Dec 21, 2007
The December holiday period will be a busy one for Thomas Hampson. Following a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall last week – his first in five years – and recitals in Germany this week, on Christmas Day Mr. Hampson will perform Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons. This special Christmas concert will be broadcast live on television and radio throughout the Netherlands, and recorded by Arte for television broadcast on December 29 in Germany and France. After the Amsterdam performance, Mr. Hampson will travel to his hometown of Spokane, Washington, to perform a special holiday concert at the newly renovated Fox Theater on December 29. Mr. Hampson has been actively involved in the renovation and reopening of this historic Art Deco theater.
Mr. Hampson’s next operatic performance in the U.S. will be at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he will sing the role of Germont, opposite Renée Fleming, in Verdi’s La traviata. Performances in Chicago are on January 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, and 26, 2008. Following a November cover story in Opera News, which focused on his Verdi roles, on January 24, 2008 Mr. Hampson will be honored with an Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement, to be presented to him by Deborah Voigt. According to the January 2008 issue of Opera News, “In Hampson, the best of all worlds collide: he is the perfect thinking-man’s baritone, intellectual to the core, yet with the matinee-idol good looks to satisfy our visually-oriented age, as well as a warm, golden, luxurious sound that soothes and seduces the senses, even as his thoughtful, detailed approach to text and character engages the mind.”
After his Chicago performances, Mr. Hampson will sing Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the National Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin, on January 31, February 1, and February 2, 2008 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Earlier this fall, Thomas Hampson performed the title role in Macbeth at the San Francisco Opera. Critical response to his U.S. debut in the role was extraordinary:
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman wrote:
Just when there seemed to be no way for Thomas Hampson’s performance in the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth to get any more majestic or wrenching, it did. It happened during the final scene of Wednesday’s opening performance at the San Francisco Opera, in which the great American bass-baritone had already commanded the stage all night long with a combination of vocal grandeur and dramatic intensity. But now, as the forces of retribution closed in on the doomed usurper…[,] Hampson found his way toward an even more potent depiction of Macbeth’s plight. Singing in the slow, harmonically nuanced phrases of one of Verdi’s most probing solo scenes, he conjured up rage, pity, despair, and defiance – in turn and sometimes all at once. And when the aria concluded, the audience in the War Memorial Opera House could only sit in stunned and appreciative silence.
The Los Angeles Times also named Mr. Hampson’s Macbeth performance as one of the highlights of 2007:
Someone, somewhere, may have given a more nuanced, better-sung, more illuminating opera performance than Thomas Hampson did as the title character in Verdi’s Macbeth this month for San Francisco Opera. But that would be hard to believe.
Mr. Hampson’s performance as Macbeth now is available on DVD, recorded live by the Zurich Opera in the same production, directed by David Pountney, as was mounted in San Francisco. The Zurich Opera has also just released a DVD of Busoni’s Doktor Faust with Mr. Hampson in the title role. The DVD is currently available in Europe and will shortly be made available in the U.S.
Thomas Hampson will fill in as a guest host for Terrance McKnight on WQXR this Thursday, November 5, beginning at 7 pm ET. During this hour, Thomas will celebrate the song repertoire, featuring works by Schubert, Mahler, Ives, and many others. Tune in and learn more about Hampson’s guest host hour via WQXR.
PENTATONE continues its American Opera Series with Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere recording of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix (2019), an opera on the life of Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart’s favorite librettist. Da Ponte (1749-1838) was an adventurer, who not only travelled the world, but in a way also through time, living across what seem to be impossible moments of history that never should have aligned in somebody’s life.
The documentary by C Major Entertainment “The Animated Story of Jenny Lind”, in which Thomas Hampson is the narrator, has won this year’s Golden Prague Fesitval’s Performing Arts Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious and acclaimed Performing Arts festival for TV and film, with opera, dance, concerts and documentaries from all over the world. It is also on the Shortlist of potential winners of the Prix Italia.
Thomas Hampson makes his Global Concert Hall debut next month, performing with the Orchester Wiener Akademie under the baton of its founder and musical director Martin Haselböck. The concert, filmed at the Brucknerhouse Linz in August 2020, will be streamed on IDAGIO’s Global Concert Hall on Thursday, October 15, beginning at 8 pm Berlin / 2 pm New York. The concert will be available to stream through October 22.
Thomas Hampson returns to the stage this month, with a concert at the Stiftskirche Millstatt, and two performances at the Salzkammergut Classic Festival. Beginning on August 2 in Millstatt, Hampson will perform lieder by Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms with pianist Christian Koch, and the Carinthia Chor Millstatt will sing Carinthian songs under the direction of Bernhard Zlanabitnig.
For the first time ever, audiences around the world will have a special opportunity to watch the Canadian Opera Company’s 2018 world premiere production of Hadrian, in full, online. On Monday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET, in partnership with Montréal Pride Festival, the COC is hosting a free, one-night-only digital stream of the modern grand opera. The Hadrian Watch Party helps kick off one week of virtual Pride events and will feature a live Q&A session with both the composer and celebrated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright and librettist Daniel MacIvor, a giant in Canadian theatre.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.