Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kevin Thompson returns to San Francisco for Entführung

Kevin Thompson returns to the SF Bay Area as Osmin
Bass-barihunk Aaron Sørensen just wrapped up a successful run singing his first Osmin in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Houston Symphony. Now it's Kevin Thompson's turn to make his role debut in one of the most difficult roles for bass. The opera runs from February 13-22 at West Bay Opera in Palo Alto, California, which is a quick drive for anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area. It certainly will be worth the trip.

Thompson is returning the Bay Area where he was a huge success while with the Merola Opera training program in San Francisco. During his stint with Merola, he performed Falstaff in Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor and a stunning Basilio in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. Eugene Brancoveanu, another former Merola graduate and fellow barihunk, will make his company directing debut with this production. He last appeared with the company singing Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail premiered in 1782 and contains three arias for Osmin, one of which goes down to the lowest reaches of the bass range. Mozart wrote the role of Osmin for the formidable bass Ludwig Fischer, who was a friend of the composer.

The first aria is "Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden," which advises the listener to reward your loved one with kisses and make her life great,  as well as to locking up your woman's other lovers, lest they tempt her to forget her faithfulness. 

Kevin Thompson sings Beethoven's Agnus Dei from the Missa Solemnis:

In the aria "Solche hergelaufne Laffen" Osmin graphically explains why he does not like Pedrillo. It's is mainly because Osmin and Pedrillo are both in love with Blondchen and Pedrillo is in better favor with both Blondchen and the Pasha.

After Pedrillo, Belmonte, Blondchen, and Konstanze are captured trying to escape, Osmin sings of the delight that he will have when they are all hanged in the aria "O wie will ich triumphieren," which dips down to a Low D (D2). Click HERE to listen to an amazing version by Kurt Moll.

The cast at West Bay Opera also includes Nikki Einfeld (another Merola graduate) as Kostanze, Michael Desnoyers as Belmonte, Tapan Bhat at Pedrillo adn Chelsea Hollow as Blonde. Tickets are available online

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