Thomas Hampson's acclaimed portrayals of iconic roles in French operatic works have spanned the duration of his singular international career. A longtime champion of French repertoire, he has starred in the title roles of Chausson's Le roi Arthus at Opera National de Paris; Massenet's Werther (baritone version) at The Metropolitan Opera and Theatre National du Chatelet; Massenet's Thais (Athanael) at Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Metropolitan Opera; Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Four Villains) at the Royal Opera House - Covent Garden; and Thomas' Hamlet at the Theatre National du Chatelet. He has also performed in Massenet's Manon (Lescaut), Gounod's Faust (Valentin), Berlioz' Les Troyens (Chorebe), and Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tiresias (Gendarme). Additionally, Hampson has been featured on critically lauded recordings of Faust, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Thais, and Werther. Mr. Hampson carries the title of Cornmandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France.
With ''Serenade,'' his first album exclusively dedicated to French song, Mr. Hampson brings his passion for works by French opera composers to the PENTATONE label. Curated with the French Literature scholar Sylvain Fort and in a first collaboration with the Polish pianist Maciej Pikulski, the track listing includes romantic and introspective as well as humorous selections by Bizet, Chabrier, Chausson, Gounod, Magnard, Massenet, and Saint-Saens, featuring texts written by some of France's most revered writers including Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine. Rosemonde Gerard and others.
Recorded at Siemens Villa & Teldex Studios Berlin, Germany in September and October 2015.