Tenor Russell Thomas Takes on Major Leadership Role At Los Angeles Opera

By David Salazar
(Credit: Fay Fox)

The Los Angeles Opera has announced that tenor Russell Thomas will be joining the company in a major leadership role.

Per an official press release, Thomas, as an Artist in Residence, will have major influence over the company in its artistic planning and casting. He will also contribute in the day-to-day operations, community engagement, fundraising, marketing, and public relations efforts.

Among his major projects will be the “After Hours” recital series which will resume in February 2021 with “Black Love,” which will spotlight the music of Black composers.

He will also head two newly created training programs for young singers, including a virtual training program for singers from historically Black colleges and universities around the U.S.

The second program will be the Russell Thomas Young Artists in Training Program, which will focus on Los Angeles public high school students in underserved communities and provide them with tools and preparation for careers in opera.

He will also be a part of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.

Additionally, he will be starring in one major role per year, starting with Radamès in “Aida” in 2022. He will also be involved in a new autobiographical work with composer Joel Thompson which will premiere during the 2022-23 season.

“This is a huge deal for me, and I’m almost overwhelmed with excitement about all of the possibilities that come with it,” said Thomas in a press release. “I’m especially committed to connecting with minority communities, particularly the African American community, throughout Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas. I’m really looking forward to extending my involvement with a company that has given me so many opportunities to perform, and excited about becoming part of the Los Angeles community on a deeper level.”

His tenure will extend through the 2023-24 season.