Ismaele in NABUCCO
"Russell Thomas, a tenor of gorgeously burnished power, and Jamie Barton, whose mezzo pours out like lava, are luxury casting as the star-crossed lovers, lsmaele (Israelite) and Fenena (sigh, Babylonian)."
–Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times
"The tenor Russell Thomas is an ardent and intelligent – so far as that is possible – lsmaele, the tenuous love interest of the opera... "
–Michael Tanner, Spectator
"Russell Thomas's Ismaele – another woefully underwritten role – showed impressive vocal heft."
–Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International
"Russell Thomas's bright, Italianate tenor was well-suited to the young soldier lsmaele... "
–Christopher Browner, Classical Source
"Jamie Barton and Russell Thomas are appealing as the lovers Fenena and Ismaele... As her counterpart, Thomas is more reliable, and equally expressive."
–Patrick Clement James, Parterre Box
"The too-small roles of Fenena, Nabucco's daughter, and her boyfriend Ismaele were cast from remarkable strength, with Jamie Barton as the former, particularly lovely in her final act cavatina, and Russell Thomas lending a strong tenor to the latter."
–Robert Levine, Bachtrack
"Russell Thomas was in fine voice as her lover Ismaele, finding a noble bearing and singing with robust, caramel tone."
–Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review