Thomas Hampson returns to the Opernhaus Zürich for a Liederabend with pianist Wolfram Rieger on June 19. Hampson will perform selected songs by Mahler, H.T. Burleigh, Margaret Bonds, Jean Berger, and Leonard Bernstein. He also sings Jennifer Higdon’s Civil Words, dedicated to Mr. Hampson, who first premiered the work in 2015 with Wolfram Rieger. Next season, Hampson returns to the Opernhaus Zürich to take on the role of Jan Vermeer in the world premiere of Stefan Wirth’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Higdon describes her work: “Civil Words is a song cycle of text derived from the Civil War. They are, however, universal texts that apply to any conflict, and a reminder that the basic elements of war do not change with time. The cycle begins with a mother sending a child off to war and ends with a father’s discovery of a son, long gone. In between are the stories of a soldier’s death, a leader’s hopes, and the marking of great loss. To represent the universal effects of war, I set poems by men and women, about life and death, and from the famous to the unknown. Civil Words is dedicated, with great admiration and appreciation, to Thomas Hampson.”

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Thomas Hampson