MARSHA THOMPSON – soprano
Soprano, Marsha Thompson has gained attention for her voice most recently as the First Prize Winner of the 2014 Opera Orchestra of New York Vocal Competition. She was also a finalist and grant award recipient in the 2013 Altamura Caruso International Voice Competition in New York City, singing Ernani, involami, to a thunderous reception. Highly applauded by The New York Times for her “…stellar performance of Violetta…revealing a warm agile soprano…who sang and acted expressively throughout the evening,” Her featured repertoire now includes Liù in Turandot, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Isabelle in Robert le Diable, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Marguerite in Faust.
Last season Ms. Thompson performed the role Harriet Tubman with American Opera Projects, was an invited to sing at the Harare International Festival of Arts in Harare, Zimbabwe and was a featured guest soloist in concert with the Altamura Center for the Arts, Orchestra at Round Top, NY where she sang excerpts from Il Trovatore and Faust.
Ms. Thompson has been seen in opera productions with New York City Opera as Treemonisha in 2011, as Betty Shabazz in The Life and Times of X in 2010, and as Bess in the 2002 production of Porgy and Bess. She has also sung Bess in a co-production with Piedmont Opera and Opera Carolina Her operatic performances also include La Traviata with Mississippi Opera and New York Grand Opera in Central Park, Tosca with Opera Festival di Roma (after which she gave an interview with MTV Spain regarding the performance at the historic Basilica di Santa Maria della Neve al Colosseo), andMimì in La Boheme with Opera Festival di Roma and Houston Ebony Opera Guild where she was regarded by The Houston Chronicle as “…crucial to the evening’s performance...[having sung] with great emotional depth and technical fineness.” She made her European debut as Aida in Franco Zeffirelli's new production inMilan’sPiccolo Teatro alla Scala as a part of Italy's Verdi Centennial Celebrations in conjunction with La Fondazione Teatro Regio di Parma. Other featured roles include Imogene in Il Pirata, Suzel in L’amico Fritz, Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, Manon, Anna Bolena, and Elettra in Idomeneo.
In concert, Ms. Thompson was a featured soloist with North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and San Antonio Symphony Orchestra as Bess in the Porgy and Bess Orchestral Concert Suite, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven Symphony #9 and Bachianas Brasileiras, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra’s Opera Gala Concert, and as a guest soloist in gala concerts with Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and Galveston Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Thompson is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards from The Metropolitan Opera National Council, The Metropolitan Opera National Council South West Region, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, George London Foundation, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Opera Index Society, Career Bridges Foundation, Rehfuss Singer Actor Competition, Fort Worth Opera Competition, and the National Society of Arts and Letters. Ms. Thompson completed her musical education at The University of Houston Moores School of Music, with a Bachelor Degree of Music in both vocal and violin performance. After graduating from U of H, she was a guest artist with Lyric Opera Chicago Center for American Artists for two seasons. Her continued musical studies were at Music Academy of the West, and AIMS- American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Ms. Thompson currently resides in New York City and is in the vocal studio of Michael Paul.