The American soprano Indra Thomas has been acclaimed as the next great Verdi soprano. She made her professional début as soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the New York Choral Society in Carnegie Hall. She subsequently sang the same work with the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony, and with the Utah Symphony, and at the Grand Teton Festival. Other orchestral engagements have included Rossini’s Stabat Mater with New York’s Little Orchestra Society, Mozart’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony and the San Antonio Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Boston’s Symphony Hall and in Carnegie Hall with the Boston Philharmonic, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra. With the Jacksonville Symphony she added Strauss’s Four Last Songs to her repertoire. She made her début with the Philadelphia Orchestra singing Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915, a work she has also sung with the Atlanta and the Kalamazoo Symphonies. She made her spectacular New York Philharmonic début singing excerpts from Porgy and Bess in Lorin Maazel’s first New Year’s Eve Pension Fund Gala, which was televised nationwide on Live from Lincoln Center.
Indra Thomas is a graduate of Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. As part of the programme she appeared in numerous opera productions adding several important new rôles to her repertoire, including the title rôle of Suor Angelica, Gilda in Rigoletto and Leonora in Il trovatore. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, and went on to advanced studies at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, where she took first prize in the Meistersinger Competition. She was awarded study grant by the Olga Farrai Foundation and is a winner of the 1999 Zachary Foundation Award. She has appeared in recitals sponsored by the Astral Artistic Services of Philadelphia and with Dalton Baldwin at the keyboard. Her initial public appearance was at the age of nineteen when she was chosen to sing ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ in the funeral scene in the film Driving Miss Daisy. She made her European début with the New York Philharmonic in Cagliari, Sardinia, repeating the Porgy and Bess concert of New Year’s Eve. She was a soloist in the televised annual 2003 Fourth of July concert with the Boston Pops. With David Lofton, she has sung recitals throughout the United States at venues such as the Caramoor Festival and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. With Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra she added the Wesendonck Lieder and Les nuits d’été to her repertoire. With Atlanta Opera she sang her first performances of the title rôle of Aida and with Jacksonville Symphony she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She made her début in France at the Colmar Festival, where she sang two recitals and Les nuits d’été with the orchestra conducted by Vladimir Spivakov, followed by a concert at the Montpellier Festival broadcast on Radio France. Indra Thomas sang Bellini’s great bel canto rôle of Imogene in Il pirata at the Caramoor Festival, where her success prompted her immediate re-engagement the next season for her first performance of Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello. Other operatic engagements have included the rôle of Amelia in Simon Boccanegra with San Francisco Opera, a production of Verdi’s original French Don Carlos with Boston Lyric Opera, repeated with Minnesota Opera. In Detroit, with Michigan Opera, she was the featured soprano in a Verdi Centennial concert and returned as Leonora in Il trovatore. At the Metropolitan Opera, she sang Liù in Turandot.