Thomas Hampson

A Swedish king laughs off a fortune-teller’s warning of a plot against his life. But when his closest aide discovers the monarch is having an affair with his wife, the threat of assassination becomes real. This tuneful Verdi masterpiece, “one of the composer’s most hot-blooded and vividly crafted tales” (San Francisco Chronicle), has an outstanding cast led by the splendidly lyrical Ramón Vargas and the riveting Dolora Zajick.

Tenor Vittorio Grigolo sings the title role of Hoffmann, the tortured poet and unwitting adventurer who is looking for love in Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, a fantasy opera based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann. The libretto was written by Jules Barber; the opera was first performed in 1881 in Paris. Saturday, January 31, 1 to 4:30 pm on WRTI.

One of the most-beloved opera arias is The Tales of Hoffmann's Barcarolle, Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour:

WOZZECK's longtime champion James Levine conducts Berg’s gripping score of passion, despair, and murder. Deborah Voigt and Thomas Hampson step into the demanding roles of Marie and the hapless title character for the first time in their remarkable careers.

Get ready for a dynamic season of opera broadcasts from the world-renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago. The lineup includes La boheme, Elektra, Hansel & Gretel, Rigoletto, Oklahoma! and more. This Saturday, May 18th, it's Giuseppe Verdi's SIMON BOCCANEGRA from 1 to 4 pm featuring baritone Thomas Hamspon in the title role. Sir Andrew Davis conducts.

Thomas Hampson hosts another show in this fascinating American music series. Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs have become recital standards, but traditional texts and tunes have attracted many other classical composers, including John Jacob Niles, George Crumb, and Jake Heggie.  It's Songs We've Always Sung, Sunday, from 5 to 6 pm on Song of America.

Song listings Here

The reclusive poet Emily Dickinson explored all of life’s emotions, and there are hundreds of compelling settings of her poems by composers from Ernst Bacon to André Previn to Ned Rorem. Hear some of them Sunday, October 28th, 5 to 6 pm as Thomas Hampson presents this acclaimed Song of America installment -  Emily Dickinson, Letter to the World.

Song listings with composer/poet and performers

"There Is No Gender In Music," said composer Elinor Remick Warren. Tune in as host Thomas Hampson looks at the lives and songs of generations of American women composers, including Amy Beach, Florence Price, and Carrie Jacobs-Bond. Sunday, October 13th, 5 to 6 pm.

Song listings

Listen back to an interview with Thomas Hampson from 2006. Jill Pasternak spoke with Mr. Hampson about his vision to create an American music radio series; that series - Song of America - is now showcased on WRTI on selected Sundays at 5 pm.

American composer Arthur Farwell may not be a familiar name to many, but he was an important influence on American Music at the turn of the 20th century.  Farwell took up Antonin Dvorak's challenge to Americans to find their own musical voices, and used music of Native Americans and words of American poets as inspiration for his own unique voice. He also pioneered the publishing of American composers and poets through his famed Wa-Wan Press.  Sunday, September 23rd from 5 to 6 pm. Baritone Thomas Hampson is your host.

Over the course of the 20th century, our classical singers were enthusiastic advocates for songs by American composers. In this installment of Thomas Hampson's Song of America series you'll hear the music they brought to far-flung audiences through recitals, phonograph records, and radio broadcasts. Sunday, September 9th, 5 to 6 pm.

Song listings with composer/poet, and performers.