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Thomas Bogdan (Tenor)

Born: USA

The American tenor, Thomas Bogdan, received a Bessie Award as a member of Meredith Monk's Vocal Ensemble and has appeared as soloist with opera companies, choruses, symphony orchestras and at music festivals throughout the USA. In 1987 he performed at the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival.

During the mid 1980's, Thomas Baogda, who had made his name as an interpreter of the Baroque repertory and branched out into the pop arena, represents a striking departure from the normal run of ''classical crossover'' singer. He was a fairly conventional legit singer until his musical life was "re-invented" when he began working with Meredith Monk in 1990. Reviews of his classical career repeatedly attest to the sweetness and expressiveness of his voice and the vibrant color, drama and emotion he brought to the poetry he sang. Deborah Jowitt (The Village Voice), reviewing "Tell Me the Truth About Love," called the work "a recital shaped with rare sensitivity into a theater piece" and Bogdan "more than a fine tenor. He shapes a song with body, soul, and subtle intellect." In recent years he has championed such songs. With his colleague Harry Huff, a pianist, and the director Terry Creach, Bogdan has put together a new music-theater cabaret show, "Crossing-Over," which opened on Thursday night at the Club at La MaMa, the storied East Village theater and cabaret still going strong at 40.

Thomas Bogdan has recorded on ECM, Electra, Catalyst, Columbia, Vox Premier and Turnabout Records. He has previously explored the unique niche of cross over singing in his eclectic cabaret show as well as two theater pieces, "Tell Me the Truth About Love" and "L'Amour Bleu." Both were presented by Danspace Project in NYC and the last, subtitled "a gay celebration of love in song," is offered on CD.

Thomas Bogdan is on the faculty of Bennington College.

Stephen Holden (The New York Times), reviewing a cabaret show by Bogdan at Horn of Plenty, chronicled the evolution of the singer as one who had made his name as a young Baroque singer and successfully located a "middle ground between the formal refinement of the Baroque aria and the more freewheeling, idiomatic manner of contemporary pop." He elaborated, "Endowed with a pure, quivering high tenor that shades into an even more ethereal countertenor, he turns pop songs into almost Baroque-style arias."
Stephen Andrews (LGNY), reviewing the CD release of "L'Amour Bleu," called Bogdan "a unique talent who defies easy classification as a singer and performance artist," adding, "Certainly he's the only tenor I know of who can do Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion' one night, Peter Allen the next, and a Meredith Monk show the following evening." Distinguishing Bogdan from practitioners of too-familiar naive gay musical happenings, he wrote, "Naiveté is surely not a problem for Bogdan--his creation goes so far afield that he pretty much breaks the mold of gay performance art. He achieves this with a vivid imagination and the help of some of the big guns of musical creation ."

Source: La MaMa Website (2001-2002); New York Times Website (September 1986)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Fiora Contino


BWV 243, BWV 244 [2nd, Evangelist]

James Fankhauser


BWV 12, BWV 120

Dwight Oltman


BWV 110, BWV 182, BWV 244 [3rd]

Links to other Sites

La MaMa E.T.C.

Pop: Thomas Bogdan Sings (NY Times) [Sep 1986]

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