Biography of Cooley Thomas:
Thomas Cooley is a young, multi-faceted lyric tenor whose musicianship makes him equally at home in opera, concert and recital. He has appeared with the Bavarian State Opera, the Krakow State Opera, the Minnesota Opera, North Star Opera, and Ex Machina Baroque Opera in roles such as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Sam Kaplan in Street Scene, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni ,Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Oronte in Handel’s Alcina, Leandro in Busoni’s Arlecchino and Ugone in Handel’s Flavio.
Thomas Cooley’s extreme versatility is also evident in his concert work, to which he dedicates much of his time. He has appeared internationally with numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Bach Collegium Stuttgart, the Munich Bach Choir, the Bamberg Symphony Choir, the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and the Drottningholms Baroque Ensemble. He has worked with conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Peter Schreier, Joshua Rifkin, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Georg Christoph Biller, Juanjo Mena, Hanns-Martin Schneidt, Rolf Beck, Hans Rudolf Zöbeley, David Zinnman, and Roberto Abbado. Recent highlights included the Evangelist and Arias of Bach’s St. John Passion with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and choir of St. Thomas, Leipzig, the arias of the Christmas Oratorio with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Peter Schreier, the German Premiere of Dave Brubeck’s Mass To Hope! A Celebration with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in Munich, a television production of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Joshua Rifkin and his Bach Ensemble, and a new work by Wolfgang Rihm, Deus Passus, in Luzern under the baton of Helmuth Rilling which he performs again next season with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra.. CD recordings of Händel’s Dettinger Te Deum and cantatas of Christoph Graupner are also planned for release next season.
The art of the song recital is particularly important to the young tenor. He regularly performs evenings of Lieder with the guitarist Carsten Linck and the pianist Donald Sulzen throughout Germany He performed a recital of Britten’s Winter Words and Still Falls the Rain with pianist Andrew West at the Britten Festival in Aldeburgh last October, and sang Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin in Ingolstadt in March. He performs Die Schöne Müllerin again in November in Bad Canstatt with Donald Sulzen.
Thomas Cooley began his vocal studies at DePauw University with Thomas Fitzpatrick. He returned to his native Minneapolis, and received his Master of Music from the University of Minnesota. He received an Artists Diploma from the Richard Strauss Conservatory for Music where he studied with Rita Loving and Donald Sulzen. He has since participated in masterclasses with Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Ian Partridge at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England. In August of 1998, he received a fellowship from the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia festival in Chicago. There he furthered his study of the German and French song repertoire with such artists as Peter Schreier, Thomas Allen, Rudolph Piernay, Margo Garrett. He is currently a student of Rudolf Piernay.