Mar 03, 2013
Beginning March 11, Thomas Hampson gives his company role debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera as the treacherous Iago in Verdi’s Otello (five performances through March 30). Hampson first sang the role at Zurich Opera in fall 2011, and it joins other key Verdi roles – including Simon Boccanegra and, last season, Macbeth – that Hampson has sung in recent seasons at the Met. Hampson joins Argentinian tenor José Cura (Otello) and Krassimira Stoyanova (Desdemona) for this, Verdi’s penultimate opera, which received its triumphant world premiere (20 curtain calls for the composer!) at Milan’s La Scala in February 1887. Hampson discusses his first Met Iago in the commentary that follows:
I am tremendously excited to be returning to the Met again this season. Last year, we celebrated 25 years since my debut with the company, and I was deeply moved by their show of affection for me and for their years of generous support. To sing in a Met Otello is a milestone in any singer’s career, and I’ve waited for quite some time to sing Iago because I think you need a lot of experience with other Verdi roles to begin to understand it. I’ve come to really love this role, which I was very afraid of at first. But it really fits my vocal and theatrical abilities, perhaps even better than some of the other bigger Italian repertoire that I’ve done at the Met. José Cura and I have done these roles together often, including last season in Zurich. He’s a very dynamic, unpredictable, and exciting performer on stage, and one of the nicest colleagues you can work with. Krassimira Stoyanova is an old friend and one of my closest colleagues in the business. We’ve worked together frequently in Europe and she is one of the most beautiful and classy singers in the business today. If you really want to learn about singing, just listen to what she can do. Our conductor is Alain Altinoglu, a shooting star if there ever was one – he is very energetic and extremely capable. I’ve seen this classic Met production many times, and look forward to what promises to be an extremely gratifying experience for both the performers and audience alike.
With “Serenade,” his first album exclusively dedicated to French song, Mr. Hampson brings his passion for works by French opera composers to the Pentatone label. Curated with the French Literature scholar Sylvain Fort and in a first collaboration with the Polish pianist Maciej Pikulski, the track listing includes romantic and introspective as well as humorous selections by Bizet, Chabrier, Chausson, Gounod, Magnard, Massenet, and Saint-Saëns, featuring texts written by some of France’s most revered writers including Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, Rosemonde Gérard, and others.
For more information about this CD, visit Mr. Hampson’s discography.
This recording is available exclusively from Pentatone’s website.
Thomas Hampson continues his summer season in Europe this month, as the featured soloist in two Gala Concerts in Germany. Mr. Hampson travels to Bremen to sing with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and conductor David Marlow at Knoops Park on August 11, part of the annual “Summer in Lesmona” Festival at the park. He follows this engagement with another Gala Festival Concert, this time with the Staatsorchester Hannover at the Staatsoper Hannover Opernhaus. The performance, hosted on August 19, features both Ivan Repušić and Mark Rohde leading from the podium, with a roster of more than 15 soloists from the company. Klaus Angermann hosts the evening, with proceeds benefitting the Staatsoper Hannover Foundation and its education programs. Works featured will preview the company’s upcoming 2017/18 season in arias, ensembles, and solo orchestral selections.
The critically lauded Deutsche Grammophon release of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, starring Thomas Hampson in a “wondrous” and “moving” (Online-Merker) portrayal of Count Almaviva, has been honored as the 2017 ECHO Klassik Award-winner in the “Best Opera Recording” (works up to or through the 17th/18th century) category. The album features a phenomenal roster of talent, including Mr. Hampson’s son-in-law Luca Pisaroni in the title role and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, all conducted by Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin. The ECHO Klassik Awards Gala takes place on October 29 at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg; tickets and more info can be found at ECHOKlassik.de.
Naxos has released a DVD recording of Verdi’s La Traviata, with an all-star cast featuring Marina Rebeka as Violetta Valéry, Francesco Demuro as Alfredo Germont and Thomas Hampson as his father, Giorgio Germont. Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson is at the podium, leading the NDR Radiophilharmonie.
Thomas Hampson returns to the Verbier Festival this month as a Verbier Academy Faculty member, presenting a series of Masterclasses. Focused on specific topics in singing, these Masterclasses will take place on July 21 & 22 (Opera) and July 23 & 24 (Lied/Art Song). The classes are open to the public – visit VerbierFestival.com for detailed programme information.
Thomas Hampson is a featured contributor to the newly launched platform MUSAIC, from the New World Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Hampson and other acclaimed artists, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, are featured in various site content including master classes, interviews, and more. Watch and learn today at musaic.nws.edu!
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.