thomas florio

Thomas Florio

Vocal Performer

BM in Vocal Performance, May 2007

Interview

I'm currently singing full-time. After full-time engagements at the Hamburg State Opera and Theater Magdeburg in Germany, Im now working as a freelancer. I've sung at the Bavarian State Opera House (Germany), the National Opera of Lorraine (France), and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Finland), among others.

Living in Europe prevents me from getting back to JMU as often as I'd like, but I have been back a few times since I graduated in 2007. I performed with the Staunton Music Festival for three summers, from 2013-2015, which gave me the chance to see professors at the Festival and stroll around campus while I was in the area. I was also invited back to JMU  in 2014 to give a recital and a masterclass, which was an honor and a pleasure for me.  

My brother was also a JMU grad, and lived in Harrisonburg until his death in 2016; we held a memorial service for him at Lyndsey Funeral Home, and though they never met him, many of my former professors from the School of Music attended the service and reached out to me and my family. In that rather unexpected way, I discovered just how close a family the JMU School of Music truly is.  

During my sophomore year, the fall opera was a double bill - Suor Angelica (Puccini) and Monsieur Choufleuri (Offenbach). The budget was meager, and as far as I know, mostly went to pay for set creation. When the set arrived, though, it looked terrible. Fine enough construction, but the paint job was an embarrassment. Rather than accept sub-standard surroundings, the casts of both shows stayed up late into the night and repainted the entire set. I don't remember how long it took, or how late we were holed up in Wilson Hall, but I remember what a sense of pride every one of us took in the work we did together. 

Thanks to Facebook and other social media sites, my JMU friends and I have had no problem keeping up over the years despite the wide geographical distances between us. 

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