Bass-baritone Thomas Hammons has been acclaimed throughout the United States, Canada, and across Europe, for the depth and richness of his portrayals and the strength and beauty of his singing. A versatile singing actor, Mr. Hammons has an active repertoire of over 60 roles spanning a variety of genres from the classical buffo repertoire, to the world of contemporary music, to modern musical theater. He made his début at The Metropolitan Opera as Sacristan in Tosca, during the 1996-97 season and took part in the première of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of Le nozze di Figaro. He has returned to The Met in over 250 performances since, most recently for Lulu, Le nozze di Figaro, and La bohème. This season, Mr. Hammons will perform the role of Sacristan in Tosca with Intermountain Opera Bozeman and Palm Beach Opera, Dansker in Billy Budd with Des Moines Metro Opera, Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Memphis, and Mr. Kofner in The Consul and a reprisal of his signature role Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Dayton Opera.
Mr. Hammons is well known for his critically acclaimed interpretation of the character of Bartolo. Having performed the role in both Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, it is known as one of his signature roles. He has performed this character all over the world, in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Michigan Opera Theatre, New Orleans Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Cleveland, Vancouver Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opéra de Montréal, and at Barcelona’s famed Teatro Liceu; and in Le nozze di Figaro with Central City Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera Colorado, Atlanta Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Dayton Opera. He has also performed the role of Antonio in the same opera with Milwaukee Symphony. Another role that Mr. Hammons has performed at numerous venues across the continent is Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème, which he performed with Michigan Opera Theatre, Arizona Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Colorado, Atlanta Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Omaha, Canadian Opera Company, and Pacific Symphony. A highlight of his concert history, Mr. Hammons performed in a concert version of La bohème at The Hollywood Bowl under the baton of the esteemed John Mauceri.
With an immense repertoire of Bass-baritone roles in his pocket, some highlights of Mr. Hammons previous seasons include the role of Abdullah Sher Norman in the world première of Shalimar the Clown with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, his début at Lyric Opera of Chicago as the role of Schigolch in Lulu, and a tour of Die Fledermaus with Seiji Ozawa in Japan. Other previous engagements include the roles of Sergeant Sulpice in La fille du régiment with Opéra de Montréal; Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzence with Opera Memphis; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with Opéra de Montréal, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Dayton Opera; Hermann Ortel in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Simone in Gianni Schicchi both with Cincinnati Opera; Candy in Of Mice and Men with Austin Lyric Opera; Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with Tulsa Opera and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra; George Benton in Dead Man Walking with Central City Opera and Dayton Opera; Talpa in Il tabarro with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and Sacristan in Tosca, which he has played numerous times at opera houses and symphonies such as Opera Lyra Ottawa, Portland Opera, Dayton Opera, PORTOpera, Cincinnati Opera, and Orlando Philharmonic.
Mr. Hammons created the role of Henry Kissinger in the world première of Nixon in China by John Adams for the Houston Grand Opera in 1987. His iconic portrayal of Kissinger was subsequently seen in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, and Los Angeles, along with most recent revivals at the Canadian Opera Company, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Colorado, Vancouver Opera, and in concert with the Phoenix Symphony. His association with John Adams has continued with his chilling portrayal of the terrorist Rambo in the inaugural performances of in The Death of Klinghoffer at the Opera de la Monnaie, Brussels, with subsequent performances in Lyon, Vienna, San Francisco, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His creations of these two, seminal works can be heard on the Nonesuch Label’s recordings of Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer.
He began his career as an Apprentice Artist at Santa Fe Opera in The Duchess of Malfi and has since appeared as Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème, Maharajah in Menotti’s The Last Savage, Dansker in Billy Budd, and Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore. Mr. Hammons is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he studied with renowned bass Italo Tajo. He recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award.