles include Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Pamina and First Lady in The Magic Flute and Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos. Ms. Rentz has become a specialist in the performance of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and performed a wide variety of roles including Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Patience in Patience, Gianetta and Casilda in The Gondoliers and Constance in The Sorcerer. One favorite performance was the role of Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore on board the USS Constitution through the collaborative efforts for the Boston Academy of Music and the U.S. Navy. Other operetta performances include the American stage premiere of Emmerich Kalman’s Duchess of Chicago and Hanna in Lehar’s The Merry Widow.


Debra has also performed a variety of oratorio and pops concerts. She has been featured as a soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Schumann’s Requiem, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Ms. Rentz has performed with the St. Louis, Cedar Rapids, River Valley, Omaha, Owensboro, Richmond, Elmhurst, River Cities and Fox Valley Symphonies. In addition, Rentz has sung several performances of Samuel Barber’s orchestral work Knoxville: Summer of 1915. 


Debra received a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Music History from Illinois State University and a Master’s of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Illinois. She currently lives in Athens, Ohio and teaches applied voice, song literature and diction at Ohio University. Before joining the faculty of OU, Debra taught at Marietta College and the University of Rio Grande. Debra holds professional memberships with the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Kappa Lambda, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Delta Omicron. Rentz remains an active performer, currently focusing on chamber music, recital and oratorio repertoire. Recent performances include a recital for the McCaslin performing arts series in Wichita, Richard Conrad’s Opera Gala with The Bostonians and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the River Cities Symphony Orchestra.

Educational Background:

B.M., Illinois State University; M. M., University of Illinois

Classes Being Taught:

Solo Vocal Repertoire: German/American

Solo Vocal Repertoire: French/British

Applied Voice

Lyric Diction: English/Italian

Lyric Diction: German/French