Zurich Opera’s new production of Verdi’s Otello, which opens today and is directed by Graham Vick, will feature Thomas Hampson in his role debut as the scheming and sinister Iago. It is one of Verdi’s most demanding roles, both vocally and dramatically, and Hampson is thrilled for the opportunity to add this disturbing and complex character to his repertoire: “I have been excited for some time to sing my first Iago, and am thrilled to be doing it at one of my favorite opera houses in the world, the Zurich Opera. I cherish deeply the depth, complexity and inherent musicality of everything Giuseppe Verdi wrote. It is always such an honor to perform anything by this master.”
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Thomas Hampson’s 2011-12 season will begin on September 10 at San Francisco Opera, where he will create the role of Rick Rescorla in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier. The new opera (seven performances through September 30), commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, features a libretto by Donna Di Novelli and is directed by Francesca Zambello. Based on the 2002 book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart, the opera is inspired by the true story of Rescorla, his wife, Susan, and his friend Daniel J. Hill, culminating in Rescorla’s tragic death in the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center following his heroic evacuation of all 2,700 employees of Morgan Stanley. “This role is a great challenge and I feel honored – and very motivated – to meet it,” says Hampson.
Leipzig is the penultimate stop in the New York Philharmonic’s EUROPE/SPRING 2011 tour. The concert on Monday, May 23 features an all-Mahler program that includes the orchestra’s music director, Alan Gilbert, conducting the Symphony No. 5. Thomas Hampson joins Gilbert and the orchestra for Mahler’s hauntingly beautiful “Kindertotenlieder,” and the entire concert can be viewed online beginning at 2pm EDT at the New York Philharmonic website: http://bit.ly/izOP8f
Thomas Hampson Explores George Crumb’s American Songbooks in Washington, DC and New York City (April 28-29)
Thomas Hampson returns to the U.S. this month for two concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, featuring songs from six of the American Songbooks by George Crumb. The performances take place at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on April 28, and at New York’s Alice Tully Hall on April 29. Soon after, Hampson sings an all-Richard Strauss program with Renée Fleming and the Berlin Philharmonic under Christian Thielemann in Berlin (May 5-7), before returning to the music of Gustav Mahler, on whom he has been focusing intensively this season. The baritone’s six concerts with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic in the major music capitals of Central Europe (May 12-23) feature an all-Mahler program – Symphony No. 5 andKindertotenlieder – and mark the second consecutive season that Hampson has toured Europe with Gilbert and the orchestra.
“Song of America” Recital, Bolcom World Premiere, and Manhattan School of Music Master Class – with Simulcast – Highlight Thomas Hampson’s February Schedule
Though the music of Gustav Mahler is the cornerstone of Thomas Hampson’s 2010-11 season, the baritone will take some time away from the Austrian composer this month to devote his energy to two other great passions: American song and teaching. On February 15, Hampson continues his ongoing “Song of America” project with a wide-ranging recital of American songs at Duke University. Later that week, he will give the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Liszt-inspired Laura Sonnets with pianist Craig Rutenberg. The performance will take place at the University of Georgia, Athens on February 18 as part of the American Liszt Society’s celebration of the 2011 bicentennial of Franz Liszt. In between, the baritone returns to the Manhattan School of Music to coach hand-selected voice students on pieces from the American songbook. Hampson’s master class on February 14 at 4pm will be presented before a live audience at the school and simultaneously streamed to a virtual global audience via Manhattan School of Music’s web site (www.dl.msmnyc.edu/live) and Hampson’s and MSM’s own CMSLC Android, iPhone (iOS), and Smartphone apps powered by Instant Encore. February ends with a return to Mahler, when he performs Das Lied von der Erde in Schoenberg’s chamber version (completed by Rainer Riehn) in London’s Cadogan Hall on February 27, with Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.