Mark Thomsen Releases Christmas CD

Posted on December 10th, 2010 by

Tenor Mark Thomsen

Tenor Mark Thomsen

Tenor Mark Thomsen, the 1978 Gustavus graduate who has enjoyed considerable success in the world of classical opera both in the United States and abroad, has released his first Christmas recording, Christmas Cheer! The recording is a collection of familiar Christmas carols as well as Pietro A. Yon’s Gesu Bambino and Albert Hay Malotte’s The Lord’s Prayer. Mark is accompanied by pianist/harpsichordist Barbara Riske and guitarist David Drach-Meinel.

Following his graduation from Gustavus, Mark spent two years as an apprentice with the Minnesota Opera and then set off to earn a Master’s degree in Applied Voice from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. After spending three years in the Houston Opera Studio, he joined the ensemble, which performed Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place at the Kennedy Center, La Scala, and Vienna Staatsoper, before recording the opera for Deutsche Grammophon.

Thomsen had the privilege of developing his early career under the guidance of Beverly Sills at the New York City Opera, where he received the New York City Opera Debut Artist of the Year award. He performed the title role of La Clemenza di Tito, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and many others, including the premiere of Argento’s Casanova.

European engagements have included several seasons with the Vienna Volksoper where he performed leading roles in operettas and Mozart operas. He toured Japan with the Volksoper and later joined the Vienna Staatsoper as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He made his Opéra de Nantes debut as Belmonte in Die Entfürung aus dem Serail and returned in a later season as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Not forgetting his Minnesota roots, Thomsen has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion radio program several times to sing lyric recital pieces and participate in comedic skits and has been involved with pre-performances of Garrison Keillor’s first opera, Mr. and Mrs. Olson. This is a comedy that depicts a couple that have become bored with their lives and how they seek meaning in their own Midwestern way. In the title role of Mr. Olson, Thomsen sang “I always wanted to be a French lover” to the “Habanera” from Bizet’s Carmen, the “Ode to red jello’ to “Che gelida manina” from La Boheme, two originals by Andy Stein about opera and a beautiful romantic called “Summer Nights.”

Mark Thomsen’s Christmas Cheer! is available at the Gustavus Book Mark or at the singer’s website which also includes Thomsen’s schedule of coming performances, including appearances in the ISO Gala with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra in Lakeland, Florida in January and in Richard Strauss’ final opera, Capriccio, at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, March 6 – April 23.


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