“Leonard Slatkin has a reputation for off-the-radar programming, and that was made strikingly evident in his Carnegie Hall appearance with the Orchestre National de Lyon, for which he has served as music director since 2011. In 1910, Maurice Ravel was commissioned to write Antar, a suite based on Rimsky-Korsakov’s Symphony No. 2 (“Antar”) and other music, but Ravel’s score was never published and lay dormant, until the Lyon ensemble decided to resurrect it in 2014. But they went further, in effect creating a new piece by adding commissioned text from Amin Maalouf … Of course, it doesn’t hurt if said narrator is Thomas Hampson—a shrewd choice, since his boldly present singing voice is complemented by an equally boldly present speaking one. Slight amplification, expertly done—coupled with his impressive diction and projection—helped him ride just a few notches above the orchestra, as if he were the perfect bedtime-story-reader.”
Bruce Hodges – New York Classical Review
“Additionally, one could not hope for a better narrator than Thomas Hampson, who displayed all of the characteristics that make him one of the foremost American baritones of today. Imposing and refined in both manner and speech, his diction was impeccable to the point that the printed text was virtually unnecessary. Hampson’s lifetime of dedication to art song was apparent as he deliberately and dramatically delivered the lines of the story while subtly adapting his voice to suit each character. He equally embodied the personalities of the young and battle-eager Antar and the reproachful, loving Abla. In the final scene following Antar’s death, his delivery of the words, “…take comfort. Death too is a mirage” captured the visceral feelings of great joy and unyielding sorrow of one who has felt pure love and happiness but then lost everything to tragedy. One can only hope that Ravel’s Antar receives many more performances by the Orchestre National de Lyon, ideally with Thomas Hampson in the role of Narrator.”
Lauren Alfano – I Care If You Listen
“The narrator was the eminent baritone Thomas Hampson. He, of course, has a beautiful speaking voice, and read the text with immense feeling. The music by Rimsky-Korsakov was reminiscent of his “Scheherazade” with its Arabian Nights flavor.”
Barry Bassis – The Epoch Times
Between performances in the title role of Don Giovanni at Teatro alla Scala, Thomas Hampson travels to Prague to sing works by Mahler, Dvořák and more on May 25 with The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. Marek Štilec conducts the concert, which also includes selections by Bach, Schubert, and Bodorová. Tickets and additional information are available via TicketPortal.
Che tra i due ci fosse un legame speciale, con molti segreti e bugie, è risaputo. Ma che Leporello fosse il genero di Don Giovanni è un colpo di teatro da far vacillare persino due impudenti quali Mozart e Da Ponte. La sorprendente agnizione si manifesterà sabato sera alla Scala, quando nei due ruoli maschili chiave del titolo mozartiano, che torna con la direzione di Paavo Järvi e nell’edizione ideata da Robert Carsen per il 7 dicembre 2011, troveremo Thomas Hampson e Luca Pisaroni, baritoni di salda fama internazionale, nella vita uniti da Catherine, la bionda figlia di Thomas, che Luca conobbe nel 2003 a Salisburgo.
When did you start singing?
In the crib. Apparently, I was a very vocal baby 😉 … no seriously, I already sang as a child.
Why did you start singing?
I loved tunes and music always made sense to me.
Grande fermento a Milano per il Don Giovanni di Mozart, nella ripresa dell’allestimento di Robert Carsen che aprì la stagione scaligera 2010/2011. A pochi giorni dalla prima del 6 maggio, incontriamo il protagonista Thomas Hampson, artista di fama internazionale, che a coronamento di una lunga e duratura carriera, è al suo debutto operistico alla Scala. Il baritono statunitense ci parla del suo Don Giovanni, di come si diventa un cantante d’opera cosmopolita e del ruolo della musica e dell’arte in questo momento così difficile della storia contemporanea.
Heidelberg. In der Ausgabe vom 27. März forderten wir die Leser auf, auch Fragen an den Bariton und Künstlerischen Leiter der Lied Akademie, Thomas Hampson, zu richten. Aufgrund der vielen Verpflichtungen des Sängers, kam er erst jetzt dazu, sie zu beantworten. Weitergereicht hat sie unser Redakteur Matthias Roth, der auch die Auswahl der Fragen vornahm.
Thomas Hampson returned last night to La Scala, where he has been a regular presence in recital for almost three decades. Extraordinarily, he has never sung an opera in Milan, but next month he will finally make his operatic debut as Don Giovanni. Last night, however, a full theatre was eager to hear him once again in a repertoire that he owns: German song.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.