Artist of the Week: Russell Thomas

American Tenor Headlines ‘Don Carlo’ at The Metropolitan Opera

By Francisco Salazar

Russell Thomas is one of today’s great Verdi tenors. He has performed all over the world in some of the composer’s most difficult roles, garnering great acclaim. This week he returns to the Metropolitan Opera for his first headliner.

Thomas made his debut at the Met in 2005 as the Heralder in “Don Carlo” and has since performed supporting roles in Verdi operas at the Met such as “Nabucco,” “Macbeth,” and “Attila” (although he stepped into a few performances as Foresto). However, this will be the first time the tenor sings a Verdi opera at the Met Opera as the star of the show.

Regarding his interpretation of “Don Carlo,” which he has sung at the Washington National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, OperaWire noted, “Vocally, he explored the wide range of colors the part has on offer. Whereas most would use the limited musical opportunities to showcase their powerful vocal qualities, Russell hued close to the score. It wasn’t about virtuosity for him but introspective.”

Thomas’ interpretation has certainly grown throughout the years, and audiences are undoubtedly in for a treat after 70 performances.

And for those not in New York, Thomas is headlining more Verdi around the world. He is set to sing “La Forza del Destino” in Paris, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony, and “Otello” at the LA Opera.


For audiences not familiar with Thomas’ voice, he has a recording of Verdi Requiem with the New York Philharmonic and is featured on a DVD of Verdi’s “Macbeth” from the Metropolitan Opera. He is also on a recording of “Der Fliegende Holländer.”

Here he is in “Il Trovatore.”

Here he is in a Verdi gala.


Artist of the WeekSpecial Features