Artist Of The Week: Thomas Hampson

Legendary Baritone World Premieres ‘Hadrian’

By Francisco Salazar

Thomas Hampson has long been one of the greatest opera singers of his generation singing in all the great opera houses in the world and interpreting some of the most iconic roles in the art form. He has also been recognized as a great recitalist showing great enthusiasm for the American Songbook and a big proponent of Mahler’s music in concert performances.

And this week, he opens his 2018-19 season headlining the world premiere of “Hadrian” at the Canadian Opera Company. A big enthusiast for modern work, Hampson performs the title role in Rufus Wainwright’s second opera, showcasing his versatility as an artist and adding more new roles to his already legendary career.

Hampson’s debut will also showcase him also two other legends including Karita Mattila and Ben Heppner, who comes out of retirement exclusively for this world premiere. With these three legends performing this should be a spectacle not to be missed.

The opera will also be the first of two world premieres that Hampson takes on this season as he heads to Houston for “The Phoenix” by Tarik O’Regan and John Caird this spring. Wainwright and Daniel MacIvor’s opera will also bring the baritone to the Canadian Opera for the first time.

And for those who will not be able to attend the performances of “Hadrian,” Hampson will continue on tour this season performing Wolf songs as well as Britten’s War Requiem. He will also reprise his signature role as Germont in “La Traviata” at the Semperoper Dresden. He also sings “Tosca” at the Wiener Staatsoper.


Hampson’s career is legendary and it’s hard to recommend just one recording of his work as he has so many recordings available. So we will recommend his latest album “Song From Chicago” for the label Cedille.

We also recommend you take a look at the world premiere he did alongside Rolando Villazon of  Miroslav Srnka’s “South Pole.”


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