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.