The John Christie Award 2018 Winner: William Thomas

The winner of the John Christie Award for 2018 is 23-year-old British bass William Thomas. The announcement was made from the stage at the Glyndebourne Opera House during Glyndebourne Chairman Gus Christie’s traditional last-night speech.

The John Christie Award is described as Glyndebourne’s most prestigious award and has been supported by the Musicians’ Company since its inception; the award celebrated its fiftieth year in 2015. William Thomas joins a distinguished list of past winners including Ryland Davies, Richard Van Allan, Linda Esther Gray, Sir John Tomlinson, Gerald Finley, Alfie Boe, Kate Royal, and recent young opera stars Duncan Rock and Louise Alder.

William Thomas was the winner of the 2018 Kathleen Ferrier Award. He has studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the guidance of John Evans and joins the GSMD Opera Course in September 2018. Will is currently a member of the Glyndebourne Chorus as a Jerwood Young Artist and performed the role of Nicholas in Barber’s Vanessa in the current season. He recently performed the bass role in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Lyon under Leonard Slatkin. Will also covered the roles of Il Tempo and Antinoo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with the Royal Opera at the Roundhouse. Will made his debut for Garsington Opera in 2017 as the Shepherd in Pelléas et Mélisande and also covered the role of High Priest in Semele. Will performed in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music at the Birmingham Symphony Hall with the CBSO and sang with the Monteverdi Choir in August 2017 at the BBC Proms and Festival Berlioz in France.