Nova Thomas is an internationally acclaimed soprano whose work has been characterized as “ravishing in sound and magical in stage presence.” International appearances have taken her to the opera houses of Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Paris, London, Dublin, Belfast, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. In this country she has performed with the opera companies of New York City, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Seattle, Baltimore, Detroit, San Diego, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Louisville, Knoxville, Houston, Memphis, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Costa Mesa, New Jersey, El Paso, Syracuse, and Anchorage (among others). Concert engagements have included performances with the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Indianapolis Symphony. Her repertoire features the heroines of La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Norma, Otello, Aida, Un Ballo in Maschera, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Il Trittico, Macbeth, La bohème, Faust, Così fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Anna Bolena, Don Giovanni, Turandot, Dialoques des Carmelites, and Les Contes d’Hoffman. She enjoyed a close collaboration with Dame Joan Sutherland and Maestro Richard Bonynge – the latter with whom she recorded the title role in the Bohemian Girl for Decca Records. Other conductors and directors of renown with whom she has had the privilege of working are (among others): Carlo Rizzi, John Nelson, Michelangelo Veltri, John Crosby, James Conlon, Philippe Augin, Eduardo Muller, Maurizio Barbacini, Colin Grahm, Michael Hampe, Lotfi Mansouri, John Crosby, John Copley, and John Pascoe.
Ms. Thomas has been an Associate Professor of Voice and Opera Studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Her teaching responsibilities include private vocal instruction (for both graduate and undergraduate students); the co-directorship of the Opera Workshop; two courses in the sequential professional training core, the Singing Actor and Performing in Lyric Theater; and dramatic coachings and role preparation. Ms. Thomas is also the appointed Coordinator for Assessment for the College, with responsibilities focused in the evaluation and development of institutional effectiveness across all degree programs. Ms. Thomas is a highly sought-after master-class artist, with recent engagements for the Utah Opera Resident Artists, Palm Beach Opera Resident Artists, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Indiana, Italy, and Scotland. She is a teaching-artist for several very respected summer training programs – Santa Fe Opera (Apprentice Program); the Opera Theater of Saint Louis; the CoOPERAtive (in residence at Westminster Choir College); Building Your Craft: From Studio to Stage (one of the offerings of the International Texas Music Festival); Le Chiavi: the Institute of Bel Canto Studies (in residence at the University of Houston); and a master teacher for the Westminster Choir College Conducting Institute. Other academic appointments include Professor of Professional Practice at the New School University (New School for Drama, formerly the Actors Studio Drama School) in New York City, where her work is solely focused on actor training. She is a recipient of that university’s most prestigious award for “Excellence in Teaching.”
Ms. Thomas is a co-author, with James Jordan, for two books: Towards Center (GIA Press, 2009) and The Musician’s Breath (GIA Press 2011). She is originally from North Carolina, and has received her home state’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the arts. She served on the founding Board of Advisors for the General Henry Hugh Shelton Leadership Initiative, and has most recently received Rider University’s Mazzotti Award for Women in Leadership. She has continued her leadership development in a certificate-granting program at Harvard. Other recognitions include the John Haber UNC-Chapel Hill Alumni Award. Ms. Thomas received her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her graduate degree at Indiana University.