Diane B Thornton 

Vocal Instructor


"The soloists, soprano Louise Toppin and contralto Diane Thornton, also were excellent, both weaving their strong voices into the rich musical tapestry in a way that was clear without standing too far apart from the whole. Thornton in particular, I thought, did an amazing job from her first entry of projecting her voice even as she held back the decibels. I've heard too many divas (or recording engineers?) fail to achieve this restraint."
John McDaniel, Hickory Record, April 28, 2015 performance of Mahler 2nd Resurrection
 Symphony by the Western Piedmont Symphony and Hickory Choral Society

"The fourth movement is one of the most beautiful and inspiring songs Mahler ever wrote - 'Urlicht' (Primal Light). Sung in pianissimo and very low register, the contralto soloist sings 'I am from God and would return to God!' -the first hint of Mahler's realization of resurrection. Ms. Thornton sang this with absolute beauty and control."
W. Gerald Cochran, FOCUS online, April 30, 2015 performance of
 Mahler 2nd Resurrection Symphony by the Western Piedmont Symphony and Hickory Choral Society

"The vocal contributions of the guest soloists and the Hickory Choral Society gave the last two movements of the symphony their trademark ethereal, supernatural quality. Louise Toppin, soprano, and Diane Thornton, contralto, approached the work with the musical maturity necessary for presenting the very heart of the 80-minute work. The duet section was especially touching." 
Chelsea Stith, Classical Voice North Carolina, April 25, 2015 performance of Mahler 2nd Resurrection 
Symphony by the Western Piedmont Symphony and Hickory Choral Society

"The Concert Choir and Thornton... were both in top form as the piece unfolded, and by the third stanza, after an orchestral interlude where Thornton made her entrance, I was holding back sobs.  By the time she concluded, five lines into the fourth stanza, I had given in."

from Davidson's Concert Choir and Soloists Effectively mix the UK and USA in "Atlantic Crossings," a review by Perry Tannenbaum on CVNC:  An Online Arts Journal in North Carolina, November 19, 2012.

" Diane Thornton, singing the solos for both pieces, performed admirably, with a richness of tone and a subtlety of texture that blended well with the orchestra. Her voice is deep, well controlled and perhaps most important in the face of so huge an orchestra, strong." -Jonathan Edwards, Winston-Salem Journal, performance of Brahms' Alto Rhapsody and Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Winston-Salem Symphony, January 12, 1987

 "The cast has no weak links. Among the strongest were Thornton as Quickly" -Gordon Sparber, Winston-Salem Journal  as Dame Quickly in Falstaff w/ Greensboro Opera, November 10, 1996

"Thornton was solid, her comic timing good." -Harold Farwell, Opera News as Dame Quickly in Falstaff w/ Greensboro Opera, March 8, 1997

"Some of the purest, almost stunningly brilliant singing came from the Three Ladies, whose voices were so beautifully matched that they more than justified the importance Mozart gave them." - Harold Farwell, Opera News as Third Lady in Die Zauberflote w/ Greensboro Opera, March 18, 1995

“Nowhere was Gately's madcap hilarity more apparent than in the constant tug-of-war between Alice Pierce and Diane Basgall Thornton as the stepsisters in a kind of unfailingly amusing Lucy Ricardo-Ethel Mertz slapstick."  -Carl J. Halperin, Opera News, in a performance of Rossini's La Cenerentola by Piedmont Opera Theater,  February 2, 1991

"This is a wonderful vehicle for Ms. Thornton’s rich voice and explores the upper and lower registers as well as the silken middle."  -Tim Lindeman, Triad Style, performance with the Bel Canto Company 

"In two smaller roles, Diane Basgall Thornton and Alphie Guess are strong. As Alisa, the hand-wringing confidant to Lucia, Ms. Thornton gave a tidy, well-sung performance.” -Dean Smith, Winston-Salem Journal, Piedmont Opera Theater production of Lucia di Lammermoor, September 18 1998

“Diane Thornton as Giovanni’s landlady displayed a big, beautiful mezzo voice.” -Michael Smith, The Day (New London, CT), performance of Dennison’s Rappaccini’s Daughter, August 19,  1984