Russell Thomas to Give Recital at LA Opera

By David Salazar
(Credit: Fay Fox)

Tenor Russell Thomas will perform a recital on Feb. 25, 2023 at the Los Angeles Opera’s Zipper Concert Hall.

Thomas, who is also the company’s Artist-in-Residence, will present a program of new music created by three Black composers. The works include “Love and Light” by Jasmine Barnes, based on text by Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton; Damien Geter’s “Annunciation” with text by Joshua Banbury; and “To Harlem with Love” by David Ragland, featuring texts by James Weldon Johnson, Helene Johnson, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Arna Bontemps.

He will also showcase music by Adolphus Hailstork and H. Leslie Adams.

“My goal for this program was to expand the vocal chamber repertoire by Black composers, to increase representation in this corner of recital music,” said Thomas in an official press statement issued by LA Opera. “I commissioned texts that focus on themes close to my own heart: queer sensuality, romance, and the beauty of the Black male form. Damien Geter, Jasmine Barnes, and Dave Ragland have created moving new works that celebrate the Black experience across gender, sexuality and religious lines.”

Thomas will perform alongside a chamber ensemble comprised of members of the LA Opera Orchestra.