Thomas Hampson, Eastern Washington’s homegrown international opera star, was the last person to perform at the Fox Theater in 2005 before it went dark and began extensive renovations. He returned in 2007 for the inaugural season of the restored facility, and again in 2009 to perform the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s “Letters From Lincoln.”
His roots at the Fox actually run much further back – to the 1970s – and to a specific place – the theater’s balcony.
As a high school student at Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, a reward for good grades was a trip to the Fox to see the Spokane Symphony perform, back when the theater primarily was a movie house.
“It sounded like a very cultural activity,” Hampson said in a recent phone interview from London, “but it was one of the few times you could sit with your girlfriend.” He added, chuckling, “So there were a lot of motivations involved. I must say that being in the balcony … some of the first symphonic works I’d ever heard in my life played by a symphonic orchestra were in the Fox Theater with the Spokane Symphony.”
After high school, Hampson, who was raised in the Tri-Cities, received his operatic training at Eastern Washington University and with Sister Marietta Coyle at Fort Wright College. He proudly proclaims his allegiance the Spokane Symphony Chorale, of which he is a founding member.
Read more via The Spokesman-Review
This month, Thomas Hampson is a featured soloist at Opera Gala concerts throughout Europe, with distinguished colleagues and ensembles. Mr. Hampson is joined by tenor Piotr Beczała and soprano Anette Dasch for Operetta programmes on February 11 (Festspielhaus Baden-Baden), February 15 (Mupa Budapest) and February 18 (Kölner Philharmonie), featuring vocal selections and overtures by Strauss Jr., Lehár, and more. Maestro Pavel Baleff leads both programmes; the February 18 event will receive a livestream via Philharmonie.tv.
Watch some of today’s top singers and pianist Lara Downes share a night of fond memories and extraordinary music in honor of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial. Opera stars Thomas Hampson, Ailyn Pérez and J’Nai Bridges, as well as vocalist Theo Bleckmann, will each perform one of their favorite Bernstein songs. Watch the entire ensemble sing “Somewhere” from West Side Story.
The 11th Anniversary of Thomas Hampson’s annual Voice Master Class is today from 2:00pm-4:00pm in Miller Recital Hall at the Manhattan School of Music. For the first time, they will be collaborating with Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien for a videoconference. Stay tuned for the archive recording later this week if you can’t make the live show!
Seating in Miller Recital Hall is limited, so make sure you don’t miss out another momentous master class with Thomas Hampson.
Join Thomas Hampson, mezzo-soprano Kelly O’Connor, Maestro Krzysztof Urbański, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for two concerts on January 26 & 27, featuring Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”). The concerts are featured as part of the ISO’s Lilly Classical Series, and the January 27 performance also features a live broadcast via ISO Inside; register here to watch the stream.
“This track, this simple song, represents everything I am hoping to express about Leonard Bernstein and about American music – about inspiration and collaboration, tradition and innovation.
Thomas Hampson began his career under Bernstein’s guidance, learned and performed Bernstein’s music under the Maestro’s baton, knew LB as a mentor and a friend, and took from him inspiration for his own life in music.
A handful of opera stars and other guest artists will join pianist Lara Downes for a night of music in honor of the Leonard Bernstein centennial. The January 21 concert, titled Songs for Lenny, will be webcast live from The Greene Space at WQXR beginning at 7PM. Opera stars Thomas Hampson, Ailyn Pérez, and J’Nai Bridges, as well as composer and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, will each perform a personal favorite song from the Bernstein repertoire. Watch the exclusive video above to see the American baritone and Downes perform “A Simple Song” from Bernstein’s Mass.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.