Mark Thomsen, Tenor

Professor of Music/Artist in Residence

I believe a singer/actor needs to be able to access her/his ability to communicate the intent of their performance with all of their being. Uniting vocal technique, brain, body and heart to allow the best possible performance in the moment is my job as a teacher. To create an environment where the student can build the confidence one needs to maximize the merging of technique with brain, body and heart for the best performance.”

As one of America’s most accomplished tenors Mark Thomsen enjoys a successful career in critically acclaimed performances. Often working repetitively with major companies, Mr. Thomsen has performed to acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, La Scala (Milan), Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Volksoper, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera among others. Highlights of recent seasons include singing the role of Faust in Berlioz' The Damnation of Faust (in English) in Anchorage, tenor solos of Handel’s Messiah and in Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ in Las Vegas, performing the tenor solos with the Indianapolis Opera in their multi-media production of Opera Goes To The Movies and singing the role of Dick Johnson in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, performing the roles of The Governor, Vanderdendeer and Ragotski in Portland Opera's production of Bernstein's Candide; jumping in at the last minute to sing the tenor lead with the Peoria Symphony in their rendition of Edward J. Collins’ Daughter of the South; singing a recital for the King and Queen of Sweden with Maestro Caraher at the piano in Minneapolis; performing the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca in Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy; and performing the role of Don Ottavio in Opera Las Vegas' production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Mr. Thomsen is Founder and Director/Master Teacher of the vocal festival La VOCE Totale, http://lavocetotale.wordpress.com/, which is based in Las Vegas, and co-founder of the vocal summer program IOPE, http://www.internationaloperaperformingexperience.com/, which is based in Italy.

web page: www.markthomsen.com

As a former collegiate athlete I love sports including and not limited to football, basketball, baseball, golf and tennis. Travel is important as is reading murder mysteries and historical novels. Movies as escapism is enjoyable as well.

Education

BA in Applied Voice, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN, 1978
Minnesota Opera Apprentice, 1978 - 1980
Performer’s Certificate in Voice, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, 1982
Performer’s Certificate in Opera, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, 1982
MM in Voice, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, 1983
Houston Grand Opera Apprentice, 1982 - 1985

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Alumni Award in the field of Music, The Gustavus Alumni Association, Gustavus Adolphus College 2011
  • First Decade Award, The Gustavus Alumni Association, Gustavus Adolphus College 1988
  • Debut Artist of the Year, New York City Opera, New York 1985
  • Pavarotti Award, Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Texas 1985
  • Second Place, Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Texas 1985
  • Pavarotti Award, Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Texas 1984
  • First Place, National Association Teachers of Singers Minnesota Regional Competition 1977

Current Projects

I am currently rehearsing FSC's Opera Theater's production of, "La Perichole" to be performed on March 20, 2015. The current semester finds me as Program Director of FSC's Christmas Gala. I'm enjoying working with students and faculty on the logistics of the program as well as rehearsing the "Reflections 'Elf'semble" for their rendition of "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Publications and Exhibitions

Recordings (1982 - 2013)

The Truth About Windmills by Alec Wilder/Arnold Sundgaard. Performed by Pantheon singers: Claron McFadden, Robynne Redmon and Mark Thomsen.

A Quiet Place by Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Wadsworth. Performed by Deutches Grammophon singers include: Beverly Morgan, Chester Ludgin, Peter Kazarass, Kurt Ollman, Louise Edekin, and Mark Thomsen.

The Horse I Ride Has Wings with David Garvey on piano. Now recording selections from Mark Thomsen include: ‘Dalla sua pace’ from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, ‘Salut! demeure chaste et pure’ from Gounod’s Faust and Frank Bridge’s song ‘The Horse I Ride Has Wings’.  Other singers include Donnie Ray Albert.

Bandanna by Daron Hagen, Albany Records. Performed by UNLV Opera Theater Chorus, UNLV Wind Orchestra, Lesley DeGroot, James Demler, Paul Kreider, Mark Thomsen, Darynn Zimmer, Daron Hagen, conductor.

Performance Experience (2008 – 2014)

Opera

The Metropolitan Opera
Role: Don Ottavio (cover and perform)
Mozart’s Don Giovanni, sung in Italian
Role: Nicias (cover)
Massanet’s Thais, sung in French
Role: Eustazio (cover)
Rossini’s Armida, sung in Italian
Role: Diener 7 (cover)
R. Strauss’ Capriccio, sung in German

Opera Naples (FL)
Role: Tamino
Mozart’s Die Zauberflőte, sung in English

Imperial Symphony Orchestra
*Stage Director for Lehár's The Merry Widow (January, 2014) performed in English and in conjunction with Florida Southern College and Florida Dance Theater
Role: Don Ottavio
Mozart’s Don Giovanni, sung in Italian
Role: Frederick
Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, sung in English

Indianapolis Opera
Role: Dick Johnson
Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, sung in Italian

Opera Las Vegas
Role: Don Ottavio
Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Portland Opera
Role: Governor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski
Bernstein’s Candide

Spokane Opera
Role: Cavaradossi
Puccini’s Tosca, sung in Italian

Manitoba Opera
Role: 1st Jew
Strass’ Salome, sung in German

Concert

Faust in Anchorage Symphony's concert production of Berlioz' The Damnation of Faust

Tenor soloist for Indianapolis Opera’s Opera Goes to the Movies arias including: “M’appari’ tutt’ amor” from von Flotow’s Martha; “O Lola” and the brindisi from Puccini’s Cavalleria Rusticana; “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot

Tenor soloist for Collins’ Daughter of The South, Peoria Symphony Orchestra

Tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with The Desert Chorale of Las Vegas, NV (2008, 2009, 2010)

Tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Spoleto Festival, USA, sung in Latin

Tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, sung in German with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, sung in German with the Las Vegas Philharmonic

Tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, sung in German with the Binghamton Philharmonic (NY)

Tenor soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Spoleto Festival, USA Don José in Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra's concert production of Bizet's Carmen