Don Jose in CARMEN
Canadian Opera Company
"The chemistry between [Rachvelishvili] and the naive soldier Don Jose, played by tenor Russell Thomas, was compelling throughout. In particular, the love-hate relationship between them moved beyond the ne'er do well gypsy cliches... Thomas's voice was most intense in moments of heightened drama and his tone nodded toward a young Pavarotti."
-Michael Vincent, Star
"His delivery of the flower song had a truly anguished, desperate edge. His burly presence adds to the character's visceral quality."
–Michael Johnson, ConcertoNet
"Thomas was especially interesting in his portrayal of Don Jose... Thomas gave Don Jose a lot of strength – often he's played as a momma's boy betrayed by his genitals with one of Carmen's come-hither stares. Thomas, with his magnificent tenor voice and commanding stage presence, gave us a Jose more sure of himself at the beginning of the opera, and therefore more conscious of his degradation at its end."
–Robert Harris, Globe and Mail
“The tenor Russell Thomas nearly matched [Rachvelishvili] in the volume department, and his Flower Song was beautifully sung…”
–Joseph So, Opera Magazine