Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Hilary Thomas


Having trained and worked initially as a specialist in primary music teaching she found her singing was becoming semi- professional and took the decision to take time out for extra vocal training. After winning a Yorkshire Opera prize she joined the Welsh National Opera Chorus at an exciting time. Opportunities for small roles and understudying major ones were frequent and formed a wonderful basis for her future career.

Vocal teachers have included Sylvia Barret, Vera Mallet, Adelheid Armhold and April Cantelo and she attended master classes with Ferrucio Tagliavini and Magda Olivera in Italy.

In OPERA major roles have included Countess Almaviva(FIGARO), Fiordiligi (COSI FAN TUTTED Gilda (RIGOLETTO) Micaela (CARMEN) Countess Adele (Le Comte DRY) Musetta(LA BOHEME) Antonia(LES CONTES D’HOFFMAN and Salud (LA VIDA BREVE) and others. Mainly OPERA NORTH and WELSH NATIONAL OPERA but many FESTIVAL PRODUCTIONS.

On the Concert Platform

ORATORIO performances with major orchestra and societies including HALLE AND ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRAS specialising in the works of Mozart and Handel and Rossini. Appearances with BBC WELSH ORCHESTRA, OPERA NORTH ORCHESTRA,CBSO AND BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA in such works as songs by Richard Strauss,Ravel, Falla, Canteloube, Villa Lobos, Britten Mozart Concert Arias, Bach and Handel cantatas as well as other repertoire and appearances throughout the British Isles and overseas.

Broadcasts and Chamber Music

Recitals for BBC Wales and Radio Three have included French Chansons, English Song, Russian Romances and first performances of music by ELIS PEHKONEN , a composer who has written music for her chamber group ‘Voyages’ which performed music with an ethnic or nationalist flavour.

Education Projects and Workshops

Writing and directing education projects for major arts providers (OPERA NORTH, D’OYLY CARTE OPERA, 20,000VOICES, LEEDS ARTISTS IN SCHOOLS, YORKSHIRE TELEVISION) has been a fruitful and stimulating part of her career. She has also been Vocal Co-ordinator for Leeds Education Artforms and has an LTCL (Mus.Ed.) part of which concentrated on the teaching of Kodaly Method and running music projects in schools.

She ran the community Opera Class at Leeds College of Music and was vocal tutor at Bretton Hall College for 10 years, currently being a vocal tutor at Leeds University.

She frequently runs workshops and master classes for singers.

Special Interest

The Spanish Art Song in which she has given many recitals and taken master classes in England and Spain, also giving talks on the songs of Falla and Granados.

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