Thomas Hampson begins his 2011-12 season at San Francisco Opera, where he will create the role of Rick Rescorla in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier (seven performances, Sept 10–30). Based on the 2002 book by James B. Stewart, the new opera, featuring a libretto by Donna DiNovelli and directed by Francesca Zambello, commemorates the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Heart of a Soldier marks the beginning of an extraordinary new season for Hampson that includes two role debuts at Zurich Opera – Iago in Verdi’s Otello (Oct 20 – Nov 27) and the title role in Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler (June 16 – July 5) – and an important company role debut, as Verdi’s Macbeth, at New York’s Metropolitan Opera (March 15 – April 9); performances with major orchestras in Europe and the U.S., including Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel (Jan 13–15); and several recitals on both continents, including a “Song of America” program at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (Jan 22). October will see the debut of “Song of America,” a 13-week radio series, which reveals American classic song – poetry set to music by American composers – as a vibrant diary of the American experience. The series, conceived and developed by Hampson, is co-produced by the Hampsong Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network of Chicago and will be syndicated by the network to public radio stations across the country.