Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson, acclaimed by the New York Times as a “stentorian bass”, “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 to the throne of Boris Godunov, and the majestic court of Sarastro…” (San Francisco Classical Voice).

This season’s engagements include house debuts with Washington National Opera in Elektra, as both Der Pfleger des Orest and Ein Alter Diener, and with Fort Worth Opera in Aida as Il Re. Mr. Thompson will also return to Opera Omaha for an Opera Outdoors Concert where he will perform scenes from Boito’s Mefistofele as Mefistofele; with Roanoke Opera for their Opera Gems Gala Concert; and with Odyssey Opera for Rachmaninoff’s Troika: as The Old Gyspy in Aleko;  Ivan in  The Miserly Knight, and The Ghost of Virgil in Francesca di RiminiFuture engagements include house debuts with Opera Colorado and The Dallas Opera.

Calendar

Event Date
Aug 21
Opera Outdoors
Soloist
Opera Omaha
Omaha, NE
Event Date
Sep 16
Opera Gems: A Gala Celebration Concert
Soloist
Roanoke Opera
Roanoke, VA
Sep 25
Rachmaninoff’s Troika - Aleko, The Miserly Knight, Francesca di Rimini
Old Gypsy/Ivan/Ghost of Virgil
Odyssey Opera
Boston, MA
Event Date
Oct 29
to
Nov 12
Elektra
Orest's tutor / Ein alter Diener
Washington National Opera
Washington, DC
Event Date
Apr 14
to
Apr 16
Aida
The King
Fort Worth Opera
Fort Worth, TX

Artist Bio

Kevin Thompson, acclaimed by the New York Times as a “stentorian bass”, “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 to the throne of Boris Godunov, and the majestic court of Sarastro…” (San Francisco Classical Voice).

This season’s engagements include house debuts with Washington National Opera in Elektra, as both Der Pfleger des Orest and Ein Alter Diener, and with Fort Worth Opera in Aida as Il Re. Mr. Thompson will also return to Opera Omaha for an Opera Outdoors Concert where he will perform scenes from Boito’s Mefistofele as Mefistofele; with Roanoke Opera for their Opera Gems Gala Concert; and with Odyssey Opera for Rachmaninoff’s Troika: as The Old Gyspy in Aleko;  Ivan in  The Miserly Knight, and The Ghost of Virgil in Francesca di RiminiFuture engagements include house debuts with Opera Colorado and The Dallas Opera.

In the previous season, Thompson performed the role of Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with San Antonio Opera; the Old Hebrew in Samson et Daliah with Bob Jones Opera; Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Nashville Opera; the First Nazarene in Salome with Tulsa Opera; Oroveso in Norma with Festival Opera; and was seen in the world premiere of Southern Crossings by Zaid Jabri at Barnard College in New York City. Concert engagements included Johnson City Symphony Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem, with Roanoke Opera, and in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with The Florida Orchestra.

In the pandemic season of 2020/2021, Mr. Thompson made his debut in Bulgaria with Ruse State Opera singing the role of Polonius in the world premiere of Hamlet by Joseph Summer. In the same season, Thompson was seen in Rigoletto twice: as Sparafucile with Shreveport Opera, and as Monterone with Tulsa Opera. Thompson also joined Tulsa Opera for their Greenwood Overcomes concert, in addition to engagements with Pocono Mountains Music Festival and Opera Omaha.

Mr. Thompson has performed in opera houses and concert venues throughout the world, under the baton of many an esteemed conductor, including Austria, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, South America, Switzerland, and the United States. Thompson has made debuts with New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Carolina, Bard Opera, National Philharmonic, The Florida Symphony, Opera Santa Barbara, Odyssey Opera, Hannover Staatsoper, Fundación Teatro Nacional Sucre in Ecuador, Teatro Verdi Trieste, Hong Kong Opera, Teatro Regio Parma, Ruse State Opera, Theater Kiel, the Gasteig in Munich, and the Wexford Opera.

Many of Mr. Thompson’s previous roles include: Ramfis and Il Re (Aida); Osmin (Die Entführung as dem Serail); Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte); Mephistophélès (Faust); Oroveso (Norma); Sparafucile and Monterone (Rigoletto); Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlos); Banco (Macbeth); Lodovico (Otello);  Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni); Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor)Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia); The Old Gypsy (Aleko); Colline (La Boheme); Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd); Ned (Treemonisha); El Captain (Florencia en el Amazonas); Hans Schwartz (Die Meistersinger); and Stefano Colona (Rienzi). As a concert soloist, Thompson’s engagements have included Verdi’s Requiem; Mozart’s Requiem; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater; Haydn’s The Creation and the Lord Nelson Massand Stravinsky’s Les Noces.

Mr. Thompson was born in Washington, D.C. He is an alumnus of The Juilliard School in New York, San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Program, and the Santa Fe Opera Program. Recordings include Verdi’s Requiem with Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, Haggadah shel Pesach by Dessau with the American Symphony Orchestra, Thy will be done by Rice with the National Choral Society, Polonius in Joseph Summer’s Hamlet and as King Soliman in Gounod’s La Reine de Saba with Odyssey Opera.

Updated November 2022.

Video

“Ecco il mondo” – Boito’s Mefistofele

“Le veau d’or” – Faust

“Balthazar’s Aria” – Donizetti’s La favorita

“Agnus Dei” – Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis

“Ol’ man River” – Showboat

“Oh Freedom”

Press

"Not only is his instrument monstrous in its quality and volume, but it is highly articulate, fearless in his ability to traverse his entire range and colorful." – OperaWire

Macbeth – "As Banco, audiences got a chance to marvel at the imposing bass of Kevin Thompson. Not only is his instrument monstrous in its quality and volume, but it is highly articulate, fearless in his ability to traverse his entire range and colorful. The shading in his final scene, the famed aria “Come dal cielo precipita,” had a controlled shimmer that expressed the fear he sensed around him. Contrast this with the brighter colors he managed from the opening duet with Macbeth, doubt and jest creeping into his performance."

"Sonorous, though, doesn’t even begin to describe the powerful, capacious and indefatigable singing of bass Kevin Thompson..." – San Francisco Chronicle

Die Entführung aus dem Serail – " Sonorous, though, doesn’t even begin to describe the powerful, capacious and indefatigable singing of bass Kevin Thompson the ferocious Klingon responsible for overseeing the prisoner. This is a role renowned for its punishing low notes and big gestures, and Thompson handled it all with terrifying ease."

"...it would come as no surprise if the Metropolitan Opera recruited him immediately at the close of the concert." – CS Music Staff

Gala Concert – "Another standout performance among the men was operatic bass Kevin Thompson’s performance of McLin’s “Great Day” which captured the performers and the audience. The exceptional richness and penetrating resonance of his voice were so captivating, it would come as no surprise if the Metropolitan Opera recruited him immediately at the close of the concert."

"...Kevin Thompson carried a tone that was robust and assured." – Bachtrack

Florencia en el Amazonas – “As the Captain, Kevin Thompson carried a tone that was robust and assured”

"With his deep rich bass voice and his stature and presence, he was unquestionably the focal point for the entire production. " – Splash Magazine

Faust – “Kevin Thompson shone in the role of Méphistophélès. With his deep rich bass voice and his stature and presence, he was unquestionably the focal point for the entire production. In addition to his singing, which was exceptional, Thompson’s physical grace and ability to act and emote enabled him to create a character that was both terrifying and playful – setting the tone for the rest of the cast and providing a welcome hint of lightness to his demonic role.”

“Kevin Thompson was an imposing Ramfis, the intolerable priest.” – Los Angeles Times

Aida – “Kevin Thompson was an imposing Ramfis, the intolerable priest,”

"...displaying a phenomenal range and showed us his dramatic chops..." – Huffington Post

Aleko – “Kevin Thompson as the Old Gypsy told his tale well in the beginning of the opera, displaying a phenomenal range and showed us his dramatic chops by being simultaneously sad, angry, disappointed and ultimately resigned to his daughter’s death at the hands of Aleko.”