"Of course, school education does not give you large amounts of stage experience, in the same way as is provided by some young artist programs. During two seasons as a young artist in London, I was singing supporting roles on the main stage and making unexpected debuts in the leading roles. Of course, in extreme situations you learn much faster."
"As a singer, as a professional, experienced singer, older colleague," Hampson advises young singers entering the profession, "I can only say that the industry you're in is not the industry I started in."
"When I start to work with a new orchestra, the first thing that I do is to play through the piece or through large chunks of it. This allows me to get to know the way of playing of the orchestra and, likewise, the orchestra gets to know my way of conducting and if I have a deep knowledge of the piece. This is something, by the way, that experienced musicians know immediately, and you earn or lose their respect in these first moments."
"I have learnt a lot but there is still a lot to learn. The most important thing I've learned is that the calling is not only about professionalism and talent. Many other factors also play a role in the career of a professional singer, some of which might be harmful to the art itself."
"Opera is so difficult to get right. There are a lot of valiant efforts but even in the master works of previous centuries, so many things have to come together for an opera to actually work for the audience. The story telling has to be clear, all the actors have to be on the same page, and the chorus has to be invested."
"As the composer, I try to see both the forest and the trees - to feel the small details and the small moments while making sure the text is right, the high notes are being approached in just the right way, and I'm also monitoring the large-scale form while keeping the pacing moving. It's multi-tasking at an intense level."
"This year marks the bicentennial of the birth of French composer Charles Gounod, and it felt like the perfect time to explore his lesser-known works. We are thrilled to be opening our season with the U.S. premiere of Gounod's La reine de Saba, composed in the years between Gounod's acclaimed grand operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette."
"For the past few years I've been thinking a lot about Canadian culture - or Canadiana - and, more specifically, Saskatchewan culture and identity. I've written two large-scale works in addition to this one that explores this as a premise. I feel I've just started this exploration."
"Although the piece is written for a classical ensemble, I composed using my own sensibility as a writer. Classical music is very much a part of my sound world, and there are similar compositional concepts that cross over into jazz and vice versa. It merely comes down to articulating those ideas on paper."
"It's always a treat writing music for master musicians and I'm thrilled to be in the company of such great composers, but I'm especially honoured to be part of this project, I think it's ambitious and timely and a beautiful tribute to Canada."