Baritone Thomas Potter began his interest in music performance as a jazz trombonist in High School. It was while pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education that he began to transform into a singer. After completing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Indiana University [where his voice teachers were Signor Nicola Rossi-Lemeni and Madame Virginia Zeani] and then two years of intensive musicianship and repertoire study with John Wustman [as a special student at the University of Illinois], Thomas continued his training in the Merola, Western Opera Theater, and Adler Fellowship programs with the San Francisco Opera Center. In 1986, Potter was a winner of the Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition in Philadelphia Potter, and as such, was awarded the opportunity to sing alongside Mr. Pavarotti in the resulting production of Verdi’s opera Un Ballo In Maschera. During his residence in San Francisco, he was honored to sing and rehearse with Mr. Pavarotti on two other occasions [Puccini’s La Bohéme and Verdi’s La Traviata].
Thomas’ operatic repertoire throughout the bulk of this career has centered around the great Verdi baritone roles such as “Renato” in Un Ballo In Maschera, “Giorgio Germont” in La Traviata, “il Conte di Luna” in Il Trovatore, Macbeth, and Rigoletto. Additional favorite roles he has performed include “Baron Scarpia” in Tosca, “Sharpless” in Madama Butterfly, “Jochanaan” in Strauss’ Salome, “Marcello & Schaunard” in La Bohéme, and all four of the lower-voiced roles on Mozart’s Don Giovanni [“Giovanni, Commendatore, Masetto, & Leporello”]. Potter has sung leading roles in numerous International music festivals, including the Spoleto Music Festival in both Italy and the USA venues [Philip Glass’ opera Hydrogen Jukebox], the Ravenna (Italy) Music Festival [Attila], the Bregenzer (Austria) Festspiele [Nabucco], the La Biennale Festival [Ivan Vandor’s Apparitions] in Venice, Italy, and the Festival de Inverno – Campos do Jordão [William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast] in Brazil.
A few of the opera companies with which Potter has performed include the Teatro Comunale ‘Giuseppe Verdi’ in Trieste, Italy, Palm Beach Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Cordoba Opera São Paulo, Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg, Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, Atlanta Opera, Utah Opera, Orlando Opera, and Indianapolis Opera.
From 1994 to 2000, Mr. Potter was engaged by the Stadttheater St. Gallen in Switzerland, singing the roles of “Scarpia” in Tosca, “Jochanaan” in Salome, “Giorgio Germont” in La Traviata, among others.
Concert work continues to play an important role in Potter’s career, with credits such as performances of Britten’s War Requiem in the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the São Paulo [Brazil] State Symphony and Chorus, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, each with the Florida Orchestra, and several soloist appearances in New York City’s Carnegie Hall.
In the Fall of 2000 Potter, his wife [Kimberly S Randall], and their son (then 18 months old), moved back to the United States, where he began his new career as a university professor. He taught for five years in Indiana before joining the University of Central Florida in August of 2005, where he teaches voice and is the Director of UCF Opera.