American baritone Todd Thomas made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut and his role debut as Alberich in the company’s 2014 production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold. He returned in 2015 as Iago in Verdi’s Otello and in 2016 made his debut in the title role of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. In 2019 he once again joined Pacific Opera, this time for two leading roles in Puccini’s Il trittico: Michele in Il tabarro and the title role in Gianni Schicchi.
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. His 2019/20 season includes the title role in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera. Other recent engagements include the title role in The Flying Dutchman with Theater Erfurt, Germany, Shanghai Opera, and Baltimore Concert Opera; Falstaff with the Crested Butte Music Festival; Tonio in Pagliacci with Opera Omaha; Scarpia in Tosca with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra; and Rigoletto with Lyric Opera of Chicago.
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 Rolando in La Battaglia di Legnano.
Mr. Thomas has also appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Birmingham, Manitoba Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Atlanta Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, among many others.
Heroic baritone Todd Thomas also shone in his two roles. As Michele, he offered vocal heft and menacing presence. Yet he also made clear that he too was fatally damaged by the loss of his son which, combined with grief over his wife’s betrayal, leads him to commit murder. As Gianni Schicchi, Thomas gave an equally energetic and committed performance as the (almost) lovable rogue who steals an inheritance right under the noses of a family who can’t wait to get their greedy hands on it.
Robin Miller, Opera Canada, review of Il trittico, Pacific Opera Victoria, 2019
Todd Thomas as the Doge was imposing in his public role, tender and nuanced in his relationship with his daughter. He was splendid in the Council Chamber scene, exhibiting real authority in its magnificent concertato, rising nobly to the challenge of international and sectarian violence, and quite terrifying in his cursing of Paolo. His duet with Amelia in the discovery scene was intensely moving, though sadly his poignant long-drawn-out ‘figlia’ ending the number was overwhelmed by the audience’s enthusiastic and premature applause.
Harvey De Roo, Vancouver Classical Music, review of Simon Boccanegra, Pacific Opera Victoria, 2016
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 Otello, Pacific Opera Victoria, 2015