Mar 03, 2013
Beginning March 11, Thomas Hampson gives his company role debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera as the treacherous Iago in Verdi’s Otello (five performances through March 30). Hampson first sang the role at Zurich Opera in fall 2011, and it joins other key Verdi roles – including Simon Boccanegra and, last season, Macbeth – that Hampson has sung in recent seasons at the Met. Hampson joins Argentinian tenor José Cura (Otello) and Krassimira Stoyanova (Desdemona) for this, Verdi’s penultimate opera, which received its triumphant world premiere (20 curtain calls for the composer!) at Milan’s La Scala in February 1887. Hampson discusses his first Met Iago in the commentary that follows:
I am tremendously excited to be returning to the Met again this season. Last year, we celebrated 25 years since my debut with the company, and I was deeply moved by their show of affection for me and for their years of generous support. To sing in a Met Otello is a milestone in any singer’s career, and I’ve waited for quite some time to sing Iago because I think you need a lot of experience with other Verdi roles to begin to understand it. I’ve come to really love this role, which I was very afraid of at first. But it really fits my vocal and theatrical abilities, perhaps even better than some of the other bigger Italian repertoire that I’ve done at the Met. José Cura and I have done these roles together often, including last season in Zurich. He’s a very dynamic, unpredictable, and exciting performer on stage, and one of the nicest colleagues you can work with. Krassimira Stoyanova is an old friend and one of my closest colleagues in the business. We’ve worked together frequently in Europe and she is one of the most beautiful and classy singers in the business today. If you really want to learn about singing, just listen to what she can do. Our conductor is Alain Altinoglu, a shooting star if there ever was one – he is very energetic and extremely capable. I’ve seen this classic Met production many times, and look forward to what promises to be an extremely gratifying experience for both the performers and audience alike.
American lyric baritone Thomas Hampson has performed worldwide in major opera houses and music halls, played scores of iconic roles, and delivered recitals that captivate for his creatively constructed programs explore connections between eras and approaches. He’s an expert both in German Romantic song and tunes from our own country where his “Song of America” collaboration with the Library of Congress has proven extraordinarily popular and important.
“Baritone Thomas Hampson was an ideal soloist, singing with oaken tone and precise phrasing while conferring dignity and restraint on Whitman’s text.”
Georgia Rowe – The Mercury News
Thomas Hampson and Frederica von Stade will host a star-studded gala concert on June 16, in celebration of David Gockley’s retirement after ten years as General Director at San Francisco Opera. The San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus will perform for this not-to-be-missed event, with conductors Nicola Luisotti, Jiří Bělohlávek, John DeMain, and Patrick Summers.
Visit the Hampsong Foundation’s Livestream.com page on Tuesday, June 14 at 7pm PT/10pm ET to watch a livestream of the ‘Song of America: Beyond the Song’ Event with Thomas Hampson and Dana Gioia, California Poet Laureate, hosted at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Thomas Hampson and the Hampsong Foundation will present a ‘Song of America: Beyond the Song’ Event with Dana Gioia, California Poet Laureate, on June 14 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This event is in collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and features the following artists in performance: Renée Rapier, mezzo-soprano; Brad Walker, bass-baritone; and Peter Grunberg, pianist. Gioia and Hampson will also host a dialogue with the singers about their selections. This event is free and open to the public (RSVP required).
“What already developed with the first notes, exceeded all expectations. Electrified by the charisma of both singers a resonating enthusiasm in the hall was felt by the audience.
Both singers are characterized by their pleasing and balanced tone color in all registers. This both have an enormous range of expression. In addition to that, their acting ability, which portrays the characteristics of the roles they embodied in a short time. Are tenors mostly youthful lovers and hero in the opera, then baritones representatives of the power, the bass-baritone often with a dash of humor. The program with Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Bellini, Gounod and Massenet provides sufficient material for this purpose.”
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.