World premiere of the COC’s “Hadrian”: baritone Thomas Hampson visits “Classical Mornings”

The New Classical FM

The distinguished American baritone Thomas Hampson spoke with co-hosts Mike and Jean about portraying the title role of “Hadrian”, a Canadian Opera Company commission making its world premiere Saturday night. The story delves into the epic gay love story of the married Roman Emperor Hadrian and his young lover Antinous.

Composed by Rufus Wainwright, with a libretto by playwright Daniel MacIvor, and directed by Peter Hinton, the cast boasts the COC debuts of Hampson and Finnish soprano Karita Mattila as former empress Plotina. Other cast members include tenor Isiah Bell, soprano Ambur Braid, bass David Leight, with cameo appearances by Canadian tenor Ben Heppner. COC Music Director Johannes Debus leads the COC Orchestra.

Thomas, a originally a Political Science grad, spoke of how his studies helped him to be a better musician (google #MusicTaughtMeEverything to find my “The Benefits of Studying Classical Music” series on this subject), and the intricate nature of the rehearsal process. Listen to the interview here: