The American baritone, Thomas Meglioranza, was born to an American father of Italian-Polish descent and a Thai mother. He grew up in the northern New Jersey towns of Teaneck and Wayne. He began taking voice lessons at Grinnell College, and earned a MM from the Eastman School of Music. He is an alum of the training programs at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Bowdoin, Pacific Music Festivals and the Ravinia Festival's Steans Institute, and has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival. He has studied with Elizabeth Mannion, Carol Webber, Beverley Peck Johnson, and Fred Carama. He was a winner of the 2002 Joy in Singing Award, the 2002 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the 2003 Franz Schubert and Music of Modernity International Competition in Graz, Austria, and the 2005 Walter W. Naumburg International Competition
Hailed for his “vocal distinction and expressive warmth” (The Boston Globe), Thomas Meglioranza is one of America’s most sought-after and unique young singers, displaying a compelling artistry and a remarkably versatile voice that is equally at home in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi, to Schubert, to Babbitt, to Gershwin to Rodgers & Hammerstein.
In March 2004 Thomas Meglioranza starred as Chou En-lai in Opera Boston’s celebrated production of Nixon in China, and was praised by The Boston Globe for delivering his character’s “inner music with quiet rapture.” Other highlights from recent seasons include performances with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in George Frideric Handel’s Messiah and a return engagement that same season for Carmina Burana, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 152 and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass (BWV 232), as well as Carmina Burana with the American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House, and critically acclaimed New York recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.
Thomas Meglioranza’s 2004-2005 season featured the role of Christus in a rarely heard one-voice-per-part version of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with Andrew Parrott and New York Collegium that was “warmly and beautifully” sung, according to The New York Times, as well as his Kennedy Center debut, singing Copland’s Old American Songs with Murry Sidlin and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center’s 10th Annual New Year’s Gala. He made debut appearances with the Grant Park Symphony in Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra in Haydn’s Creation, and sang Messiah in Portland with both the Oregon Symphony (debut) and the Portland Baroque Orchestra (return engagement) as well as L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Northwest Florida Symphony. New music performances included two critically acclaimed appearances on the Guggenheim Museum’s “Works & Process” series. He gave his Chicago recital debut on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series singing an all-Schubert program (broadcast live on WFMT-FM), and he performed Winterreise at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City. He also sang in recital at the University of Illinois at Chicago's "Tuesdays at One" series, and he also performed Samuel Barber's Dover Beach with the Enso String Quartet for the Newtown Friends of Music (Connecticut) and the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music. On December 31, 2004, he was a featured soloist with members of the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Murry Sidlin for the Kennedy Center's annual New Year's Eve gala concert in Washington, DC, marking the 10th anniversary of that event.
In March 2006, Thomas Meglioranza was featured in a special performance at Broadway’s New Victory Theatre entitled Twin Spirits: The Words and Music of Robert and Clara Schumann, directed and conceived by John Caird, and starring Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, portraying Robert and Clara in Words. Meglioranza, playing Robert Schumann in Song, performed Lieder and duets with soprano Lisa Saffer and pianist Jeremy Denk. This event, which raised over $150,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Classical Action, also featured violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Natasha Paremski.
Thomas Meglioranza’s 2008-2009 season took him to Taiwan for the World Premiere of the title-role in Mackay - the Black-Bearded Bible Man, followed by concerts of Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra, J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass (BWV 232) with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Sierra’s Missa Latina with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Berkshire Choral Festival, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Mystical Songs in Altoona, Gustav Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn in Kansas City, performances of Johannes Brahms’ Liebesliederwalzer with the New York City Ballet and recitals in the USA.
Other recent projects included a number of concerts and recitals in New York City, London, Houston, Panama City, Sarasota, Saratoga Springs, the Lanaudière Festival and at Thomas Meglioranza’s alma mater, Grinnell College, along with J. Brahms’ Liebesliederwalzer with the Mark Morris Dance Group on tour in the USA and Canada. In the summer, Meglioranza made his Tanglewood Festival debut performing John Harbison’s 5th Symphony with Leonard Slatkin conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra (2008) and his Australian debut at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville. Other performances included the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Romulus at the Guggenheim Museum, recitals at Bard College, in New York City, Washington DC, chamber music concerts on tour with the Musicians from Marlboro, sacred music concerts in Chicago and Cleveland as well as the release of Thomas Meglioranza’s first solo CD devoted entirely to Franz Schubert’s songs.
Thomas Meglioranza starred as Prior Walter in the North American premiere of Péter Eötvös’ Angels in America (based on the Tony Kushner play) with Opera Boston under the baton of Gil Rose. He also made his debut with the MET Chamber Ensemble with James Levine, performing Milton Babbitt’s Two Sonnets at Carnegie Hall, Erwin Schulhoff’s Cloud Pump at the Ravinia Festival with James Conlon, Stephen Foster songs with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and solo recitals at Symphony Space, the Neue Galerie and Columbia University’s Italian Academy. With orchestra, he was featured in three different programs with the New York Collegium and sang Messiah at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. Other season highlights included his debut with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and Nicholas Kraemer in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245), as well as recitals for the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Pro Musica of Detroit, the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts in Clemson, South Carolins, and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
Thomas Meglioranza’s current season (2010-2011) will include further performances of J. Brahms’ Liebesliederwalzer with the New York City Ballet, both in New York and at the Kennedy Center, a concert and commercial recording of Songs by Virgil Thomson with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Gil Rose, a new year’s eve concert at the Kennedy Center as well as a series of recitals on the theme of World War I, in New York City, Philadelphia and Cambridge, Massachusetts. has also been appointed Visiting Artist in Voice at the Longy School of Music in Boston.
A passionate interpreter of Baroque music, Thomas Meglioranza has performed with numerous period instrument ensembles, including the New York Collegium, American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Baroque Orchestra of Iowa and Trinity Consort. He has frequently collaborated with such Baroque luminaries as Andrew Parrott, Nicholas McGegan, Jane Glover, Richard Egarr, Nicholas Kraemer and Bernard Labadie.
Recently described in The New Yorker as “an unusually sensitive interpreter of English-language song,” Thomas Meglioranza is also in high demand for his illuminating performances of contemporary music. He recently gave the world premiere of Jorge Martin's song cycle, Plundered Hearts (commissioned for Thomas Meglioranza with the assistance of CAG) on his April 2003 debut program at Weill Recital Hall. In addition, the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music recently commissioned Pierre Jalbert to write a work for Meglioranza and Dutch soprano Judith van Wanroij (2006). Other recent new music performances include Milton Babbitt's Two Sonnets at Marlboro and at New York's Cooper Union under the supervision of the composer, John Adams' The Wound Dresser at the Tanglewood Festival for Contemporary Music with conductor Reinbert de Leeuw, the Japanese premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis' song cycle Brilliant Sky, Infinite Sky in Sapporo under the direction of the composer, and John Harbison's Words from Paterson at the Bowdoin Music Festival with Jeffrey Milarsky conducting. He has also given premiere performances of many orchestral songs written for him, including Jonathan Chenette's Broken Ground with the Des Moines Symphony and Gavin Chuck's Confiteor with the Ossia Orchestra. Other performances of contemporary music include the 2008 Tanglewood premiere of John Harbison's Symphony No. 5 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Peter Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King, and he is particularly associated with the music of Milton Babbitt, Aaron Jay Kernis, Charles Wuorinen, Derek Bermel, Jorge Martín, and John Adams.
On the operatic stage, Thomas Meglioranza’s portrayal of Don Giovanni with the Aspen Opera Theater and Julius Rudel, was hailed by the Denver Post as “a triumph.” Hghlights of other recent opera performances include Chicago Opera Theater's acclaimed production of L'Orfeo at the Brooklyn Academy of Music under Jane Glover, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas) with Atlanta’s New Trinity Baroque (now available on a critically acclaimed CD), and concert versions of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (Thésée) conducted by Andrew Parrott and Purcell’s King Arthur (all baritone roles) conducted by Bernard Labadie, both with the New York Collegium. His operatic repertoire includes W.A. Mozart's Count Almaviva and Don Giovanni, as well as many roles in modern works such as Chou En-Lai in John Adams' Nixon in China, Prior Walter in Péter Eötvös' Angels in America, and the title role in Gordon Shi-Wen Chin's Mackay - The Black Bearded Bible Man.
Thomas Meglioranza has made numerous appearances with orchestras in the USA, Europe, and Asia, including engagements with the Evansville Philharmonic (Messiah), Rochester Philharmonic (Paukenmesse), Prague Radio Symphony (L.v. Beethoven's Mass in C), Portland Baroque Orchestra (Messiah), and the Thai Royal Navy Orchestra (W.A. Mozart concert arias). He has also performed orchestral pops programs with the Charleston Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony and three times with the Cascade Festival Orchestra in Bend, Oregon. Highlights of his many other festival appearances include Marlboro, Tanglewood, Aspen, Ravinia, Bowdoin, the Pacific Music Festival, and most recently, a performance with the Waverly Consort and the Mark Morris Dance Group at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival.
Thomas Meglioranza is a frequent recitalist (most often with pianist Reiko Uchida). He is known for his unusual recital programs (e.g. Arnold Schoenberg and His American Pupils Cabaret), but also for talking to audiences from the stage. In 2007, he and Uchida recorded a CD of songs by Franz Schubert.
In 2009 Thomas Meglioranza was appointed Visiting Artist in Voice at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He currently resides in New York City, where his hobbies include pork cookery, running and martial arts.