Ten Questions with Thomas Forde

Thomas Forde, Bass
Zuniga – Carmen

1.  Where were you born? Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Chicago, IL on the Northwest side of Chicago. My grandparents emigrated to this area from Ireland and a majority of my big Irish family still lives in the same neighborhood. 

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?

I would love to be in some sort of broadcasting. I love morning talk radio, so I think I would steer towards something on the radio side of things. I also love the anchorperson track for a career, so I would have explored broadcasting in another life. 

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…

The Tales of Hoffmann in college! 

4.  My favorite opera is…

I go back and forth on this one, but an expertly done “Eugene Onegin” is thrilling and heartbreaking. I love “The Crucible”, as well, as the music is set perfectly to the text.

5.  My favorite food to cook or eat is…

I love eating pizza and hotdogs. I am a child when it comes to eating, apparently. I generally cook healthier when not eating those foods. (Cheese curds in Madison!) 

6.  People would be surprised to know… 

As another side of my professional performing work, I work as a professional actor in Chicago, recently appearing in NBC’s “Chicago Fire”, Showtime’s “The Chi”, and a commercial for the A+E network. I also do HR management for a company called Hotel Rehabs.

7.  If I could travel anywhere, real or fantasy, I would travel to…

My next travel goals include going to Ireland to explore my lineage. Harry Potter world was a very cool fantasy come to life! 

8.  I like to binge-watch…

30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Rec, Brooklyn 99, Friday Night Lights 

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?

Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Joan Cusack (I think this would be quite the dinner). 

10.  Everyone should see Carmen because…. 

You’ll know the tunes. There’s a lot of action (think sword fights). The plot is easy to follow. It’s a classic, but realistic.

11.  Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).

Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve? 

A:When people talk loudly in the gym or use cell-phones to talk loudly on cardio equipment. There is nothing that drives me crazier than that!


Don’t miss the chance to see Thomas in Carmen, Bizet’s breathtaking opera. Performances are November 3 & November 5 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

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