Thomas Hampson’s summer season officially begins in Vienna, where he gives four performances as Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Vienna State Opera between June 15 and 27. From Vienna, he returns to the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, where he made a very successful Russian debut last summer as the first artist to give a recital in the newly rebuilt Mariinsky Theatre recital hall. This time he will portray one of his best-known roles in concert with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra: the title part in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.
Well known for his interpretations of Verdi roles, Hampson has devoted his entire 2007-08 opera season to Verdi operas. He gave his role debut as Don Carlo in Verdi’s Ernani at the Met last March, described by Dominic McHugh on MusicalCriticism.com:
“Thomas Hampson nearly always seems at his best in this repertoire … He made a glorious Don Carlo here, mixing a gorgeous lyric talent with a Lied singer’s intelligence and an aristocratic demeanour. In an evening of vocal highs, his rendition of the third-act aria ‘O de’ verd’anni miei’ was perhaps the apex.”
Last month Hampson sang recitals in Amsterdam and Zurich, and gave another in Heidelberg, alongside a series of masterclasses. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote:
Even after many years of successful stage presence …Thomas Hampson’s voice has lost virtually nothing of its brilliance. It has gone from strength to strength in artistic intensity, and his diction is now of exemplary clarity. … Little wonder, then, at the massive jubilation at the end, with standing ovations almost a matter of course.
In Heidelberg the reaction from the Heidelberger Merkur was similarly jubilant:
I find it difficult to find words to describe this unforgettable evening … And so I would like … to pick out just one song to celebrate Thomas Hampson’s exquisite artistry, which he uses to weave moods that move one so deeply. There is nothing more to say about this superlative experience.
After the White Nights Festival, Hampson then travels to Israel for a series of six performances of Ernest Bloch’s rarely performed Avodath Hakodesh (Sacred Service) with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta, in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem.
Hampson, a technically-savvy user of the internet, has recently partnered with iTunes for the newly-created Thomas Hampson Media record label, which has just re-released digital recordings of four titles. The THM titles now available on iTunes and elsewhere online include: Haydn, Mozart and Schubert arias with Concentus Musicus Wien conducted by Nikolas Harnoncourt; Schumann: Kerner Lieder, Op. 35 and Andersen Lieder, Op. 40 with Geoffrey Parsons, piano; and two volumes of “Wunderhorn” songs by various composers, both with Parsons at the piano. Additional titles are planned for release by THM in the coming months.
Cover design by Catherine Pisaroni
Paintings by Sebastian Spreng
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.