In addition to the remaining performances of The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago (dates here) Thomas Hampson has two special engagements in the month of December. On December 1 he is joined by soprano Heidi Stober (Valencienne in Widow) and bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba (member of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center Ensemble) for a ‘Beyond the Aria’ concert at Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion.

This sold-out event, performed “cabaret style,” will feature a wide array of works from the operatic canon as well as Broadway and popular song, all accompanied by Craig Terry, acclaimed pianist and Music Director of the Ryan Center.

On December 5, Hampson joins Mark Clague, Susan Key, and Dan Tolly for a Teacher Workshop on campus at the University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor, MI. This full-day event is in partnership with The Hampsong Foundation and the University Musical Society. The UMS was recently honored with the 2014 National Medal of Arts, recognizing its contribution to the excellence and availability of arts learning and programming in the US.

Activities include sessions exploring content and pedagogy, a conversation with Mr. Hampson about his passion for storytelling through art song, and a performance featuring songs related to topics highlighted in the workshop. The event content and activities are ideal for teachers of Language Arts, History, Social Studies, and Performing Arts. For tickets and more information, visit UMS.org. There will also be a live video conference taking place simultaneously in New York City for the afternoon session; visit the event page via Facebook to RSVP. Hampson also hosts an event in Chicago on December 12 in collaboration with WFMT, the Hampsong Foundation, and the Ryan Opera Center called ‘Song of America in the Classroom: A Media Event.’  This event features discussion of song as a tool to teach the arts and humanities, and a  live performance of American songs by three young artists from the Ryan Opera Center. The afternoon will also be live-streamed and archived for later viewing via the Hampsong Foundation website.

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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