The American Bass, Kevin Thompson, possesses a commanding stage presence and a voice with extraordinary range, depth, and color: “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).
The excitement his performances generate has captured international attention ,“… voluminous bass with exquisite overtone-rich timbers and rafter-shaking sonority” (Kieler Nachrichten). Mr. Thompson began the 2014- 2015 season singing the role of Ahmed Sumani in selections from the world premiere of Qadar at the Kennedy Center followed by a return engagement with Opera Santa Barbara as Sparafucile in Rigoletto . His last minute substitution in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis , also at the Kennedy Center, with the award winning Washington Chorus, garnered critical acclaim: “…warm, earthy bass…Thompson was the urbane fundament…” (Washington Post) . His role debut as Osmin in Die Entführung as dem Serail with West Bay Opera was praised as a “landmark performance…big time opera” (San Francisco Examiner). He will sing in the Dvorak's Stabat Mater in New York before returning to West Bay Opera for Mephistophélès in Faust. This summer, he will debut with Santa Fe Opera as the Fifth Jew in Salome and cover the role of Sparafucile in Rigoletto.
In recent seasons, Mr. Thompson has appeared as Ramfis and Il Re (Aida); Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte); Mephistopheles (Faust); Oroveso (Norma); Sparafucile (Rigoletto); Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlos); Lodovico (Otello); Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni); Colline (La Boheme); Crespel, Schlemil and Luther (Les Contes de Hoffman); Dr. Grenvil (La Traviata); Ned (Treemonisha); Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd); Hans Schwartz (Die Meistersinger); the Verdi Requiem; Mozart Requiem; Beethoven's Missa Solemnis; Haydn's The Creation and the Lord Nelson Mass ; and, Stravinsky’s Les Noces.
Performing under the baton of a distinguished roster of conductors, including Edoardo Muller, Andreas Delfs, Julian Wachner, Christopher Allen, Alexander Kalajdzic, Grant Gershon, Leon Botstien, 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 2009 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 Festival in France, New York City Opera, Ash Lawn Music Festival, Sarasota Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Knoxville Opera, the American Cathedral in Paris, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, The Pentagon and Library of Congress.
Mr. Thompson appeared in the world premiere of Die Weisse Fürstin by Márton Illés 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 an audio walk artwork exhibit entitled Words Drawn in Water by artist Janet Cardiff.
Mr. Thompson is an alumnus and career grant recipient of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Program, the Juilliard School in New York, AIMS Graz (American Institute of Musical Studies) and Aspen Music Festival. He has worked with Dolora Zajick (Institute for Dramatic Young Voices), Catherine Malfitano (Act-Sing), and is currently with the internationally acclaimed 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.