May 12, 2009
Hampson is particularly renowned in the art of the recital and as a specialist in American Song. His expertise as an interpreter of Mahler is well known all over the world – he has performed the composer’s songs with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bernard Haitink, Christoph Eschenbach, and many others. Two seasons ago, after he sang the Songs of a Wayfarer in a series of concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Levine, the Boston Globe’s Jeremy Eichler described his performance as a highlight of the concert: “Hampson sang beautifully, with a resonant, burnished baritone, and a striking suppleness of expression that reflected his many years of immersion in this repertoire.”
That same season, the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein wrote of a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert that the program’s high point was:
“Thomas Hampson’s deeply felt performance of Mahler’s ‘Songs of a Wayfarer’. Hampson is singing at the very peak of his vocal form and artistry, and I can’t remember when I’ve heard anything finer from him. His exceptional range of color and dynamics, his vocal ease and evenness over a wide range, his flexibility of phrasing, his acute sense of detail – all bespoke a singing actor of the utmost expressive intensity and musical understanding.”
Hampson enjoys the intimacy of the recital and concert hall more than many stars of the opera stage do, but has been especially busy singing opera this season. At the Metropolitan Opera alone he participated in the opening night gala and portrayed Athanaël in Massenet’s Thaïs opposite Renée Fleming; returned to the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in highly praised performances opposite Karita Mattila; and sang an excerpt from Wagner’s Parsifal with Plácido Domingo during the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala honoring Domingo’s 40th anniversary at the Met. In March, Hampson also made his debut as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca at the Zurich Opera.
Thomas Hampson sings Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 13 at 8pm with the Berlin State Orchestra under its chief conductor, Daniel Barenboim.
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.