The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday that tenor Russell Thomas will serve as its first artist-in-residence for the 2014-15 season. In the new role, which will be appointed annually, he will act as a community advocate for the ASO through a combination of concerts, recitals, master classes and other education and community engagement events.
Thomas, who has performed with leading international groups including the Metropolitan Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, will get right to work. He's the featured soloist in three Christmas with the ASO concerts on Thursday and Saturday (with Norman Mackenzie conducting the orchestra, ASO Chorus, Morehouse College Glee Club and Gwinnett Young Singers).
The tenor will also appear in ASO-presented recitals on Jan. 11 with pianist Dr. Kyung-mi Kim at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center; Feb. 7 with members of the ASO at Ebenezer Baptist Church; and April 19 with members of the ASO and Morehouse College Glee Club at the school's Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. Additional education and outreach events of the residency will be announced.
In performances elsewhere this season, Thomas will take part in the English National Opera’s Peter Sellars production of "The Gospel According to the Other Mary," followed by several new roles: Pollione in "Norma" with the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain; the title-role in "Faust" with Michigan Opera Theatre; and Manrico in "Il Trovatore" with Cincinnati Opera. Future engagements include returns to the Metropolitan Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Oper Frankfurt, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Canadian Opera Company and a debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
This week's Christmas with the ASO concerts are in Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. $25-$76. 404-733-5000, aso.org.