Thomas Hampson makes his highly anticipated debut with the Canadian Opera Company in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian. Hampson sings the title role in this epic love story, based on the life of the Roman emperor Hadrian, with libretto by Daniel MacIvor. Led by Johannes Debus, the monumental production by Peter Hinton will open the COC’s 68th season beginning October 13 through October 27.
Photo: Michael Cooper. A scene from the Canadian Opera Company’s world premiere production of Hadrian, 2018. Composer Rufus Wainwright and librettist Daniel MacIvor. Conductor Johannes Debus, director Peter Hinton, set designer Michael Gianfrancesco, costume designer Gillian Gallow, lighting designer Bonnie Beecher, projection designer Laurie-Shawn Borzovoy, and choreographer Denise Clarke.
Hampson shares the stage with Karita Mattila as Plotina, wife of the emperor Trajan who greatly supports Hadrian, Isaiah Bell as Hadrian’s lover, Antinous, Ben Heppner as Dinarchus, Ambur Braid as Sabina, and David Leigh as Turbo. In his second opera, Wainwright wanted to examine this Roman Emperor’s profound grief at the loss of his lover, Antinous, which subsequently leads him down a path of tyranny. On composing Hadrian, Wainwright says:
“Hadrian was the first opera I wanted to compose. When I first discovered Hadrian, I was instantly struck with the idea of transforming this historical subject into operatic form. Both its intimate nature and wild grandeur seemed perfectly suited for what opera does best: creating a hyper-illustration of the dark inner lives of people up against formidable outer circumstances while at the same time musically careening through the jagged and surreal dimensions of what lies in between. No other theatrical form truly refracts life into myriad vibrantly bright colors as much as opera does, and the tale of Hadrian, arguably Rome’s greatest ruler, is a diamond perfectly cut for such a task.” (mySCENA)
For more information and tickets visit the Canadian Opera Company website.
On September 13 & 17, Thomas Hampson performs at the first-ever Tsinandali Festival in Georgia. For the first concert, the extraordinary virtuoso pianist, Jan Lisiecki, joins Mr. Hampson for a recital including the Heine songs from Schubert’s Schwanengesang, and Schumann’s Dichterliebe. Schumann composed his Dichterliebe during a creative surge in 1840, also known as his “year of song,” where he produced more than 130 Lieder.
Thomas Hampson begins his 2019/20 season at the Wiener Staatsoper, starring as Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata. Hampson, who carries the title of Kammersänger of the Wiener Staatsoper, will share the stage with Irina Lungu as Violetta, and Charles Castronovo as Alfredo. Giampaolo Bisanti conducts, with performances taking place on September 4, 7, & 10. A live stream of La Traviata will be available via the Wiener Staatsoper on Sunday, September 7, beginning at 17:30.
Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni present their “No Tenors Allowed” concert at the Stiftskirche Millstatt this month. On August 18, accompanied by their longtime collaborator, pianist Christian Koch, the artists will perform arias from the operatic repertoire, Broadway musical hits, and classical and popular songs. In the 2019/20 season, Hampson and Pisaroni take their ebullient concert series to both Provo, Utah (October 1), and then to the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (October 4).
Thomas Hampson joins the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Klaus Mäkelä, for the opening concert of the Turku Musical Festival on August 8, at the Turku Concert Hall. Hampson will perform selections from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Completing the program is Wagner’s Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Strauss’ epic tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra, as well as Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179: Toutatis, which is inspired by an asteroid named after a Celtic god worshipped in ancient Gaul and Britain.
On July 31, Thomas Hampson brings his Song of America: Beyond Liberty project to the Tanglewood Festival, featuring guest artist, pianist Lara Downes, and the Beyond Liberty Players. Together they bring the American songbook to Ozawa Hall and explore the influential people and monumental events that helped create and define America.
Marking the 26th edition, Thomas Hampson returns to the Verbier Festival this month for two exciting performances and several masterclasses with students from the Verbier Festival Academy.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.