Praised for his “mahogany-timbred” voice and “imposing presence” (Opera News), American Bass Wm. Clay Thompson is gaining recognition in major festivals, opera houses, and competitions, both nationally and internationally. He recently joined the Filene Artists at Wolf Trap Opera for the 2020 season in virtual performances of arias and scenes from Eugene Onegin (Prince Gremin) and The Rake's Progress (Nick Shadow). He is a two-time Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions as well as a Semi-Finalist in the 2020 Fort Worth Opera McCammon Voice Competition.
Mr. Thompson was a Resident Artist at Minnesota Opera from 2017-2019 where he covered leading roles and performed Dottore Grenvil in La traviata, French General in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night, Crébillon in La rondine, Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, Second Prison Guard in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Palémon in Thaïs, and Charles Comiskey in the world premiere of Joel Puckett's The Fix.
Following two seasons at Minnesota Opera, he sang the roles of Harašta, The Poacher in E. Loren Meeker’s production of The Cunning Little Vixen, Father Palmer in Silent Night, and Gladhand in Francesca Zambello’s production of West Side Story at The Glimmerglass Festival in the 2018 season. He returned to The Glimmerglass Festival in 2019 where he performed in all new productions as the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, Suleyman Pasha in John Corgliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, and Dottore Grenvil in La traviata.
Mr. Thompson later made his European debut in the role of Suleyman Pasha at the Château de Versailles Spectacles. He premiered the role of Suleyman Pasha in addition to Benoit and Alcindoro in La bohème, and Yakuside in Madama Butterfly as a Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera for their 2016 and 2017 seasons. Other career highlights include Zuniga in Carmen with Fort Worth Opera, Colline in La bohème with SOO Opera Theatre, Raymond Buck in the world premiere of JFK with Fort Worth Opera, and Billy Jackrabbit in La fanciulla del West with Kentucky Opera. As a Young Artist at the Seagle Music Colony he performed the roles of Olin Blitch in Susannah, Mordred in Camelot, and the Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring.
Mr. Thompson attended the University of North Texas where he performed the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Daniel Webster in Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All, and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni. With the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre his roles included Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, and Police Sergeant The Pirates of Penzance.
Upcoming roles include; Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia with An Opera Theatre, Leporello in Don Giovanni with Minnesota Opera, and Zuniga in Carmen with Arizona Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.