RUSSELL THOMAS, tenor
LUCAS NOGARA, pianist
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2024
7:30 PM at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
The international standard bearer for excellence in dramatic roles by Verdi and Puccini for over a decade, tenor Russell Thomas also excels at more intimate modes of musical expression, including recital programs at London’s Wigmore Hall and an evening of curated new works at the Colburn School as part of his Artist in Residency with Los Angeles Opera this season.
Program to include Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Jasmine Barnes: Love and Light, and selections by Henri Duparc and Richard Strauss
In the 2022/23 season, RUSSELL THOMAS performed three Verdi title roles in major international venues, appearing as Ernani at Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Don Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and as Otello at Los Angeles Opera. He also returned to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Calàf in Turandot and made his highly anticipated Paris Opera debut as Don Alvaro in La forza del destino. Mr. Thomas appeared in recital at the Colburn in Los Angeles in collaboration with LA Opera, joined conductor James Conlon for Verdi’s Requiem at Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and returned to San Francisco Opera in a concert celebrating their 100th anniversary. He concluded the season with a MET Orchestra tour, singing Otello opposite Renée Fleming at Carnegie Hall, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, and further European locations to be announced.
Acclaimed for his “voice of intrinsic warmth and refined sense of style” (Opera News), Mr. Thomas has enjoyed a string of operatic triumphs in key Verdi roles, including debuts as Otello at Canadian Opera Company and Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Manrico in Il trovatore at Bayerische Staatsoper, Radames in Aida at Houston Grand Opera, Stiffelio at Opera Frankfurt, and Don Alvaro in La forza del destino at Deutsche Oper Berlin. An alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Program, Russell most recently returned there as Rodolfo in La bohème. Other important appearances include Cavaradossi in Tosca at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Idomeneo at the Salzburg Festival, Roberto Devereux at San Francisco Opera, Radames at Los Angeles Opera, Florestan in Fidelio at San Francisco Opera and Cincinnati Opera, and Adorno in Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. His portrayal of Tito in the new Peter Sellars production of La clemenza di Tito at the Salzburg Festival drew praise from The New Yorker, which noted, “Thomas’s penetrating tenor, which has lately acquired richness and heft, anchored the evening.”
Mr. Thomas’s “ardent expression and spine-tingling high notes” (Cincinnati Enquirer) have been heard in the Verdi Requiem with the New York Philharmonic and the national symphonies of Washington, D.C. and Barcelona. He has appeared as tenor soloist in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Dallas, Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, and Houston; the title role in Oedipus Rex at LA Opera and with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen; and as tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, BBC Proms, and Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. Mr. Thomas created the role of Lazarus in the world premiere of The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a passion oratorio by John Adams and Peter Sellars, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
During the hybrid 2020/21 season, Mr. Thomas began his tenure as Artist in Residence at LA Opera, where he plays a substantial role in artistic planning and casting. In addition to hosting and curating the company’s After Hours recital series, he has spearheaded new training programs designed to serve outstanding singers from historically Black colleges and universities and Los Angeles public high school students from underserved communities. russellthomastenor.com
Pianist LUCAS NOGARA has been gaining major recognition on the operatic and art song stage as a collaborator and opera coach. A recent graduate of Indiana University, Lucas holds a master’s of music and a performance diploma in collaborative piano, both under the mentorship of Kevin Murphy. His projects included collaborations with IU Opera Theatre in the productions of Parsifal, La Bohème, La Rondine and The Barber of Seville. He has also served as a pianist, rehearsing and performing in Carol Vaness’ renowned opera workshop.
He began working as a collaborative pianist, mostly with singers, as an undergraduate at State University of Sao Paulo – Unesp. After college he joined the São Pedro Theatre Opera Studio, playing song recitals and opera rehearsals and performances. He also worked on opera productions in his country – among them Faust and Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas at Manaus Opera Festival; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Makropulos Affair at São Pedro Theatre; and Roméo et Juliette with São Paulo Opera Company.
In 2018 he was invited to play Don Giovanni for the Tel Aviv Summer Opera Festival, to which he will return in the summer of 2022. In 2021, he was invited as a fellow at the prestigious Ravinia Steans Music Institute to collaborate with the program for singers, to which he will also return this upcoming summer. Most recently, he performed at the last edition of the Concours Musical International de Montréal.
These performances are external rentals presented in coordination with the Kennedy Center
Campus Rentals Office and are not produced by the Kennedy Center.
“A tenor of gorgeously burnished power.”
Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times
P.O. Box 42423
Washington, DC 20015