Mar 20, 2014
Though sidelined initially by bronchitis that forced him out of two performances, Thomas Hampson returned to the Metropolitan Opera to make an acclaimed role debut in the title role of Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck.” On Saturday afternoon, March 22 beginning at 1pm, Hampson will be heard in his final performance of the role in the Met’s current revival. The matinee performance will also be carried live in the company’s series of weekly broadcasts on New York’s classical music station, WQXR 105.9 FM.
As a special preview to the Saturday broadcast, WQXR will also feature Hampson as the special guest host in its weekly Operavore show, which airs at 12:30 pm. On the program, Hampson plays excerpts from works by Alban Berg – including Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6 and “Wozzeck” – and Mahler – including Symphonies No. 7 and 9 – to illustrate the musical connection between the two composers (in interviews, Hampson has called “Wozzeck” the “opera that Mahler never wrote”). Rounding out the program are recorded performances by Hampson of two Wunderhorn songs by Mahler and an excerpt from an interview with Operavore host Marilyn Horne that was recorded last fall.
Critical response to Hampson’s Wozzeck performances have been extremely enthusiastic. Under the headline “Recovered Enough to Play Hobbled,” Anthony Tommasini reported in the New York Times:
“On Thursday, [Hampson] won a deserved ovation for his anguished, haunted portrayal of Wozzeck….in the wrenching moments when the role calls for burnished, lyrical singing, he drew upon the innate richness of his voice and shaped phrases poignantly…With his tall, distinguished physique, Mr. Hampson might seem the wrong body type for the role, but he used his imposing stature to dramatic effect. This Wozzeck, with hollowed eyes and hobbled gait, seemed to be sinking under the pressure of poverty and the manipulation of his sneering superiors. Still, now and then a gleam of dignity, even charisma, came through, underlining the character’s tragedy. If only this Wozzeck had been given a break or two, a decent job, his life might have turned out differently.”
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.