Thomas Cooley is a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity, in demand internationally for a wide range of repertoire in concert, opera, and chamber music.
Thomas Cooley's repertoire on the symphonic stage includes works such as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, Berlioz' Requiem, Nuits d'été, and L'enfance du Christ; Haydn's Seasons; Britten's War Requiem and Serenade; Stravinsky's Les Noces; Mendelssohn's Lobgesang and Elijah; Mozart's Requiem; Elgar's Dream of Gerontius; Rihm's Deus Passus; Mahler's Lied von der Erde; and Penderecki's Credo. Recent concert highlights include the world premiere and recording of Christopher Theofanidis' Creation/Creator with Atlanta Symphony, Kodály's Psalmus Hungaricus, Bruckner's Te Deum, and his first foray into Wagner with an excerpt from Parsifal with the St. Louis Symphony.
He has collaborated with internationally prominent conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Donald Runnicles, Osmo Vänskä, Eji Oue, Lan Shui, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, David Robertson, Markus Stenz, Carlo Rizzi, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honneck, and Bernard Labadie. He performs regularly with major orchestras and festivals such as the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival; Atlanta (including an appearance at Carnegie Hall), St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, National, Oregon, and Milwaukee Symphonies; the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec; Coppenhagen Philharmonic; Bavarian Radio Symphony; the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa; the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig; and the Osaka Philharmonic.
Particularly renowned for his agility and skill in Baroque music, Mr. Cooley is in demand as an interpreter of the works of Bach and Handel, most especially in the role of the Evangelist in Bach's Passions and in the great oratorios of Handel. He appears regularly with such historically informed groups as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Music of the Baroque, Bethlehem Bach Choir, Akadamie für Alte Musik, Boston Baroque, the Carmel and Oregon Bach Festivals, Les Violons du Roy, and the Munich Bach Choir.
Important recent engagements of baroque music include a semi-staged St. John Passion with the Pittsburgh Symphony; Bach's B Minor Mass with the Baltimore Symphony; the Evangelist in St. John Passion with the Bethlehem Bach Choir; Messiah with the National Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Boston Baroque, and the Munich Bach Choir; Handel's L'Allegro with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Bach's Christmas Oratorio on tour with the Windsbacher Knabenchor; and Bach's Lutheran Masses with Les Violons du Roy. Named Artist-in-Residence for the 2015-16 season at Music of the Baroque in Chicago, he performed Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, a program of Bach cantatas, and the title role in Handel's Judas Maccabaeus.
Mr. Cooley's activity on the operatic stage has largely centered on the roles of Mozart, Handel, and Britten. As a member of the Gärtnerplatz theater in Munich for four years, he performed many of the great tenor roles in the operas of Mozart, including Tamino, Belmonte, Ferrando and the title role in Idomeneo. Other roles he has performed include Count Almaviva in Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Peter Quint in Turn of the Screw, the title role in Bernstein's Candide, Tristan in Frank Martin's Le vin herbè, Bajazet in Handel's Tamerlano, and Acis in Handel's Acis and Galatea.
In concert this season, Cooley can be heard on the stage of Carnegie Hall with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir for Britten's Les Illuminations and Mohammed Fairouz's Zabur, with Minnesota Orchestra and Houston Symphony (Messiah), Music of the Baroque (Handel's Alexander's Feast and Telemann's Day of Judgment oratorio), and Berner Kammerchor (Bach's St John Passion). Cooley also rejoins the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir for Mendelssohn's Elijah. He reprises the role of Idomeneo in a concert version at the Carmel Bach Festival and performs Handel's oratorio Joshua with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan. Cooley was also a featured guest artist in summer 2016 on the Prairie Home Companion Alaskan cruise.
Photo Credit: Paul Foster-Williams