Edmonds’ parallel career was in teaching. He graduated from Adelaide University and Adelaide Teachers College with a diploma of teaching and education and a bachelor of arts degree. In 1961, he was on the founding staff of Westminster School in Marion and became its deputy headmaster in 1965.
Edmonds studied with Arnold Matters and won several major prizes (Australian National Eisteddfod Operatic Aria competition (1969) and the Shell Aria award) before spending six years in Britain. Building international renown, he appeared in oratorios, concerts, and many operas, including Mozart’s Don Giovanni (as Don Ottavio) and the abduction from the Seraglio (as Belmonte). He sang regularly for the B.B.C. and performed roles with the English Opera Group including the world premiere performances of Britten’s Death in Venice at Festivals in Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Venice, Brussels and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
He won eight successive grand finals of the Showcase television series (from 1968).
Edmonds returned to Australia in 1976 and performed principal roles in Gilbert & Sullivan seasons in four capital cities. As Ralph Rackstraw, Edmonds was in the State Opera of South Australia’s production of HMS Pinafore, with Dennis Olsen and Judith Henley, the first ever simulcast on radio and television nationally by the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
Edmonds peformed regularly on radio and television and made ten LP records with RCA, including Songs of the Open Road, Serenade in Italy and Gilbert & Sullivan Highlights.
He received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1982 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). He was the Adelaide Critics Circle 2013 lifetime achievement award winner.
He retired in 1994 and lives in the Adelaide Hills with his wife, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Campbell.
- The Voice of Thomas Edmonds
- Wonderful Day, with Thomas Edmonds
- Thomas Edmonds on Tour
- Songs of the Open Road
- Remember with Thomas Edmonds
- Thomas Edmonds Sings Opera
- Serenade in Italy
- Thomas Edmonds Sings Songs of Faith
- By Request
- Gilbert & Sullivan Highlights