Mar 03, 2013
Beginning March 11, Thomas Hampson gives his company role debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera as the treacherous Iago in Verdi’s Otello (five performances through March 30). Hampson first sang the role at Zurich Opera in fall 2011, and it joins other key Verdi roles – including Simon Boccanegra and, last season, Macbeth – that Hampson has sung in recent seasons at the Met. Hampson joins Argentinian tenor José Cura (Otello) and Krassimira Stoyanova (Desdemona) for this, Verdi’s penultimate opera, which received its triumphant world premiere (20 curtain calls for the composer!) at Milan’s La Scala in February 1887. Hampson discusses his first Met Iago in the commentary that follows:
I am tremendously excited to be returning to the Met again this season. Last year, we celebrated 25 years since my debut with the company, and I was deeply moved by their show of affection for me and for their years of generous support. To sing in a Met Otello is a milestone in any singer’s career, and I’ve waited for quite some time to sing Iago because I think you need a lot of experience with other Verdi roles to begin to understand it. I’ve come to really love this role, which I was very afraid of at first. But it really fits my vocal and theatrical abilities, perhaps even better than some of the other bigger Italian repertoire that I’ve done at the Met. José Cura and I have done these roles together often, including last season in Zurich. He’s a very dynamic, unpredictable, and exciting performer on stage, and one of the nicest colleagues you can work with. Krassimira Stoyanova is an old friend and one of my closest colleagues in the business. We’ve worked together frequently in Europe and she is one of the most beautiful and classy singers in the business today. If you really want to learn about singing, just listen to what she can do. Our conductor is Alain Altinoglu, a shooting star if there ever was one – he is very energetic and extremely capable. I’ve seen this classic Met production many times, and look forward to what promises to be an extremely gratifying experience for both the performers and audience alike.
Thomas Hampson is a featured contributor to the newly launched platform MUSAIC, from the New World Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Hampson and other acclaimed artists, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, are featured in various site content including master classes, interviews, and more. Watch and learn today at musaic.nws.edu!
On July 8, Thomas Hampson is a featured artist in an Opera Gala concert, hosted at the Opernhaus Düsseldorf. This special annual event, presented by the Friends of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, includes the talents of the Duisburger Philharmoniker and Deutsche Oper am Rhein chorus, led by Axel Kober. Other soloists for the evening are Lavinia Dames, Luiza Fatyol, and Maria Kataeva, on a programme that includes operatic highlights by Rossini, Mozart, Verdi, and more. A limited number of seats remain for this extraordinary summer concert – purchase your tickets at the following link!
Mr. Hampson sings a recital as part of the Munich Festspiel on June 28. Accompanied by pianist Wolfram Rieger, the Mahler cycle Des Knaben Wunderhorn will be performed in its entirety. Composed at the turn of the century, Mahler set this collection of anonymous German folk poems to music, originally written for either soprano or baritone. Mr. Hampson and Mr. Rieger are well-known for their interpretation of this cycle, and have performed it numerous times together in premiere international venues. For example, the pair interpreted the cycle in 2002 in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet, which can be viewed via YouTube. A few years later, Mr. Hampson discussed the importance of the cycle as an Artist-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic in this discussion.
Hampson and Rieger’s upcoming performance will be held at the Nationaltheater, in the heart of Munich.
On June 16, 17 & 18, Thomas Hampson is the featured soloist with the Orquesta Nacional de España, under the direction of David Afkham. The concert programme is titled “The Origin of the Future” and highlights selections from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn as well as Schoenberg’s Pelleas et Melisande, Op. 5. Tickets: ocne.mcu.es/programacion/el-origen-del-futuro
This summer, Thomas Hampson and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni reunite for their acclaimed “No Tenors Allowed” programme. They perform with the Gewandhausorchester at the Open Air-Bühne im Rosental on June 23 & 24 under the baton of Alexander Shelley. The programme includes selections by Rossini, Mozart, Massenet, Gounod, and more.
Sony Classical will release a DVD/blu-ray recording of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, starring Thomas Hampson as the Four Villains. Recorded last autumn at London’s Royal Opera House, Mr. Hampson is joined by Vittorio Grigòlo in the title role, Sonya Yoncheva is Antonia, Kate Lindsey sings Nicklausse, Christine Rice is Giulietta, and Sofia Fomina is Olympia, with Maestro Evelino Pidò leading from the pit. The production by John Schlesinger premiered to enthusiastic reviews in 1980, and is revered for its rich and enduring portrayal of Offenbach’s opera.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.