Thomas Lo Monaco

27 March 1922 New York City – 21 January 2012

Picture of Tommy Lo Monaco with Peter Strummer
Tommy Lo Monaco (right) with Peter Strummer
Thomas Lo Monaco was taught by Douglas Stanley. After singing two minor roles on Broadway (one in 1944, the other one or two years later), Lo Monaco started singing opera in the late 1940s. He had a contract to sing in Germany (Karlsruhe) as a first tenor. Very quickly he was relegated to comprimario roles. He returned to the States and sang principal tenor roles with companies such as the Ruffino Opera Company, a company paid for by a business man to allow his wife to sing opera. James Hanrahan went to hear a Tosca, and reported that the tenor (Thomas Lo Monaco) had a large wobble during the whole performance. In the early 1960s, Lo Monaco decided it was time to teach singing. Lo Monaco taught Shirley and Hadley, both lost their voices. Lo Monaco also taught, on a far lower professional level, Silver and Sloman, who both had terrible voices and techniques.

While Lo Monaco is described as a charming person by those who knew him, he left behind, upon retiring and closing down his voice studio, an absolutely toxic group of ex-students, whose mutual aggressions had to be seen to be believed. At one point, Historical Tenors was even contacted by someone who, under a false name, pretended to be a voice teacher whose students had been threatened by some of Lo Monaco's students, and wanted Historical Tenors to publish distorted recordings of Tommy Lo Monaco. Of course this was rejected.

Thomas Lo Monaco sings Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
In RA format

Thomas Lo Monaco sings Marechiare
In RA format

Thomas Lo Monaco sings Otello: Dio, mi potevi scagliar
In RA format

Thomas Lo Monaco sings Otello: Niun mi tema
In RA format
I wish to thank James Hanrahan for the recordings and Peter Strummer for the picture.

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