“Sunday afternoon, Hampson brought a sampling from the spectrum of American song and a major vocal-orchestral work by John Adams to the New World Center in Miami Beach . . . He opened with My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free . . . In superb form, Hampson’s warm, resonant baritone and innate feeling for the idiom were entrancing. With the audience in the palm of his hand, he launched into a rousing version of The Dodger from Aaron Copland’s 1950 collection of Old American Songs . . . In Flanders Fieldcontrasts the once beautiful poppy fields with the multitudinous crosses of the dead. Hampson’s superbly clear diction, attention to dynamics and impassioned advocacy mirrored the songs’ uneasy contrast of patriotism and tragedy.
Following intermission, Hampson was joined by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the New World Symphony for Adams’ The Wound Dresser . . . Now stentorian, then dulcet, Hampson imbued Whitman’s imagery and the lyrical vocal writing with understated emotion. His voicing of Come sweet death, come quickly was chilling.”
Lawrence Budmen – South Florida Classical Review
“For more than three decades, Thomas Hampson has been a major presence on the world’s opera and concert stages . . . the American baritone has always brought vocal artistry and keen musical intelligence to his wide repertoire. No less important has been his dedication to lieder and art song. Hampson’s championing of the neglected vignettes of American composers has been particularly significant . . . Hampson offered a musical tasting menu of the many strands that form the classical songbook . . . he evoked the aura of romance beneath “Freundliche Vision,” the high pianissimos beautifully controlled. “Mein Herz ist stumm, mein Herz ist kalt” was almost a recitation, Hampson carefully weighing the conflicting emotions of Adolf von Schack’s text. “Sehnsucht” was a full voiced paean to memories of love lost and Hampson imbued “Ruhe, meine Seele” with deep, almost bass like tones, finely registering a man’s request for inner piece . . .
Hampson reprised the new song cycle Civil Words by Jennifer Higdon which he premiered at Carnegie Hall . . . Hampson’s superb vocal acting and clear enunciation contributed to the work’s strong impression. For the second half of his program, Hampson assayed highlights from his “Songs of America” tours and recordings . . . Hampson’s virile baritone took full cry in the warrior’s opening war call but he brought depth of tone and pathos to the ensuing death song, the dramatic piano chords turning soft and tragic . . . “Shenandoah” was vintage Hampson, the tones warm and lustrous. He has long been a master interpreter of Copland’s Old American Songs and captured the wit and irony of “The Dodger” and the swinging rhythm of “The Boatman’s Dance.”
Lawrence Budmen – South Florida Classical Review
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.