Elgan Llŷr Thomas


"...one of the most exciting British male talents to have emerged in recent years."


"The most vocally striking contribution comes from the promising Welsh tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas, who as Quint combines rich vibrant tone with handsome presence"

The Telegraph

"Bunyan may loom largest, but Johnny Inkslinger – a cipher for Auden himself – is the main focus, and here Elgan Llyr Thomas's tenor shone out as a real hope for the future"

The Guardian

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Welsh tenor Elgan Llyr Thomas is a current English National Opera Harewood Artist. He made his debut with ENO in 2018 as the Prologue/Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Engagements in the 2018-19 season include Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia (Opéra national de Bordeaux); Dr Richardson in the European premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves (Scottish Opera); Johnny Inkslinger Paul Bunyan (ENO at Wilton’s Music Hall); Normanno Lucia di Lammermoor (ENO) and Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress (Equilibrium Young Artists at the Ojai Festival in California and Aldeburgh Festival). Engagements in the 2019-20 season include his role debut as Nanki-Poo The Mikado (ENO).

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Dr Richardson, Breaking the Waves

Adelaide Festival, March 2020

…Dr Richardson (ravishing tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas)...

Diana Simmonds, Limelight, 14 March 2020

There was excellent work from those in the smaller roles, too, with… Elgan Llŷr Thomas, as Dr Richardson…

Barry Lenny, BroadwayWorld, 14 March 2020

The vocal accolades extend to… Elgan Llyr Thomas’s incisive tenor.

Xenia Hanusiak, Adelaide Review, 16 March 2020

Nanki-Poo, The Mikado

English National Opera, November 2019

The best singing of the night comes, unsurprisingly, from the young lovers, both ENO Harewood Artists, tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas as Nanki-Poo and soprano Soraya Mafi as Yum-Yum.

Paul Levy, ArtsJournal, 3 November 2019

In a bold move, the central couple are cast from ENO’s young talent scheme, Harewood Artists. Both singers deserve the spotlight: Elgan Llŷr Thomas is light and lyrical as the fresh-faced, kiss-curled Nanki-Poo...

Edward Bhesania, The Stage, 5 November 2019

...tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas as Nanki-Poo is a voice to listen out for.

Claudia Pritchard, CultureWhisper, 3 November 2019

Elgan Llŷr Thomas sets a new standard in the role with perhaps the most elegant voice yet to have attempted it.

Johnny Fox, Londonist, 7 November 2019

Dr Richardson, Breaking the Waves

Scottish Opera at Edinburgh International Festival, August 2019

… some of the best singing of the night comes from Elgan Llyr Thomas’s Dr Richardson, his high, crooned melismas an answer to the rough-and-tumble force of Duncan Rock’s Jan.

Alexandra Coughlan, The Spectator, 31 August 2019

… there’s some extraordinarily fine singing from Elgan Llyr Thomas as the sympathetic doctor, who for some reason has the melismatic strangeness of Britten’s Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw.

David Nice, The Arts Desk, 22 August 2019

… valiantly supported by Elgan Llyr Thomas as the doctor who tries to intervene to save Bess.

George Hall, The Stage, 22 August 2019

… Elgan Llyr Thomas adding another dimension to the supporting cast as Dr Richardson.

Keith Bruce, Herald Scotland, 22 August 2019

… Elgan Llŷr Thomas’ passionately sung Dr Richardson…

David Smythe, Bachtrack, 22 August 2019

Tom Rakewell, The Rake's Progress

Snape Maltings, June 2019

...she has picked three knockout performers. Elgan Llyr Thomas sang Tom Rakewell with terrific verve.

Richard Morrison, The Times, 24 June 2019

The cast was led by the young Welsh tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas as the feckless Tom, whose brightly lit tone swept through the score from the opening duet through to “death’s approaching wing”. Able to command facial expression with ease, whether shame, frustration or child-like naivety when incarcerated in Bedlam, Thomas gave a truly persuasive portrait and his attempt to define love was particularly touching.

David Truslove, Opera Today, 24 June 2019

...led in rapturous fashion by Elgan Llyr Thomas as Tom Rakewell. With a voice that's exquisitely modulated and flexible in creating character, this young tenor confirmed his status as one of the most exciting British male talents to have emerged in recent years.

Mark Valencia, Opera magazine, September 2019

Orchestra of Opera North cond. Martyn Brabbins / Orbin in Elgar's Caractacus

Hyperion CDA68254, release date April 2019

Elizabeth Llewellyn lends some lyrical respite to much of the forceful rhetoric of the work’s warrior spirit, one abundantly supplied by Caractacus’s impetuous son, Orbin, played by Elgan Llŷr Thomas. Both are also passionately equal to Elgar’s enthralling love duet in scene 3, a section that avidly confirms the operatic character of this rich score.

Jeremy Dibble, Gramophone, April 2019

Thomas and Llewellyn rise engagingly to their impassioned duet in scene three.

Daniel Jaffé, BBC Music Magazine, June 2019

Tom Rakewell, The Rake's Progress

Equilibrium Young Artists at La Monnaie, March 2019

First among equals, though, was the Welsh tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas, ideally cast as Tom Rakewell. His voice, charm and stage presence seem to destine him for a major career.

Nicolas Blanmont, Opera Magazine, August 2019

Normanno, Lucia di Lammermoor

English National Opera, October 2018

Elgan Llyr Thomas was wonderfully controlled and creepy as Normanno.

Planet Hugill, October 2018

....Elgan Llyr Thomas’s sneaky retainer Normanno and Sarah Pring’s Cassandra-like companion Alisa all fit admirably into the broader picture.

The Stage, October 2018

His oily factotum Normanno is sung with exemplary diction and finesse by Elgan Llŷr Thomas not as Scott’s military captain but as a snivelling jobsworth complete with briefcase and comb-over.

Bachtrack, October 2018

As Enrico’s retainer Normanno, Elgan Llyr Thomas sang superbly.

Mark Ronan, October 2018

Johnny Inkslinger, Paul Bunyan

English National Opera at Wilton's Music Hall, September 2018

Particularly lovely singing from Elgan Llŷr Thomas (Johnny Inkslinger).

The Telegraph, September 2018

Among the principals, Elgan Llŷr Thomas’ Johnny Inkslinger shone particularly brightly.

The Stage, September 2018

Elgan Llŷr Thomas is the latest discovery in a golden age of British tenors...he does the intellect of the Britten/Auden American myth, Johnny Inkslinger, and the most complex aria in the musical proud.

The Arts Desk, September 2018

The cast had huge enthusiasm. It’s invidious to pick out just a few, but the Welsh tenor Elgan Llyr Thomas as Inkslinger is plainly one for the future.

The Daily Mail, September 2018

Elgan Llŷr Thomas is a ENO Harewood Artist and was perfect as Johnny Inkslinger, the bookkeeper. Britten abruptly changes gear for this part, departing from operetta and lavishing out into grand opera: the voice of Peter Pears was clearly in his mind. Sir Peter would eventually perform the role at Aldeburgh, then on tour. But Llŷr Thomas is a good deal more handsome than Pears and emphatically more athletic of both voice and movement, while still successfully reproducing the unsurpassed Pears musicality.

Seen and Heard International, September 2018

Peter Quint, The Turn of the Screw

English National Opera at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, June 2018

But the most vocally striking contribution comes from the promising Welsh tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas, who as Quint combines rich vibrant tone with handsome presence.

The Telegraph, June 2018

And the real villain of the piece? Elgan Llŷr Thomas’ Peter Quint, chalk-faced and rusty-haired, kicked the fear factor up several gears. Perhaps it was the eerie stillness of his movements. Perhaps the way his glacial voice erupted in demented passion, bursts of savagery that were perfectly targeted and unpleasant to witness. Whatever the reason, Thomas made the role his own.

Backtrack, June 2018

Elgan Llŷr Thomas’s gimlet-eyed and glintingly sung Quint.

The Times, June 2018

Llŷr Thomas’s muscular, firmly defined tenor captured Quint’s viciousness and angry resentment; he was similarly imposing physically.

Opera Today, June 2018

Thomas’s Quint duly dominates the action with his interventions: his sound is both lean and ringing and he exudes a natural confidence.

The Stage, June 2018

Titorelli, The Trial

Scottish Opera, January 2017

Elgan Llŷr Thomas made a strong impression in the comic role of Titorelli the painter.

Seen and Heard International, January 2017

Nemorino, L'elisir d'amore

Scottish Opera, September 2016

At first sight her [Ellie Laugharne] 'upstairs' Adina and the 'downstairs' Nemorino of Elgan Llŷr Thomas made an unlikely couple, but Thomas, the latest beneficiary of the company's Emerging Artist's programme, gained in stature as the evening progressed. What impressed was his winning smile, the sweet simplicity of his vocal address and his Italianate colouring of the singing line (no affected swooping).

Opera magazine, September 2016

Scottish Opera's emerging artist Elgan Llŷr Thomas gives a persuasive and tender depiction of Adina's lover, Nemorino.

Herald Scotland, September 2016

Elgan Llŷr Thomas’ love struck Nemorino is as ardent and persistent as the testosterone tormenting his youthful body.

The Scotsman, September 2016

Elgan Llŷr Thomas is thoroughly appealing as our love-lorn hero Nemorino and his show-stopping Una furtiva lagrima is a real crowd-pleaser.

Glasgow Theatre Blog, September 2016

Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly

Bury Court Opera, March 2016

The youthful brightness and energy of Thomas's singing in Act 1 conveyed optimism rather than mere cockiness.

Opera magazine, March 2016

Elgan Llŷr Thomas performed Pinkerton as if he had been singing the role all his life.

Opera Now, March 2016

RNCM and Guildhall-trained Elgan Llyr Thomas was wholly sufficient both vocally and in the restrained acting the role requires. Pinkerton has to have poetry about him to match the poetic dreams of Butterfly, and offset the stolidity of the naval officer. All this was forthcoming.

Seen and Heard International, March 2016

Male Chorus, The Rape of Lucretia

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, February 2016

As the Male Chorus, Elgan Thomas reveals a striking tenor and excellent enunciation.

musicOMH, February 2016

Florindo, Le donne curiose

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, November 2015

…..while a chance to see Wolf-Ferrari’s patchily inspired comedy Le donne curiose (aka The Nosy Wives of Venice) very humorously staged at the Guildhall School was enriched by a natural Welsh lyric tenor, Elgan Thomas.

The Arts Desk, November 2015

Vocally, second-cast tenor Elgan Thomas steals the show here: he’s a fully-fledged tenore di grazia who can both grandstand, at least as much as the composer lets him, and sing sweet, soft nothings as girlfriend Rosaura (Nicola Said) hands him the lunchtime plates to dry.

The Arts Desk, November 2015

Macduff, Macbeth

Opra Cymru, September 2013

The emotional peak is the lament by Elgan Thomas, as Macduff, over the deaths of his family.

TheatreWales.co.uk, September 2013

Johnny Inkslinger, Paul Bunyan

Welsh National Youth Opera, August 2013

Bunyan may loom largest, but Johnny Inkslinger – a cipher for Auden himself – is the main focus, and here Elgan Llyr Thomas's tenor shone out as a real hope for the future.

The Guardian, August 2013

Elgan Llyr Thomas is highly convincing as Johnny Inkslinger

The Arts Desk, August 2013

As Johnny Inkslinger, the intellectual drawn into the business world, Elgan Llyr Thomas gave a performance of high intelligence in a well-controlled and purposeful light tenor voice.

Seen and Heard International, August 2013

Elgan Llyr Thomas makes an impeccable Jonny Inkslinger; the independent wannabe novelist who arrives at Paul Bunyan’s logging camp in search of food.

The Good Review, August 2013

Title role, Albert Herring

Royal Northern College of Music, December 2011

Elgan Thomas is an outstanding Albert. He makes the role very much his own…. A dark inner rage colours Thomas's robust tenor; he becomes menacing in his cups; and he finally delivers a full-frontal Freudian verbal assault on his unsuspecting mother.

The Times, December 2011

Elgan Thomas as Albert was outstanding as singer and actor, portraying both the role of conformist, browbeaten son of the opening acts, as well as the wayward who goes on a spree with his prize money, to near perfection. His strong tenor voice had the requisite clarity to go along with his acted conviction.

Seen and Heard International, December 2011

But the singers are the main thing, in particular Elgan Thomas. The young Welshman has a very fine tenor timbre, and his acting made Albert into someone who, though put-upon, had steel in his soul and was nobody's fool.

Manchester Theatre Awards, December 2011

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