John Charles Thomas in Opera 1934-1942

"If I had to choose the four greatest voices I've heard, I would list Thomas along with Caruso, Rosa Ponselle, and Ezio Pinza ..." Frank Chapman, Opera News, 1961



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"Got this for my father in law for his Christmas and he absolutely loved it! So Glad that I also purchased the other CD's too as they have been played non stop since Christmas and they have made him very happy." - Anonymous

"I grew up with John Charles Thomas. Indeed, before I was born, my mother knew him casually when she worked as a children's nurse on the flagship of the U.S. Lines and the great baritone "sang for his supper" on his trips abroad. Whenever he was in San Francisco for a concert he never failed to send tickets to my mother and grandmother. My special recollection of him was when he sang Malotte's "The Lord's Prayer" for me on his Westinghouse radio show when he learned that I had been seriously hurt in an accident.

Listen to the exquisite sincerity of his singing in the first half of the setting and then to the magnificence of the ending when Malotte's composition requires him to employ his operatic voice to reach the high note. His upper register is simply unbelievable. I know of no other male singer who sings an A Flat at the end of the beautiful "My Hero", though Thomas does so memorably.

The operatic surprise of the album must be the French arias. Today he would surely have been the definitive Herodiade. We have recently experienced Keenleyside's wonderful Hamlet, yet I recall "O vin, dissiple le tristesse" from a Thomas recording in my boyhood years. Listening to it again today in Nimbus' new release, I can only think how marvelous it would have been to have Thomas around to sing this and so many other French baritone roles.

The late and long-time critic of the Washington Post, whose name I cannot recall, used to have an opera program on WGMS in Washington. This critic grew up in Chicago and often heard JCT. The critic used to tease us with the knowledge he had heard JCT in "Rigoletto." He insisted in the early 80's that Thomas' ainging of this role was the greatest performance of it he had ever heard. He also insisted that he thought a recording of it existed somewhere. He never found it as far as I know. Are you listening Nimbus?" - Robert D. Forst

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