. Interchanging Idioms: Thomas Hampson Makes Metropolitan Opera Role Debut as Verdi’s Macbeth Mar 15

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thomas Hampson Makes Metropolitan Opera Role Debut as Verdi’s Macbeth Mar 15

When Thomas Hampson made his American role debut as Verdi’s Macbeth in 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle pronounced his portrayal an “unqualified triumph,” marveling: “Just when there seemed to be no way for Thomas Hampson’s performance in the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth to get any more majestic or wrenching, it did.” Now for the first time the baritone brings this signature role to the Metropolitan Opera, giving the first of six performances on March 15, when the company revives Adrian Noble’s “stylistically eclectic, grimly effective and, at times, intriguingly playful production” (New York Times).

Noble’s innovative staging, which sets Macbeth’s action in the years after the Second World War, is complemented by Mark Thompson’s set and costume design, with acclaimed Italian maestro Gianandrea Noseda on the podium. Joining Hampson on stage is German soprano Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth, who sang the same role opposite him at Chicago’s Lyric Opera; the New York Review of Books confessed to never having seen a “better performed version than this, with the thunder-voiced Hampson and the sexy Michael at the top of their game.” Austrian bass Günther Groissböck sings Banquo, and tenor Dimitri Pittas reprises Macduff, the role in which he impressed the New York Times with his “melting sound and dramatic urgency” at the production’s opening run.

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