The American Bass, Kevin Thompson, possesses a voice with extraordinary range, depth, color combined with a commanding stage presence. “A mountain of a voice, with resonance from the Escorial of Philip II, the throne of Boris Godunov, and the majestic court of Sarastro. Thompson delivered all the goods…” (San Francisco Classical Voice).
Other more recent engagements included his debut with Opera Carolina as Zemfira’s father in Aleko, Verdi’s Requiem with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, Wagner’s Rienzi at the Kennedy Center, Handel’s Messiah with the National Philharmonic, Osmin in Die Entfuhrung as dem Serail at the Walnut Creek Festival, and the role of Captain in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas with the New York City Opera. Prior to that he performed the role of Ahmed Sumani in the world premiere of Qadar at the Kennedy Center; a return engagement with Opera Santa Barbara as Sparafucile in Rigoletto; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, also at the Kennedy Center and with the Washington Chorus; and his debut as Osmin in Die Entfuhrung as dem Serail and the role of Mephistopheles in Faust with West Bay Opera, Mozart’s Requiem with Maestro David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem with Tallahassee Symphony, Basilio in the Barber of Seville with Opera Hong Kong, the Old Gypsy in Aleko with the New York City Opera, and the role of Angelotti in Tosca with Opera Tampa. Last season he returned to Bob Jones University as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, performed Thibault in The Maid of Orleans with Odyssey Opera, and the role of Ramphis in Aida with Knoxville Opera. In concert he returned to the National Choral as a soloist for Thy Will be Done and performed Verdi’s Requiem with the Chautauqua Institute and Lord Nelson’s Mass at Carnegie Hall. This season he will make his debut as Sparafucile with the New Orleans Opera, perform the role of Solomon in Gounoud’s La Reine de Saba with Odyssey Opera,and debuts the Bard Festival in Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane with Maestro Leon Botstien. Next season he sings the Thibault in Maid of Orleans at New Orleans Opera, and the American debut of Bottesini’s Ali Baba with Southwest Opera.
In recent seasons, Mr. Thompson has appeared as Ramfis and Il Re in Aida; Sarastro; Mephistopheles; Oroveso; Sparafucile; Grand Inquisitor; Lodovico; Il Commendatore; Colline; Crespel, Schlemil and Luther (Les Contes de Hoffman, Ned (Treemonisha); Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd); Hans Schwartz (Die Meistersinger); the Verdi Requiem; Mozart Requiem; Haydn’s The Creation and the Lord Nelson Mass; Handel’s Messiah; and, Stravinsky’s Les Noces.
Performing under the baton of a distinguished roster of conductors, including Edoardo Muller, Andreas Delfs, Julian Wachner, Christopher Allen, Grant Gershon, Leon Botstien, Joel Revzen, Alexander Kalajdzic, Mark Flint, Dean Williams, David Zinmin, and the late Julius Rudel, Mr. Thompson is at home on both the opera and concert stage having performed since 2008 with the Hannover Staatsoper, Fundacion Teatro Nacional Sucre in Ecuador, Teatro Verdi Trieste, Teatro Regio Parma, Opera Kiel, the Gasteig in Munich, Wexford Opera House in Ireland, La Folle Journee, New York City Opera, Ash Lawn Music Festival, Sarasota Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Knoxville Opera; and, in Augusta, Shreveport, the American Cathedral in Paris, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Pentagon and Library of Congress.
Mr. Thompson appeared in the world premiere of Die Weisse Furstin in Munich and in the US premiere of Haggadah shel Pesah (Passover in Exile) at Carnegie Hall in New York. As a permanent part of the Smithsonian Institute’s Hirschorn Gallery in Washington, D.C., Mr. Thompson is featured singing “Old Man River” in occurring audio walk artwork exhibit entitled “Words Drawn in Water” by artist Janet Cardiff.
He is a graduate of Juilliard, AIMS Graz (American Institute of Musical Studies) and Aspen Music Festival. He has studied with Dolora Zajick (Institute for Dramatic Young Voices), Catherine Malfitano (Act-Sing), and is currently with studying Bill Schuman in New York. Mr. Thompson is the recipient of numerous awards including those from the National Symphony Competition, the Don Giovanni International Competition, the Meistersinger Competition, Marian Anderson Scholar, the Paul Robeson Competition, and the Rosa Ponselle Competition.