Thomas Hampson To Sing at Groundbreaking Ceremony for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on Feb 22; President Barack Obama Will Deliver Remarks
On Wednesday, February 22, Thomas Hampson will sing at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at the event, which celebrates the beginning of construction of the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history, and culture. Scheduled to open in 2015, the museum, designed by the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup, will also be the first green building on the national mall. Additional information about the event, which also features performances by mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, jazz pianist Jason Moran, the U.S. Navy Band and others, is available at the Smithsonian Museum’s blog.
Thomas Hampson comments: “What a privilege it is to be singing for the groundbreaking of the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. Exploring every facet of our complex cultural history, which gives us a deeper understanding of civil rights in all of its manifestations, is both an honor and a responsibility. This museum will be a great national resource.”
Hampson will sing two songs at the groundbreaking: “Grief,” by African American composer William Grant Still and poet LeRoy V. Brant, followed by Aaron Copland’s “Simple Gifts.” Hampson has performed these and many other American songs in recitals at home and abroad as part of his ongoing “Song of America” project. Initially developed by Hampson in collaboration with the Library of Congress in 2005, and now a program of the Hampsong Foundation, the project reflects Hampson’s passionate, career-long advocacy of American song. As Hampson has noted, “These songs – our songs – say everything, through the eyes of our poets and the ears of our composers, about the culture we call American.”
Hampson’s “Song of America” project reached an even wider national audience this season with the introduction of the 13-week “Song of America” radio series, co-produced by the Hampsong Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network of Chicago, and syndicated by the network to public radio stations nationwide. Hosted by Hampson, and already being aired in more than 220 markets across the country since its introduction in October 2011, the series reveals classic American song – poetry set to music by American composers – as a vibrant diary of the American experience. Each hour-long program focuses on a particular topic that sheds light on a larger theme in American history. The experience of minorities in America is explored in various installments of the series, especially in such programs as “Many Are the Voices,” “There Is No Gender In Music,” and “Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance.”
Additional information about the series is available here: www.songofamerica.net/radio.
Hampson recently gave a “Song of America” recital in the Charles Engelhard Court at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, part of the celebration of the museum’s newly renovated American Wing. He returns to New York later this month to begin rehearsals at the Metropolitan Opera, where he will perform the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth (March 15-April 9). These performances will mark the first time Hampson has sung this – one of his signature roles – for the company.
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.