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American tenor Russell Thomas joins IU Jacobs School of Music voice faculty

For Immediate Release Mar 25, 2020
Russell Thomas
Russell ThomasPhoto by Fay Fox

BLOOMINGTON – The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has appointed Russell Thomas as an associate professor of music in voice, effective Aug. 1.

With a “heroically shining tone of exceptional clarity and precision” (Opera Magazine) and “gorgeously burnished power” (The New York Times), American tenor Thomas is known for his elegance and intensity in creating vivid character portrayals on the world’s most important stages.

“A towering figure in the operatic realm, Russell Thomas commands the admiration and respect of the entire profession and of those aspiring to join it,” David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean Gwyn Richards said.

“Students will learn directly from a practitioner and a pedagogue who has given great thought to the practice and the art of singing.”

“We are delighted that Russell Thomas will be joining us in the fall,” said Brian Horne, chair of the Jacobs voice department. “He has sung major roles in many of the world’s leading opera houses and now joins the great tradition of IU Opera, bringing his considerable experience and affable nature to the next generation of artists.”

Thomas has earned particular acclaim for interpretations of Verdi’s leading men, including the title roles in “Otello” (Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Garden) and “Don Carlo” (Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin) and Manrico in “Il trovatore” (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper).

He has also enjoyed successes in bel canto roles, such as the title character in “Roberto Devereux” (San Francisco Opera) and Pollione in “Norma” (Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia). His verismo repertoire includes Turiddu in “Cavalleria rusticana” (Deutsche Oper Berlin) and Rodolfo in “La bohème” (Metropolitan Opera).

Equally at home on the concert stage, Thomas has collaborated with numerous celebrated conductors, among them Riccardo Muti, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Mark Elder and Sir Simon Rattle.

“I’m honored to have been chosen to join the faculty of such a prestigious institution,” Thomas said. “Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music is one of the premier institutions of higher learning in music and has a long list of distinguished alumni.

“Teaching has long been a passion of mine, and I hope that my professional experience will be an asset to the students of the Jacobs School.”

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IU Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas

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