Todd Thomas

Todd Thomas, Baritone

Pacific Opera Victoria
Simon in Simon Boccanegra

October, 2016


American baritone Todd Thomas made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut and his role debut as Alberich in POV's 2014 production of Wagner's Das Rheingold. He returned in 2015 for the role of Iago in Verdi's Otello. In 2016 he makes his debut in the title role of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra,

Recognized by opera companies and critics alike as one of the true Verdi baritones gracing stages today, Todd Thomas continues his reign as one of America's most sought after artists. At The Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2013-14 season opening performance of Verdi's Otello, Mr. Thomas heroically stepped in for an indisposed colleague at the top of the second act. The thrilling and historic performance at The Lyric earned him deservedly the largest ovation at the end of the night from the glittery opening night audience. (The Chicago Classical)

As a Verdi specialist, Todd has been seen in several of Sarasota Opera's Verdi Cycle productions, a 28-year exploration of all of Verdi's operas: he has performed the roles of Nabucco, Macbeth (both the original and revised versions), Falstaff, Ezio in Attila, and most recently Rolando in La Battaglia di Legnano.

Todd's 2016/17 season began with a reprise of Alberich in Das Rheingold, this time with North Carolina Opera. The season continues with appearances at Manitoba Opera in the title role of Falstaff, followed by a triple debut for role, composer, and company as he performs Gerard in Giordano’s Andrea Chenier in Antibes. Additional engagements include Amonasro in Aïda with Pensacola Opera; Rigoletto with Syracuse Opera; Renato in Un ballo in maschera with Florida Grand Opera; and Count di Luna in Il trovatore with Theater Erfurt.

Todd's 2015/16 season included an appearance with Opéra Louisiane in their gala Baritones on the Bayou; a recital and master class as part of the John Hamm Performing Arts Series hosted by Covenant College, Georgia; a benefit concert in Elmira, NY for the Todd Thomas Music Scholarship; Germont in Verdi's La traviata with Pensacola Opera and Chautauqua Opera; and Rolando in La Battaglia di Legnano with Sarasota Opera.

Mr. Thomas' past performances include engagements with such eminent companies as the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mr. Thomas remains a favorite artist for Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Arizona Opera.

Roles include Iago with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Arizona Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Pacific Opera Victoria; Rigoletto with Palm Beach Opera, Pensacola Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Nashville Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera; Macbeth with Sarasota Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago (cover), and Des Moines Metro Opera; Falstaff with Seattle Opera, Santa Barbara Opera, and Sarasota Opera; Count di Luna in Il trovatore with Seattle Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Manitoba Opera, and The Chautauqua Opera; Dr. Métivier in Prokofiev's War and Peace with the Metropolitan Opera; Scarpia with Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Orlando Philharmonic and Sarasota Opera.

In concert, Mr. Thomas' engagements have included Leoni's L'Oracolo and Montemezzi's L'incantesimo with Teatro Grattacielo at Avery Fisher Hall; and Carnegie Hall perfomances in Durufle's Requiem, Mark Hayes' Te Deum and Spirit Suite, Händel's Messiah and Mozart's Coronation Mass. He has enjoyed great success in the world première and subsequent performances as the baritone soloist in Robert Aldridge's Parables with the Topeka Symphony. Mr. Thomas made numerous appearances at pops concerts with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra and on various concert series at Elmira College, Ithaca College, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Wednesday Music Club Series of Harrisburg PA, and the Glenridge Series of Sarasota.

Mr. Thomas' oratorio repertoire includes Elijah, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the Requiems of Brahms, Fauré, and Verdi, and Ralph Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs.

In the early 90s, Mr. Thomas was a member of the MusikTheater Ensemble for Stadttheater Giessen. During his years in Europe, he was a guest artist in Basel, Switzerland, and Heidelberg, Germany, and made his debut with Macedonia Opera as Amonasro in Aïda. Mr. Thomas also appeared in Hong Kong, Fiesole, Pisa, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Sarlat, Luzerne, and Utrecht, under the auspices of Stichting Pagliacci of Utrecht University.

Mr. Thomas can be heard on the Naxos recording of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. In 1992 he recorded a solo disc, Crown Him Lord of All, with organist Jon Spong.

Todd, originally from Elmira, New York, makes his home in Philadelphia, PA with his wife, Lisa Helmel Thomas. They have four children, Lydia, Gabriela, Samuel and Noah. Todd earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree in Opera Theatre for the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Thomas is a frequent soloist for several high profile sacred institutions and internationally noted theologians and ministers. In addition to his active singing career, in 2013 he formed the Todd Thomas Music Scholarship. The scholarship awards cash prizes to deserving graduating high school seniors from Chemung County embarking on full-time college studies in music-based curriculum.


 

Baritone Todd Thomas, who impressed in POV's production of Das Rheingold last year, is a superb Iago. We need the character to be a larger-than-life baddie. And Thomas, who has a powerful, shaggy-browed stage presence, brings the goods. He seemed evil incarnate while delivering his "credo" – a super-villain's nihilistic rant.
While a powerful singer, Thomas is more than capable of bringing out his character's subtleties. Some of Verdi's most delicate music is found within Iago's serpent-like suggestions to Otello, delivered by Thomas like a lover's whispered entreaties.

Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist, review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Otello, 2015

Todd Thomas as Alberich sang strongly and made an imposing antagonist, at times sinister, at times buffoonish, at times pathetic. His agony over the loss of his gold and his ring was powerfully conveyed.
Harvey De Roo, Vancouver Classical Music, review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Das Rheingold, 2014

Dramatic highlights included Thomas, as Alberich, gloating over his magic ring while stroking his golden treasure, followed by his oddly human anguish ("Broken! Shattered!") when he loses all. Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist, review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Das Rheingold, 2014

Todd Thomas assumed the role [of Iago] and delivered a performance that inspired a standing ovation. Thomas belted out powerhouse vocals with a heavy dose of malice. Not only was his singing outstanding, his acting had the smarmy quality required for the sinister actions. For the opening night, he might have upstaged the leads – as an impromptu substitute he was shockingly wonderful.
Katy Walsh, Chicago Theater Beat, review of Lyric Opera of Chicago's Otello, October, 2013


 

Below: Todd Thomas sings Rigoletto's aria Cortigiani, vil razza dannata

Production not stated: possibly Pensacola Opera, 2012.



 

September, 2016