Double Bill: Aleko and Pagliacci at Opera Carolina

Kevin Thompson as her father was a good surprise and arguably the best singer in the first opera, with a booming and pleasant bass instrument.

Opera Lively

The Old Gypsy in Aleko

Heard at Opera Carolina for the first time in this production, bass Kevin Thompson recounted the Old Gypsy’s Tale, ‘Волшебной силой песнопенья в туманной памяти моей вдруг оживляются виденья то светлых, то печальных дней,’ with gravitas and solid, impactful tone that rushed through the theatre like a bracing wind from the steppes. In the Moderato espressivo section, he braved the repeated Cs at the top of the stave and the galvanizing top E♭ without the slightest hint of stress, and his timbre when singing Russian vowels combined the resonance of George London with the tonal orotundity of Mark Reizen. Mourning the murdered Zemfira in the opera’s final scene, Thompson plunged below the stave to the kind of primal sound that one associates with Russian Orthodox monastic chanting. With recent political developments in North Carolina prominent in nationwide discourse, it was impossible not to attribute to Thompson’s muscular declamation of the line stating that the gypsies make no cruel laws an artistic plea for acceptance and understanding. The only regret inspired by Thompson’s singing was that Leoncavallo did not provide the bass with a suitable rôle in Pagliacci.

Voix des Arts

Opera Carolina Welcomes Aleko to America in Fine Professional Style

Then the beauty of the chorus trailed away for the vocal highlight of the Opera Carolina premiere, “The Old Gypsy's Tale,” performed by Kevin Thompson in a magnificent Charlotte debut. Thompson's rich bass conveyed the melancholy, the peasant nobility, and the sheer passionate broken-heartedness of the Old Gypsy more richly and beautifully than either the Chandos or the Deutsche Grammophon recordings I've referenced. In the wake of all the bloodshed, there is a reckoning. Once again, Thompson as the Old Gypsy is mysteriously powerful in these final sobering moments, more potent and resolute than Aleko had realized, his leadership affirmed by the Gypsy chorus.

Classical Voice North Carolina

A Dark Horse with a Warhorse

Kevin Thompson as the Old Gypsy has a bass voice to sit up straight for.

Charlotte Observer

Opera Carolina Welcomes Aleko to America in Fine Professional Style

Then the beauty of the chorus trailed away for the vocal highlight of the Opera Carolina premiere, “The Old Gypsy's Tale,” performed by Kevin Thompson in a magnificent Charlotte debut. Thompson's rich bass conveyed the melancholy, the peasant nobility, and the sheer passionate broken-heartedness of the Old Gypsy more richly and beautifully than either the Chandos or the Deutsche Grammophon recordings I've referenced. In the wake of all the bloodshed, there is a reckoning. Once again, Thompson as the Old Gypsy is mysteriously powerful in these final sobering moments, more potent and resolute than Aleko had realized, his leadership affirmed by the Gypsy chorus.

Classical Voice North Carolina

West Bay Opera’s Futuristic Take on a Classic

Kevin Thompson, in his second appearance with West Bay Opera, 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.

Splash Magazine

A magnificent production of 'Faust' staged by West Bay Opera

Kevin Thompson as Mèphistophélés is brilliant in every regard, an audience favorite with his powerful bass and his stage-controlling, 6-foot-5 presence. His every move as Mèphistophélés is compelling.

San Jose Mercury News Peninsula

West Bay Opera delivers triumphant Faust

... when Mephistopheles appears. And what a devil! Kevin Thompson sang that role with zest and a scary believability, a powerful bass that filled the hall and confused the senses.

Repeat Performance

Greed in the age of biotech

As the devil, bass Kevin Thompson had a commanding stage presence and a powerfully resonant voice. He fully acted the role.

Thompson, who appeared successfully as Osmin in the Abduction from the Seraglio, WBO's previous show, is likely on the cusp of a fine operatic career. His rendering of "Le Veau d'Or" (the Calf of Gold) was particularly powerful.

Palo Alto Weekly

Not a Dull Moment in West Bay Opera’s Dystopian Faust

Bass Kevin Thompson was an impressive Méphistophélès. His robust voice is beautifully resonant, with a controlled vibrato. His acting was focused and convincing.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Abduction' sparkles

“Osmin, the bad guy in Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio," is a great character. Kevin Thompson, a towering bass on his way to Europe's top opera houses, gave a landmark performance in the role in the opening weekend of West Bay Opera's production of the work.

As Thompson entered Palo Alto's Lucy Stern Theatre through the audience on Sunday afternoon, his voice shook the rafters and his height and gravitas took patrons aback. Every time Thompson appeared - Osmin has many juicy arias and duets – it was big-time opera.

Thompson, a 2010 Merola Opera Program alumnus, is singing all over the world, and his West Bay Opera debut illustrates why."

The San Francisco Examiner

A Lively Seraglio

“In another auspicious debut, bass Kevin Thompson turns his first West Bay outing into a triumph as the menacing and propulsively funny Turkish body guard, Osmin. From the moment he makes his first ominous entrance from the back of the house, Thompson uses the burnished thunder of his voice and quick-trigger temper to create a memorable portrayal. His towering height only adds to the dominant impression he makes as the opera’s comic villain.

And then there’s the chess game that ends with an enraged Osmin biting off one of the piece’s heads. That gives a refreshing new life to the sin of chewing the scenery. Thompson, as he does everything else in his show-stealing turn, chomps down with gusto.”

The San Francisco Classical Voice

Abduction Review – West Bay Opera’s Valentine Gift to the Peninsula

“Kevin Thompson, playing the role of Osmin, is a force to be reckoned with. His first entrance, from the rear of the audience and without amplification, made the room shake with his rich, bass voice.”

Splash Magazine

Missa Solemnis at the Kennedy Center

“An approach that finally made sense in the final movement, the Agnus Dei,...... with the warm, earthy bass of the soloist Kevin Thompson. (Thompson, substituting for an indisposed Morris Robinson, is a local talent with a burgeoning international opera career.) Thompson was the urbane fundament to a varied quartet.”

The Washington Post

Sparafucile in Rigoletto

“bass Kevin Thompson portrayed an appropriately menacing Sparafucile.”

Oroveso in Norma

"...bass Kevin Thompson as Oroveso got first-rate treatment”

Mertopulse.com

Aida was a superbly grand production:

Kevin Thompson, as the high priest Ramphis, impressed with his physically and vocally commanding presence. His deep, pure bass rumbled through to the backseats, with the strikingly staged judgment scene as a particular standout.

Greenvilleonline.com

San Francisco

Extraordinary Falstaff (Nicolai) of the evening! Thompson's is 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 as Falstaff.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Italian Voice

Basso Kevin Thompson sang a thrilling"Ecco il Mondo" from Boito's Mefistofele, revealing a huge cavernous sound coupled with a dominating Physical presence that stunned the audience. Mr. Thompson's full round register and profound interpretive gifts evoked memories of Paul Robeson and Boris Christoff rolled into one. A well deserved ovation followed

The Italian Voice

Imposing Low Tones: Thompson’s Farewell Recital (Germany)

He has a voluminous bass with its exquisite overtone-rich timbres and raftershaking sonority. The audience willingly followed Thompson into the deepest, darkest, cellar of his throat, being spiritually transported.

Kieler Nachrichten

Aida

Kevin Thompson, the intolerable priest was an imposing Ramfis.

Los Angeles Times

Washintgon

The Voice booms, roars, rumbles through his 6'5" frame and bellows forth when he sings even we he speaks a Basso Profundo"

Washington Post

Sarastro

“Dominating the set in stature and voice is bass Kevin Thompson, who plays Sarastro. Thompson’s booming bass and regal presence as a stately Sarastro.”

Culture Nuts

Otello

“Bass Kevin Thompson sang a majestic Lodovico.”

Metro Pulse

Concert

"And they had no primary notice that bass vocalist Kevin Thompson’s voice would both command and woo them into a submission similar to that provided by the comfort of a warm, blanketed bed after a long day at work. His contribution to “Daniel, Daniel Servant of the Lord” held the audience a quiet, willing captive."

Prince George's Suite Magazine

Knoxville Opera

Bass Kevin Thompson has a truly room-rumbling voice that impresses with it's richness.

classicaljournal.wordpress.com

Verdi Requiem Sacramento

The four soloist brought operatic richness, great emotional texture ....... and sang with passion and power, tenderness and brilliance. Thompson, a last-minute substitution for the bass scheduled to perform, demonstrated his rich bass in the lyrical “Confutatis.”

Sacramento Press

True Christmas Gift at Sarasota Opera

All the singers were outstanding but we have to single out, and then there was bass Kevin Thompson who delivered an “Ol’ Man River” so powerfully moving it brought the entire audience to its feet in a truly rip-roaring ovation.

YourObserver.com

Don Giovanni

Commendatore was the full throttled bass of Kevin Thompson. His dramatic reentrance in the final scene is our own painful reminder that, thought we've laughed with Giovanni his deeds cannot go unpunished.

Shreveport Times

War Memorial Opera House (San Francisco)

Thompson ended the first half of the program with an aria from an obscure Strauss opera, "Die schweigsame Frau," and he was great, filling the house with his monster bass and ending the piece with a sustained low note that seemed to last for a good ten minutes.

San Francisco Civic Center

War Memorial Opera House (San Francisco)

Thompson showed off his prodigious instrument with a brief, witty excerpt from Richard Strauss' "Die Schwiegsame Frau.

San Francisco Chronicle

War Memorial Opera House (San Francisco)

I am totally unfamiliar with Strauss's Die schweigsame Frau, but I was delighted by the pleasingly languorous music & by the huge bass of Kevin Thompson, who held an impossibly low note for an impossibly long time at the close.

Fun & Enlightenment in San Francisco

War Memorial Opera House (San Francisco)

Another high point came with that low-low note at the end of “Wie schön ist doch die Musik” from Strauss’ Die schweigsame Frau, when Kevin Thompson’s true bass astounded the audience as he held that note forever, without the slightest indication of tiring or running out of air. Compare it with, yes, a Matti Salminen performance.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Herbst Theater (San Francisco)

Bass Kevin Thompson came on stage in a scene from the Barber of Seville - and we thought: here's a man singing with boys. His is a booming bottomless voice which filled up Herbst theater effortlessly. He was singing Rossini, but we were thinking: if he ever sings the Commandatore in Don Juan, he'd be hairraising and would really creep us out.

SFist Arts and Events

San Francisco

Kevin Thompson as Basilio demonstrated a commanding stage presence with his rich bass and sizeable physique to match. July 21, 2010

San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco

First among equals was bass Kevin Thompson as Falstaff (Nicolai), using his prodigious, larger-than-life sound with flexibility and precision to great comic effect.

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco

Bass Kevin Thompson, who took the stage with what seemed like a practically unimprovable aria from Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra,"... extraordinary range.

San Francisco Chronicle

Kiel's Volksbühnengala (Germany)

"Kevin Thompson, who hails from Washington to Kiel, possesses precisely the appropriate "Schwarzen Bass" for the part of the villain Mephistopheles in Gounod's Faust. A giant - not only in stature but also has a gigantic, sonorous sound and also smooth vocal power. He receives the first bravos of the evening for his Germany debut here at Kiel's Volksbühnengala."

Kieler Nachrichten

 
www.KevnThompsonBass.com