The end of another year – this one, as you know, a Mozart, Shostakovich, and “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” year – inevitably invites us to reflect on the relationships between our own lives and the works of art we’ve had the privilege of listening to – or performing – during the past twelve months. They influenced our thoughts, the things we did, and maybe should have done, they influenced our lives, the people we met, the friendships we formed. Great works of art often inspire profound questions about our lives, whether they be personal or of the world we live in, and bolster us in the knowledge we need to choose right paths and vistas.
My “2006”, has been a year full of very different musical challenges: from the enormous success of the “Song of America” recital tour, presented in collaboration with the Library of Congress, to the “Wunderhorn” Week at the Heidelberger Frühling Festival, to Salzburg’s Mozart celebrations and “Don Giovanni”, to new productions of Busoni’s “Doktor Faust” in Zurich and Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s “Arabella” here in Vienna. A new dimension this year is the very much increased multimedia presence that accompanied all of these projects.
2007 looks to promise some exciting challenges starting with performances of “Simon Boccanegra” at the Met, and later in the spring a series of concerts with a wonderful long time friend Michael Tilson Thomas, a South American Tour with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and Philippe Jordan, and a new “Macbeth” at the San Francisco Opera.
Just in the past 18 months new technologies have exploded in their ability to not only expand our lives and “access points”, but to in fact provide a more secure and personal world in which we communicate, entertain ourselves and even enrich, if you will, our abilities to discern, inform and develop our life’s choices. In that spirit of diversity, knowledge and choice, the “HAMPSONG” foundation was created in 2003.
This December, we re-launched with two websites that I hope will become, or rather continue to be, meeting places for many of you: www.hampsong.org, the new home of the Hampsong Foundation. Here you will find not only a huge amount of study material like essays and song texts but also an all-new, ever-growing multimedia library with various video and audio clips you can watch and listen to for free.
As well, www.thomashampson.com continues to provide all my personal information, especially a discography and performance calendar. And what’s more, within the first few weeks of the New Year we will be entering a new era by offering Thomas Hampson recordings for sale as downloadable audio. So stay tuned and feel free to check out everything coming online!
And certainly the most important and for me the most gratifying part of this holiday greeting is to say, once again, thank you. Thank you for your interest, your support, both in and out of the concert and opera halls, and your friendly gestures, whether in an encouraging email or greeting or autograph or sometimes just a timid smile I catch from one who doesn’t want to impose but nevertheless says, “Tom, thanks for being here”.
Wishing you a very happy holiday season and
a wonderful New Year,