But pop-star affectations are just a gloss on a seriously accomplished artist… To everything Aláan sings, he brings an uncanny richness and power...
Newcity: Street Smart Chicago
Countertenor Thomas Aláan has a powerful voice and is extraordinary as the petulant and cruel Nerone.
Nero was sung by countertenor Thomas Aláan who has a voice of great agility and expressiveness... the farewell duet between Nero and Poppea... was highly charged vocally and erotic in its beauty and delivery.
The Well-Tempered Ear
Nerone (Nero) was Thomas Aláan... His voice is incredibly powerful, and he was able to color it both menacing and seductive... There was a stretch of several minutes where it seemed that… Aláan and Engstrom were oblivious that anything existed other than their singing. The union of instruments and voices, the whole throbbing with drama, is quite simply the kind of experience that is the goal of opera, for both composer and audience.
What Greg Says
Simply stole the show with his unearthly round tone and singular power
Communities Digital News
Artful and moving... rendered with dynamic precision
Communities Digital News
Soaring sound... simmering singing... heartfelt
Hyde Park Herald
Traced ornate melodies... with excellent timing and intonation.
The Elgin Review
Incredible diction... significant and clean upper register.
Owner of a glorious countertenor voice.
Critically acclaimed stellar [Chicago Tribune] countertenor Thomas Aláan has been praised as a seriously accomplished artist [Newcity: Street Smart Chicago] on both the concert and theater stages. His glorious countertenor voice [Herald Times] has been acclaimed as possessing great agility and expressiveness [The Well-Tempered Ear], incredible diction and a significant and clean upper register [The Post-Journal], excellent timing and intonation [Elgin Review), and and unearthly round tone and singular power [Communities Digital News] that he is able to color both menacing and seductive [WhatGregSays]. His interpretations have been called extraordinary [Isthmus], highly charged vocally and erotic in its beauty and delivery [The Well-Tempered Ear], heartfelt... with soaring sound... and simmering singing [Hyde Park Herald], and both artful and moving [Communities Digital News]. To everything… he brings an uncanny richness and power [Newcity: Street Smart Chicago].
Thomas has performed across the United States as a soloist with dozens of ensembles and orchestras including Alchymy Viols, Ars Antigua, Bella Voce Camerata, Bach Cantata Vespers, Charlottesville Early Music Access Project, Credo, Elgin Master Chorale, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Helios Ensemble, Mountainside Baroque, Musikanten Montana, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and Schola Antiqua. As a soloist and as part of Chicago’s Bach and Beethoven Experience, he has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Bach and Beyond Baroque Early Music Festival, the Baroque on Beaver Island Festival, the Wicker Park Music Festival, and the Bloomington Early Music Festival. He’s been heard on WGN Radio (Up Late with Patti Vasquez, Nocturnal Journal), WNPR (The Midday), WFMT (The Midnight Special, Midday), and Chicago Irish Radio, and has interviewed with Early Music America, Huffington Post, and 98.7 WFMT. In 2016, he (re)created the role of Patie in Allan Ramsay's opera, The Gentle Shepherd, last seen in North America in 1798.
Thomas is a national finalist in the Classical Singer Magazine Vocal Competition for emerging professionals, and a national semi-finalist in The American Prize for his interpretation of art song. His recordings include Vivaldi’s solo cantata, Stabat mater dolorosa, for Biretta Books, Haydn’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Elgin Master Chorale and Symphony Orchestra, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and An Appalachian Summer and A Gaelic Summer with the Bach and Beethoven Experience.
Outside of singing, Thomas divides his time in Chicago as Executive Director of the Bach and Beethoven Experience; as Director of Women’s Schola and Assistant Conductor of Choirs at Holy Name Cathedral; and as a sustainability educator and professional at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He teaches private voice, and has presented talks on singing and pedagogy, vocal rhetoric, interdisciplinary collaboration, and entrepreneurship in the arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Helena Music Teachers Association, DePaul University, and through the Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Art Business Entrepreneurship Workshop.
Thomas is a Paul J. Collins Fellow at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where he is pursuing a DMA in Voice Performance with Jim Doing. His research focuses on the performance practice and ornamentation of Sean-nòs singers. He received his MA in Vocal Pedagogy under renowned author and pedagogue, Joan Wall, at Texas Woman's University, and his BA in Music Education from Alderson-Broaddus University. He has studied with Sheri Greenawald, Mark Crayton, Ellen Hargis, Elizabeth Parker, Max von Egmond, Ann Baltz, David Brock, Beverly Hoch, Linda Poetschke, and Lewis Hall.
He loves Starbucks, donuts, and cats.
Aestas Consort, Are Antigua, Bella Voce Camerata, Bach Cantata Vespers, Credo, Vox 3 Collective, Elgin Master Chorale and Elgin Symphony, Helios Ensemble, Janus Ensemble, Mountainside Baroque, Musikanten Montana, Opus 327, Rookery, The Rooks, Schola Antiqua
Bach and Beyond Baroque Festival
Baroque on Beaver Music Festival
Bloomington Early Music Festival
Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Series
Wicker Park Festival
Competitions & Awards
Classical Singer Magazine, Emerging Artist (Finalist)
The American Prize, Art Song Division (Semifinalist)
Stabat mater dolorosa (Vivaldi; CD on Pathway Books)
Gloria and Requiem (Vivaldi & Haydn; Elgin Symphony & Master Chorale)
Messiah (International Broadcast; Holy Name Cathedral)
A Cajun Summer (Bach and Beethoven Experience)
Media Appearances & Interviews
Chicago Irish Radio
Early Music America
Irish American Radio
The Midday with Normal Gilliland (WPR Radio)
Nocturnal Journal with Dave Hoekstra (WGN Radio)
The Times of Northwest Indiana
Up Late with Patti Vasquez (WGN Radio)
Windy City Times
Conducting & Directing
Executive/Co-Director, Bach and Beethoven Experience
Director of Women’s Schola, Assistant Conductor, Holy Name Cathedral
DMA, Voice Performance, University of Wisconsin - Madison (2021)
Certificate, Emerging Nonprofit, The Law Project
MA, Vocal Pedagogy, Texas Woman’s University
BA, Music Education, Alderson-Broaddus University
Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College
Baroque Performance Institute
American Institute of Musical Studies
Teachers: Jim Doing, Sheri Greenawald, Mark Crayton, Elizabeth Parker, Ellen Hargis, Joan Wall, Max von Egmond, Ann Baltz, Elvia L. Puccinelli, David Brock, Beverly Hoch, Linda Poetschke, Lewis Hall
B Minor Mass (Bach)
Brich dem hungrigen dein Brot, BWV 39 (Bach)
Erfreut euch, ihr herzen, BWV66 (Bach)
Ich habe genug, BWV 82 (Bach)
Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, BWV 169 (Bach)
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 180 (Bach)
Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170 (Bach)
Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54 (Bach)
Chichester Psalms (Bernstein)
Bringt her dem Herren (Buxtehude)
Mass in F minor (Biber)
Rejoice in the Lamb (Britten)
Membra Jesu nostri (Buxtehude)
Biblical Songs (Dvořák)
4 Songs for Voice and Voice (Holst)
Wer ist der so Edom Kömmet (Knüpfer)
Gott, sei mir gnädig (Kuhnau)
Coronation Mass (Mozart)
Mass in C (Mozart)
Carmina Burana (Orff)
Stabat Mater (Pärt)
Stabat Mater (Pergolesi)
Oratorio de Noël (Saint-Saëns)
Machet die Thore weit (Schelle)
In te, Domine, speravi (Schütz)
Stabat Mater dolorosa (Vivaldi)
Along the fields (R.V. Williams)
Five Mystical Songs (R.V. Williams)
Nerone in L'incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)
L'humana Fragilità in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi)
Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten)
Patie in The Gentle Shepherd (Ramsay)
Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck)
Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
Tancredi in Tancredi (Rossini)
the filleadh abhaile project
Looking “to get back home” to his Irish roots, Thomas is back in school and researching traditional Irish music and Sean-nós singing. His filleadh abhaile project documents his research in this area and growth as a performer of traditional Irish music.