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Friday, August 7, 2015

John Charles Thomas, The Great American Baritone

John Charles Thomas was born in 1891 in Meyersdale, Pa., the son of a Methodist minister.  After study for a medical a career, he won a scholarship to the Peabody Institute in Baltimore in 1910.  In 1912 Thomas left the Peabody and toured with a musical troupe, and starred in many musicals, including “Her Soldier Boy”, Maytime, “Naughty Marietta,” and “Apple Blossoms.”  His opera career began in 1925 as Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida.  He went on to sing in San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  He would remain at the Met until 1933 , singing opposite great sopranos of the day, such as Rosa Ponselle.  Thomas sang a very wide variety of songs:

Here is Thomas in opera, "O du mein holder Abenderstarn:

Here is “The Last Time I saw Paris”

And here is the”Green Eyed Dragon”

And let's not forget Gilbert and Sullivan!



Unknown said...

Thanks. Thomas, although wittingly or not, because of his widespread popularity via radio, was the vocal and aesthetic paragon for two genrations of American baritones, seems forgotten today. Sad. As late as milnes, they tended to sound like him, IMHO.

Edmund St. Austell said...

hope the comment section is coherent on this one. Edmund

CurzonRoad said...

Reverberations of Reinald, as in Werrenrath (or so he has always struck me). Both very fine singers. Thank you, Edmund, for your ongoing dedication to the artists of days gone by.

Edmund St. Austell said...

Great comment Doug. Thank you. Edmund