A native of Hammond, Louisiana and an alumnus of Southeastern, Joy Ratliff performed leading mezzo-soprano roles with opera theatres in Germany for many years. In addition to Carmen, Cenerentola and Suzuki, she specialized in the “trouser roles,” especially Cherubino, Nicklausse, Hansel, Orlofsky and Octavian. Her vocal training was with Ralph Roberts, Norman Gulbrandsen and James McDonald.
Joy Ratliff earned graduate degrees in vocal performance from Northwestern University (Illinois) and the University of Maryland. She has taught voice at the Schwerte Volkshochschule, the University of Maryland and Marshall University.
Dr. Ratliff has performed with the Southeastern Wind Symphony, the Maryland Symphony, at the National Presbyterian Church and the National Cathedral, and at Tulane University's Wednesday noon series. In 2004 she made her New Orleans Opera debut as Annina in La Traviata.
On the music faculty since 2002, Dr. Ratliff teaches studio voice, lyric diction, and song literature. As part of Southeastern's Summer Study Abroad Program, she has taught in Salzburg, Austria and, most recently, in Cologne, Germany. She is a sought-after clinician and is available for vocal workshops and master classes in the southern Louisiana school system.
Former voice students have placed or won at Regional NATS, hold teaching positions in Louisiana and Mississippi schools, and are private voice teachers with thriving studios.