Thomas received a grant to finance his studies at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse de Paris.
What is your artistic background?
I discovered music at a very young age, by taking violin lessons at the Conservatory of the 17th arrondissement in Paris. At the age of 10, I joined the Saint Louis de Gonzague master's degree programme under the direction of Rémi Gousseau. There I was able to discover the great works of the choral repertoire on a daily basis, then to take part in festivals, operas and to sing my first solos. I took my first singing lessons with the singer Hanna Schaer in 2007. At the same time as my studies at ESSEC, I also studied with Elsa Maurus (Conservatory of the 9th arrondissement) and Gérard Noizet. I am currently a student at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) in the class of Chantal Mathias. For the 2016-2017 academic year, I would like to thank the Porosus Endowment Fund for allowing me to devote myself entirely to singing, my passion.
How do you see your profession today?
The job of opera singer is a profession that is undergoing major changes, on the one hand because of the growing competition that singers are facing, and on the other hand because of the social, cultural and technological changes that the opera world is undergoing. Venues are getting bigger, orchestras are playing ever more loudly and performances are becoming ever faster—it took more than a month, fifty years ago, to cross the Atlantic, now a few hours are enough. However, these changes, while they may be difficult, especially for young singers, are also accompanied by an increase in the number of people who can, for example, attend performances at the cinema. Opening up to countries where operatic culture is still not very present, particularly in Asia, is also a real opportunity. Moreover, as French singers, we have a definite comparative advantage in our magnificent repertoire and I would like to be able to devote a significant part of my career to that.
How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
In five years, I see myself singing the great roles of the repertoire (Romeo in Roméo & Juliette, Des Grieux in Manon, Nemorino in Elixir d'Amour, Rodolfo in Bohème). In 10 years’ time, I hope to have sung in one of the greatest houses: Opéra Bastille, the MET, Covent Garden or La Scala.
This interview was conducted in 2015
Photo credit: Rémi Chapeaublanc