Awards and Honors
Visiting Artists Roster, North Carolina Arts Council, 1989 and 1991-1994.
Bach Aria Institute Fellow (Stonybrook, NY), 1993.
National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards, District Winner, 1989.
New York Center for Contemporary Opera International Opera Competition, 2nd place, 1985.
Aria Italiana Competition (Philadelphia), Finalist, 1985.
Apprenticeship, Pennsylvania Opera Festival, Pittsburgh, 1983.
Plan Artist, Opera Company of Philadelphia.
- Angelina in Rossini's La Cenerentola
- Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia
President's Scholar at Temple University, 1979.
"Mezzo-soprano Diane Thornton, of Davidson College, could have inspired a stone to weep, so profoundly poignant was her lament for the dead in Part VI."
John W. Lambert, Classical Voice of North Carolina, performance of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, the Concert Singers of Cary and the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, April 2008.
"All four vocal soloists were in good form. Baritone John Williams and mezzo-soprano Diane Thornton can sing this music in their sleep, such is their familiarity with the score and Bach's style. Their performances flowed with an ingratiating ease."
Robert Workman, Winston-Salem Journal, performance of J.S. Bach's Magnificat, the Winston-Salem Symphony, March 2000.
"Some of the purest, almost stunningly brilliant singing came from the Three Ladies of Alexa Schlimmer, Anne Richie and Diane Thornton, whose voices were so beautifully matched that they more than justified the importance Mozart gave them."
Harold Farwell, Opera News, Mozart's Die Zauberflote, Greensboro Opera, March 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, Rossini's La Cenerentola, Piedmont Opera Theater, February 1991.
"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, Brahms' Alto Rhapsody, and Mahler's Symphony No. 3, combined Winston-Salem and North Carolina Symphonies, January 1987.