Easter in Salzburg, Recital in Brussels and a New Recording

Thomas Hampson returns to the Salzburg Easter Festival this month to co-star in Richard Strauss’s Arabella, the German composer’s sixth and final opera collaboration with librettist Hugo von Hoffmansthal. Hampson sings the role of Mandryka, reuniting with superstar soprano Renée Fleming, who takes on the title role, and conductor Christian Thielemann. In between the two performances (April 12 and 21), which celebrate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, Hampson joins the Staatskapelle Dresden under the direction of Thielemann and Christoph Eschenbach, for a “Concert for Salzburg” featuring music by Mozart and Strauss (April 17).

Hampson also pays tribute to the Strauss Sesquicentennial with the release this month of an all-Strauss recital recording entitled Notturno. The album, pairing Hampson with his long-time collaborator, pianist Wolfram Rieger, takes its name from Strauss’s expressionistic Op. 44 song featuring poetry by Richard Dehmel portraying the macabre figure of Fiddling Death. The new DG release features popular and lesser-known songs written throughout Strauss’s career.
Have a first listen to the album on Soundcloud.
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April 1st, 2014   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

Thomas Hampson’s Final Performance in Current Met Revival of Berg’s “Wozzeck” Will Air Live on WQXR on Saturday, March 22

Though sidelined initially by bronchitis that forced him out of two performances, Thomas Hampson returned to the Metropolitan Opera to make an acclaimed role debut in the title role of Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck.”  On Saturday afternoon, March 22 beginning at 1pm, Hampson will be heard in his final performance of the role in the Met’s current revival.  The matinee performance will also be carried live in the company’s series of weekly broadcasts on New York’s classical music station, WQXR 105.9 FM.

As a special preview to the Saturday broadcast, WQXR will also feature Hampson as the special guest host in its weekly Operavore show, which airs at 12:30 pm. On the program, Hampson plays excerpts from works by Alban Berg – including Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6 and “Wozzeck” – and Mahler – including Symphonies No. 7 and 9 – to  illustrate the musical connection between the two composers (in interviews, Hampson has called “Wozzeck” the “opera that Mahler never wrote”). Rounding out the program are recorded performances by Hampson of two Wunderhorn songs by Mahler and an excerpt from an interview with Operavore host Marilyn Horne that was recorded last fall.

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March 20th, 2014   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

Thomas Hampson Sings Title Role in Berg’s Wozzeck for First Time in Career at New York’s Metropolitan Opera (March 6–22)

“A searching interpreter, aware of the meaning and possible ambiguities of every phrase he sings.” – BBC Music magazine

Following an extensive European tour with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Thomas Hampson returns to the U.S. to make his role debut as the eponymous antihero of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, opening March 6 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. In adding this new and emotionally wrenching role to his repertory, Hampson once again displays the “ceaseless curiosity” (New York Times) and “probing mind” (Financial Times) that have made him one of the most respected singers on the opera stage today. Hampson is joined in the new adventure by soprano Deborah Voigt, also making her role debut as Marie in Mark Lamos’s “arrestingly abstract” (New York Times) staging, and Met music director James Levine – one of the work’s most passionate advocates – on the podium. The production marks Hampson’s third Met role debut in as many seasons, following performances last year of Iago in Verdi’s Otello and in the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth the previous season. The fifth and final performance of Wozzeck this season will be broadcast live on Saturday, March 22 in the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast series on WQXR 105.9 FM and online at www.wqxr.org.

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January 24th, 2014   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

Thomas Hampson Joins Amsterdam Sinfonietta for 12-Concert European Tour Featuring Two World Premieres (Jan 25 – Feb 9)

An evocative, poetry-inspired program of works by six composers will be the centerpiece of a six-country, 12-concert European Tour by Thomas Hampson and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. The concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain and Portugal feature Hampson singing world-premiere performances of new arrangements by English composer David Matthews of Barber’s haunting Dover Beach and Brahms’s elegiac Vier Ernste Gesänge (Four Serious Songs), Wolf’s Italian Serenade as well as other orchestrations for string orchestra by Matthews of songs by Schubert and Wolf. The Amsterdam Sinfonietta, led by concertmaster and artistic director Candida Thompson, will also perform Schönberg’s haunting, arch-Romantic Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night).

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January 20th, 2014   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

Gramophone Names Decca’s New Recording of Simon Boccanegra an “Editor’s Choice”

Decca’s new recording of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, featuring Thomas Hampson in the title role, has been named one of the “Editor’s Choice” recordings in Gramophone’s January 2014 issue.  The magazine praises the recording, captured live at Vienna’s famed Konzerthaus, for “performances that don’t just measure up to the recorded history but shine different kinds of light on the opera,” noting, “[Hampson] can emit a true Doge roar…his Lieder-like sense of detail reveals the role in three dimensions with great concision and no excessive fussing with the vocal line.”  The Guardian observes, “[Hampson] brings his sharp intellectual focus to bear on the contrast between the private man and the public figure,” while BBC Music calls Hampson “a searching interpreter, aware of the meaning and possible ambiguities of every phrase he sings.”

January 14th, 2014   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

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