Praising the “first rate cast” who deliver a “Verdian Feast” in Lyric Opera’s “Simon Boccanegra,” the Classical Review calls Thomas Hampson’s performance of the work’s title character a “well-rounded portrayal” infused with “ardent vocalism.”   The Chicago Sun-Times concurred, with critic Andrew Patner placing Hampson “at the height of his acting and characterization powers.”  “At every moment,” Patner observes, “Hampson makes it clear this is a man struggling with the questions of morality, leadership, aging, service and heartache.”  Writing for the Chicago Tribune, veteran critic John von Rhein lauded Hampson’s “dramatic authority” and “musicianly attention to words and music,” noting, “at a time when true Verdi baritones are a rare commodity, he gave an impressive and deeply considered performance in this touchstone Verdi role.”  The Lyric Opera production opened on Oct 15, and continues with seven additional performances (Oct 20, 24, 28, 31, Nov 3, 6 and 9).

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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