Thomas Hammons – basbaryton
Bass-baritone Thomas Hammons has been acclaimed throughout the United States, Canada, and across Europe, for the depth and richness of his portrayals and the strength and beauty of his singing. A versatile singing actor, Mr. Hammons has an active repertoire of over 60 roles spanning a variety of genres from the classical buffo repertoire, to the world of contemporary music, to modern musical theater. He made his début at The Metropolitan Opera as Sacristan in Tosca during the 1996-97 Season, and took part in the première of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of Le nozze di Figaro. He has returned to The Met in over 250 performances since, most recently for Lulu, Le nozze di Figaro, and La bohème.
This season, Mr. Hammons will perform the role of Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème at Michigan Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, as well as Candy in Of Mice and Men at Austin Lyric Opera. Mr. Hammons created the role of Henry Kissinger in the world première of Nixon in China by John Adams for the Houston Grand Opera in 1987. His iconic portrayal of Kissinger was subsequently seen in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, and Los Angeles, along with most recent revivals at the Canadian Opera Company, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Colorado, Vancouver Opera, and in concert with the Phoenix Symphony. His association with John Adams has continued with his chilling portrayal of the terrorist Rambo in the inaugural performances of in The Death of Klinghoffer at the Opera de la Monnaie, Brussels, with subsequent performances in Lyon, Vienna, San Francisco, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His creations of these two seminal works can be heard on the Nonesuch recordings of Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer.
Recently, Hammons appeared in his signature role of Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Michigan Opera Theatre and New Orleans Opera; as Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème with the Canadian Opera Company and Arizona Opera; Sacristan in Tosca with Portland Opera and Dayton Opera; Talpa in Il tabarro with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis; and Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro and George Benton in Dead Man Walking with Central City Opera. Favorite engagements have included a concert version of La bohème at The Hollywood Bowl under the baton of John Mauceri; a tour of Die Fledermaus with Seiji Ozawa in Japan; Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro at Barcelona’s famed Teatro Liceu; and most recently, his début with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Schigolch in Lulu. In other recent engagements, Mr. Hammons sang Sacristan in Tosca at Opera Lyra Ottawa and PORTOpera; Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola at Tulsa Opera; George in Dead Man Walking and Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte at Dayton Opera; a reprisal of the role of Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème with Palm Beach Opera; Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro at New Orleans Opera, and a performance asSacristan in Tosca with Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
He began his career as an Apprentice Artist at Santa Fe Opera in The Duchess of Malfi and has since appeared as Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème, Maharajah in Menotti’s The Last Savage, Dansker in Billy Budd, and Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore. With Cincinnati Opera, performances include Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème, Hermann Ortel in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Sacristan in Tosca, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Simone in Gianni Schicchi.
Additional notable performances include Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Vancouver Opera, Opera Colorado, Opéra de Montréal, and Opera Cleveland; Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Colorado, Atlanta Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Dayton Opera; Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème with Opera Colorado, the Atlanta Opera, and the Pacific Symphony; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with Opéra de Montréal, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Dayton Opera; and Sulpice in La fille du régiment with Opéra de Montréal. Mr. Hammons is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he studied with renowned bass Italo Tajo.