Monday, November 19, 2007

Thomas Hampson: May I please go on for a moment or two?

Or three or four? At any rate, I need to do this somewhere other than my own home because my poor husband is sick to death of hearing about this man. Thomas Hampson is the lead baritone in the SF Opera's Macbeth in which my daughter is starring appearing as a super. He is, as my daughter labels him, "Mr. Macbeth" (his wife, of course being "Mrs. Macbeth"—you know, the Macbeths).

Anywhoo, I entered this whole opera business being fairly neutral about this form of art. I have now, however, been converted to a fan in large part because of this man. His voice is rich, deep, and sonorous and his acting just perfect in this role, but—and apologies for being so superficial here—he is just so damn good looking it takes the breath away.


Here he is the Zurich Opera's production of Macbeth:

My God—I get lightheaded just looking at these pictures. And you what's the real kicker? He's smart, articulate (see for yourself on his website), and NICE TO CHILDREN. That's right: On the opening night of Macbeth, he sent chocolates (of course very fancy European ones) to the children in their dressing rooms. My daughter was beside herself: "Look what Mr. Macbeth sent us!!!" It's all just too much. Backstage reports are that he is often less than entirely gracious with other performers, but really, he could toss sopranos off the stage into the orchestra pit and I wouldn't care.

Excuse me, please, while I turn to continue work on my little Thomas Hampson shrine.

COMING UP SONN: Upstairs / downstairs at the SF War Memorial Opera House.

And noooooooo, I'm not changing the name of this blog to Figs, Lavender, Cheese, and Opera. In fact, we'll get to food shortly.


Sabina said...

...or three... he just keeps getting better, and the HD viewing in the press room did not discourage the admiration... shrine away. i downloaded our favorite aria from itunes. see you in the basement.

leonora said...

Join the club of Hampson's admirers! *I* have had the immense privilege of meeting him, more than once.....
Well, I first fell in love with him when he sang Posa in the Chatelet DON CARLOS. (There's about to be a new production at Covent Garden - fortunately again conducted by Pappano - but can Simon Keenlyside measure up to The Divine Thomas?!)
Hampson's MACBETH is just awesome...but I think what he does best is Mahler, I just love his interpretation of WO DIE SCHOENEN TROMPETEN BLASEN, and ICH BIN DER WELT ABHANDEN GEKOMMEN.....
Last time I actually heard him in recital was at the Wigmore Hall last December, it was the Schumann recital that he and Wolfram Rieger had previously done at the Chatelet, at which I was also present.

Oh yes, and I specially went to Paris to see his first Mandryka - he and Karita Mattila had such a wonderful rapport! you get the impression that I quite like Thomas Hampson?!