“Mahler was never in safer hands than those of Thomas Hampson. This is a veteran musician who knows the exact meaning behind every word and every note – and probably what Gustav was doing the morning he wrote it.
Nothing is overlooked. It’s a partnership that has borne innumerable iconic performances, and proven beneficial for both composer and singer.”
“Thomas Hampson is a very rare bird indeed: a singer who brings all the musical and emotional power of opera to the world of the art song. During this attractively varied program at the start of his first-ever Australian tour, there was never any doubt that everything Hampson sang, he sang from the heart. His extraordinarily expressive face confirmed that here was a supremely musical communicator who totally inhabited the world of each song.
It is hard to find adequate superlatives to describe the prodigious artistry and musicianship that was on display at this recital. Most importantly, music was made and effectively shared. It really doesn’t get much better than this. If you are in a position to hear Hampson live, don’t hesitate!”
“The first half of the program featured songs from Schubert and from Mahler, each sequence filled with gently haunting music and soulful yearning. A man of remarkable height, Hampson has the ability to convey a myriad of emotions while keeping his body and facial expression completely still; the glorious sound just poured out and filled the Hall as the audience sat in rapturous attention.
Hampson’s baritone has a completely unblemished purity that is a pleasure to hear, especially in a venue like this, which carries and blends music with warmth and clarity. Hampson’s musicianship extends to crisp diction and excellent German and French expression.”
“A notable interpreter of Mahler’s vocal music, Hampson concluded the first half of the program with five songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. A graceful, smiling Frülingsmorgenwas followed by Aus! Aus! with its marching rhythms and opportunities for humour, which he fully exploited. Poignantly expressed grief, a homesick deserter’s sad tale of capture and, finally, the fluctuating emotions of Der Schildwache Nachtlied(The Sentinel’s Song), which ended on the softest head resonance, had listeners removed to other worlds.”
“Hampson’s stage presence was commanding, and his engagement with music and text was visceral: the apparent effortlessness of his voice, his perfectly expressive face, nothing was contrived. He was the composer embodied. He breathed in the orchestra around him and was the wayfarer for the entire journey – we could hear the sorrow and the pain, even while he described the beauty of nature. His superb honey tone colour and sense of line allowed the expansive phrases to maintain a sense of movement throughout. The red-hot knife in his chest needed no fake blood to transmit his deep pain – the sound and the body language sufficed. Every word of the text was clear, and every note that was played by the orchestra was part of the Hampson wayfarer’s world.”
“Mr Hampson is a singer of exceptional artistry and easy to understand why he was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein. He displayed a stage presence that went beyond his rich baritone voice. With each song, he brought out the essence and fullness of Mahler’s emotions. Mr Hampson not only connected with the orchestra and Maestro Molino’s excellent orchestral accompaniment, but connected with the audience to great effect. His voice was congruent with his body language and facial expression enhanced by excellent diction, dynamics and phrasing.”
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.