Johann Strauss: Gypsy Baron - Open Road

This 1939 recording of 'Open Road' by Johann Strauss, sung by American baritone John Charles Thomas, was chosen by the prestigious German car manufacturer, Audi, to highlight the agile properties of the new A6 Avant estate. The TV and Internet advertisement features a metallic "Audi Hummingbird" which is able to nimbly fly among trees, flowers and fauna made from petrol pumps, road signs and traffic cones. For decades, John Charles Thomas was among the most popular men in American who could sing 'Boots and Saddles' and Beethoven's In Questa Tomba Oscura with equal aplomb. He had a voice as rich as a cello, the physique of an athlete, natural charm and achieved enormous popularity as a matinee idol before achieving success as a concert artist and operatic star. But the stage and radio were only parts of a romantically active life. John Charles Thomas loved automobiles, raced hydroplanes, played a mean game of golf, raised chickens and champion hogs, and was famous for his spaghetti sauce. Thomas recorded for RCA Victor's prestigious Red Seal label which were expensive - selling for a staggering $3.00 in 1910 when you could get a first class meal in New York for a dollar. A collection of Red seal recording established one as a person of both taste and property.


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The Audi bird is a perfect metaphor for the new Audi A6 Avant's ultra-lightweight construction, offering drivers a more agile and efficient performance. Flying nimbly through a surreal landscape populated with trees, flowers and fauna made from petrol pumps, road signs and traffic cones, the metal-framed bird boasts design elements that echo the A6 Avant -- right down to its breast, which replicates the distinctive Audi grille. The hummingbird mischievously glides through its world to the strains of Johann Strauss's Open Road, Open Sky sung by legendary American baritone and automobile lover John Charles Thomas. The animated film is directed by Oscar-nominated Daniel Barber.

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