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Thomas Hampson: Summer 2008


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.

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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.

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Cover design by Catherine Pisaroni
Paintings by Sebastian Spreng
www.sebastianspreng.net

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson