TROTTER, Thomas R. "Tommy" Thomas (Tommy) R. Trotter died January 18, 2017, after a brief illness in Honolulu, HI. At the time of his demise he was a graduate student in the Department of Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa nearing the end of his two-year program. In a career spanning more than twenty five years, Tommy performed over 50 different operatic roles with major opera companies across North America, including New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Washington National Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Pittsburgh Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Arizona Opera, and Hawaii Opera Theater, among many others. Noted for his keen vocal and dramatic skills, Tommy's work garnered rave reviews from media publications ranging from Opera News to the American Record Guide to New York magazine to the Honolulu Advertiser. The Toledo Blade praised his performance as Peter Quint in The Tum of the Screw, noting "(Trotter's) clarion voice and fine diction allowed every word to be understood. So too his physical presence - ever so slightly contorted in carriage and disembodied in effect - carried with it great uneasiness." Recently he has appeared as the Governor and Vanderdendur in Candide with Georgia Perimeter College, Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd with Shreveport Opera, and Li'I Bat in Susannah with New York Opera Project. Equally compelling on the concert stage, Tommy's appearances included Carmina Burana with Youngstown Symphony and Anchorage Symphony, An Evening of Italian Opera" with the Albany GA Symphony, a concert of Britten, Schubert, and Quilter at the Garth Newel Music Center, Handel's Semele with the New York Choral Symphony Society, and the Mozart Requiem with the Bangor Symphony and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony. He also sang with the L'Orchestre de Beaux Arts, in Paris and at Notre Dame Cathedral. Tommy's work garnered him numerous awards. Among these are the Richard Gold Career Grant from New York City Opera, World Finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition, First Prize in the Florida Grand Opera Voice Competition, Second Prize in the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, and Finalist in the Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria. Tommy was born September 11, 1964, in Atlanta, GA and was reared and schooled in Avondale Estates, GA. He was an alumnus of the University of Georgia and was proud of his participation in The Red Coat Band as first trumpet. He returned to Atlanta from New York City in October of 2007 to attend to the needs of his now deceased partner, Holton Mastin. At that time, he established a private vocal studio as well as accepting singing engagements around the country. Following graduate school it was his desire to teach at a college or university on the vocal faculty. Tommy is survived by his aunt, Mrs. Donie Driver of Commerce, GA, his oldest living brother and wife, Byron and Elaine Trotter of Brunswick, GA, and a second brother and wife, The Rev. Russell (Rusty) and Laura Trotter of Franklin, Tennessee. He is also survived by his husband, Cecil R. Benoit, Ph. D. who accompanied Tommy to Hawaii during his studies. Other survivors on his husband's side include his step-son and wife, Joel and Carla Benoit of Lawrenceburg, KY, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Marie Blazevich of Pembrook Pines, FL. With Tommy's death, we have lost a beautiful voice, an excellent teacher, a dear friend to many, and a much beloved husband! A memorial service will be held on March 17 at 2:00 PM at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 435 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers his husband requests a gift to your favorite charity in Tommy's name.
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