John Thomasson, Univ.Prof. Dr.
Deputy Head of Department
Univ.-Prof. for Voice
- Mirabellplatz 1
- 5020 Salzburg
John Thomasson was born in Iowa (USA) and received his first musical training at The University of Iowa (Bachelor, Master of Arts in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy, Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance). Additional study followed at the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera Studio and the Hochschule Mozarteum Salzburg (Lied Diploma, Opera Diploma). He was invited to attend master classes given by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Joseph Metternich, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Anna Reynolds among others. He was awarded 1st Prize (Lied) in the Ada Sari International Vocal Competition (Poland), and 1st Prize in the Federation of Music Vocal Competition (Iowa, USA).
While still a student at the Mozarteum, he made his opera debut in Salzburg singing the role of the Carceriere in Tosca in the Grosses Festspielhaus (Hans Graf, conductor). His opera debut in Germany soon followed in the role of the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos. His performance was praised as “masterful” by the German opera magazine Opernwelt. He has performed in concerts and Liederabende throughout Europe and the USA (Brahms Requiem with L'Orchestre de l'Académie de l'Île Saint Louis, La Madeleine, Paris, and with Orquesta Académica de Madrid, El Escorial; Stravinsky Mass, Bass Soloist, Mozarteum-Orchester, Salzburger Festspiele; Bach Magnificat, Coro de la Catedral Primada de América y su Orquesta, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Carlos Piantini, conductor; Liederabend, Salzburg International Association; Bach h-Moll Messe, Florida Bach Festival; Matthäuspassion, Tampa Oratorio Orchestra; Dover Beach, Florida String Quartet, etc.)
In 1995 Dr. Thomasson made his American opera debut in the role of Aleko in the American stage premiere of Rachmaninov’s Aleko (Iowa Center for the Arts, James Dixson, conductor). Among the many opera roles he has performed are Escamillo in Carmen (Cartersville Grand Opera); Schaunard in La Boheme (Imperial Symphony Orchestra and Opera, Florida); Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore (Imperial Symphony); the Lautsprecher in Viktor Ullman’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Florida International Music Festival, Miami); and the Emperor in the world premier of Milton Granger’s The Bronze Mirror (Georgia State Opera, Atlanta). Dr. Thomasson was awarded a NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) internship in 1999 and the Goldofsky Fellowship for Opera (Atlanta) in 2001.
From 1995 to 2002 Dr. Thomasson was Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at The School of the Arts in Shorter College (Rome, Georgia). From 2002 to 2014 he was Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Theatre at Florida Southern College (Lakeland, Florida). In 2014 he joined the faculty of the University Mozarteum Salzburg as Professor of Voice (Music Education and Vocal Pedagogy).
Dr. Thomasson has served as president of Georgia NATS and Florida Tampa Bay NATS. His students have won numerous prizes in vocal competitions: state and regional NATS, Orpheus International Vocal Competition, Federation of Music National Competition, and the Southeast Theatre Conference Auditions. They have been engaged to perform in opera and musicals on stages throughout the USA including Santa Fe, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Wolf Trap, Connecticut Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Sarasota Opera, Orlando Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, 47th Street Theatre (Off-Broadway), Peter Norton Space (NYC), Minetta Lane Theatre (NYC), Theatre Row; Merry-Go-Round Theater (NY), Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix, Emelin Theatre (NY), and Gateway Playhouse (NY).