Biography & Contact

Biography Ronald Hedlund

Bass-baritone Ronald Hedlund made his professional debut as a solo artist with the Metropolitan Opera National Company touring the US for 2 years, then continued to tour with the American National Opera Company. Afterwards he continued to earn accolades singing leading roles in every major American Opera House (New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis, Miami, Vancouver, and more). International festival and recital appearances include Canada, Spoleto (Italy), Austria (Vienna, Salzburg, & Eisenstadt), Hungary, Scotland, Mexico City & Guanajuato, and US festivals in Aspen, Santa Fe, Lake George, Chicago, Charleston, Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington, and Champaign-Urbana.

Hailed for his interpretation of the traditional operatic repertoire, Mr. Hedlund’s versatility is equally recognized in recital, contemporary works, musical theater, and master classes. Listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in Entertainment”, his repertoire includes more than 70 opera roles and over 30 orchestral, oratorio, and chamber works. Ronald Hedlund premiered leading roles in numerous 20th Century operas and song cycles by noted composers Samuel Barber ( As Antony in Antony and Cleopatra revision), Benjamin Britten (the Seven Villains in the American Premiere of Death in Venice with the San Francisco Opera), Thomas Pasatieri, Hugo Weisgall, Nicholas Scarim, Jose Bernardo, Stephen Oliver, Alva Henderson, Stephen Paulus, Gerald Ginsberg, and Daniel Stephen Crafts.

A former US Naval Lieutenant, Ronald Hedlund is a graduate of Hamline University, Indiana University, the Akademie fur Music und Darstellende Kunst (Vienna, Austria), and the Juilliard School American Opera Center. A long time Singing Voice Consultant for the Carle Clinic Otolaryngology Department in Urbana, IL, he counsels and rehabilitates singers and teachers who suffer vocal abuse. Professor Hedlund appears as lecturer, panelist, and performer at International Voice Seminars in Salzburg, Austria and York, England, and as a vocal competition adjudicator. He is as editorial consultant for The Virtuoso Obbligato Aria Collection sold through major publishing houses in the US, Japan, Austria, Australia and on the internet.

Professor Hedlund taught at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the Aspen Vocal Institute, Eastern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois where he is now Professor Emeritus. As Chairman of the University of Illinois School of Music Voice Division & Professor of Voice, he taught Studio Voice, Vocal Pedagogy, and a Discovery Course, coordinated the Metropolitan Opera Council Central District Auditions, served as a judge for the Northern District Auditions, and performed leading roles in numerous IL Opera Theatre productions. Many of his students were annual Metropolitan Opera Council audition winners.

While teaching at the University of Illinois, he remained an active performer appearing with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, Dayton & Michigan Operas, Vancouver Opera, Washington (DC) Opera, Kentucky Opera, Mississippi Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Opera Illinois, Illinois Opera Theater, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Carnegie Hall, Westfield Symphony, Connecticut Grand Opera, Albany (NY) Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Illinois Symphony & Chamber Orchestra, Champaign Urbana Symphony, Danville Symphony, Eastern Symphony Orchestra, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Baroque Artists, Prairie Ensemble, UI Oratorio Society, Sugar Creek Opera, for WILL-TV & WILL-FM Radio, the Springer Cultural Center, Tarble Arts Center, Sandwich Opera House, Klassisches Musik Festival in Vienna and Eisenstadt, Austria, plus PBS and NPR Broadcasts and narrations.

Additional engagements include appearances on WDWS Radio on the “Gary O’Brien & Friends” Program, Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” & Mozart “Requiem” with the Eastern Symphony (broadcast on PBS), Haydn’s “Paukenmesse” with the Prairie Ensemble, as Father Capulet in Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” with the Sugar Creek Symphony & Song Festival, as Benoit in “La Boheme” at the Krannert Center, in recital at Monticello, VA, the EIU Tarble Arts Center, WILL-FM “Second Sunday” Live broadcasts, Champaign Springer Cultural Center, for the weekly music series at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute, Urbana Free Library Prairie Breezes Series, regional recitals with historic narration for his “Classics in the Classroom” series [Civil War Songs (Goober Peas), Music of the Depression (Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?) and Songs of WW II (O’er the Ramparts We Watched), in Handel’s “Messiah” with the CU Symphony, as Arkel in “Pélleas et Mélisande” with the Illinois Opera Theatre, in Elgar's “Dream of Gerontius” for the Victorian Society Conference at the Krannert Center, Samuel Barber’s “Dover Beach” with the Shanghai Quartet, as Jesus in Bach's “St. Matthew Passion” with the Baroque Artists, soloist in Copland’s “Old American Songs” for the WILL FM Radio Concert in the Park, in PDQ Bach’s “The Seasonings” with the Prairie Ensemble, narrator for Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” & Stravinsky's “L'Histoire du Soldat” for the Danville Symphony, in WILL-TV PBS Documentaries “Remembering the Music of World War II” & “Tarahumara: Pillars of the World”, a recording & performance at the Krannert Center of Sever Tipei’s “Cantus Interruptus”, lectures & performances at voice conferences in York, England, Frankfurt, & Salzburg, Germany, recitals at the U of IL's President's Mansion, Smith Music Hall, the Mills Breast Cancer Music Series, Monticello, VA, soloist in the Mozart “Requiem” with the Illinois Chamber Orchestra in Springfield & Bloomington, soloist in the Prologue to Boito's “Mefistofele” with the Rockford Symphony, soloist in selected Devil arias and the Prologue to Boito's “Mefistofele” with the Champaign Urbana Symphony, soloist and narrator in Broadway songs and opera arias with the Danville Symphony, Viennese songs & operetta with the Heartland Festival Orchestra, premiered the opera “La Llorona” by Daniel Steven Crafts at the New Mexico Cultural Center, as Dr. Bartolo in the “Barber of Seville”, recorded and premiered songs from Joseph Turrin's "Love Games" at the Krannert Center, premiered a Civil War Trilogy composed for him by John Priddy for the Danville (IL) Symphony, soloist with the Topanga CA, Symphony and holiday favorites with the CU Symphony. Professor Hedlund is actively engaged in performing educational outreach programs for the Champaign Urbana Symphony Guild as vocalist, narrator, and fund raiser.

Married to Emmy & multi-award winning cellist, music administrator, publisher, and Urbana Public Arts Commissioner Barbara Hedlund, he has two sons and four grandchildren. His son Dr. Eric Hedlund, an aeronautical engineer, is Chief of Testing and Evaluation for the US Naval Ballistic Missile Defense Program. His son Alexander Hedlund is the former, long time Vice President of Creative Affairs for Legendary Entertainment in Hollywood, former Archie Comics Head of Production & Development, and presently is CEO for the Hollywood television and film company "Eat the Cat".


To engage Mr. Hedlund for singing engagements, voice lessons, vocal health evaluations, or competition adjudication, contact him at:

Email: rwhedlund@gmail.com | Tel. 217-493-9947 (CST) Studio Directions