Hailed as “the real thing” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and praised for his “elegant style” by the Boston Globe, Sumner Thompson is one of today’s most sought-after young baritones. His appearances on the operatic stage include roles in productions from Boston to Copenhagen, including the Boston Eearly Music Festival’s productions of Johann Georg Conradi’s Ariadne (2003) and Lully’s Psyché (2007) and several Eurpoean tours with Contemporary Opera Denmark as Orfeo in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. He has performed across North America as a soloist with Concerto Palatino, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, Les Boréades de Montréal, Les Voix Baroques, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the King’s Noyse, Mercury Baroque, and the symphonies of Charlotte, Memphis, and Phoenix.
Highlight’s of Mr. Thompson’s 2008-09 season include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Tafelmusik, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri with Les Voix Baroques and Houston’s Mercury Baroque, Mozart’s Requiem at St. Thomas Church in New York City, a tour of Japan with Joshua Rifkin and Cambridge Concentus, and a return to the Carmel Bach Festival. in Copenhagen, Uberto in La Serva Padrona with Apollo’s Fire, The Traveller in Britten’s Curlew River with the Britten-Pears School in Nagaoka, Japan, and at the Aldeburgh Festival in the UK, Schaunard in La Bohéme with the Granite State Opera, and the count in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Commonwealth Opera. He has also appeared with Boston Baroque (as Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina), the Boston Early Music Festival ( Boston’s Florestan Recital Project, Pittsburgh’s Bach and Baroque, Early Music Vancouver, Apollo’s Fire (as Pilate in a staged version of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion), Emory Chamber Music in Atlanta, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (in Britten’s Cantata Misericordium), the Masterwork Chorus (in Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall), the National Symphony and the Choral Arts Society of Washington at the Kennedy Center (in Finzi’s In terra pax), the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (in Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem), Camerata Pacifica (as La Discorde in Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants), Paul Hillier in Bloomington, Indiana (in Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, and NYS Baroque in Ithaca, NY, (as Zebul in Handel’s Jephtha).
A noted recitalist, Mr. Thompson has performed in Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Regensburg, and at London’s famed Wigmore Hall with the late Leonard Hokanson, Alison d’Amato, and Tobias Hartlieb. As a favorite in top tier early music circles, he has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival in concert with the King’s Noyse ande as the satir in Conradi’s Ariadne, as well as in concerts with the Festival Baroque Orchestra and Concerto Palatino. He has also appeared at guest artist at the San Francisco, Regensburg, and Bloomington Early Music Festivals.
Among his many awards and distinctions, Mr. Thompson is the winner of the 1995 Atlanta Pro-Mozart Society Competition, the Willi Apel Scholarship at Indiana University in 1997, and the 1999 Indiana University Early Music Institute Concerto Competition, for which he was the only singer to ever be accorded this honor. In 2003, Mr. Thompson placed as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. He was also twice a semi-finalist in the New York Oratorio Society Competition.
Sumner Thompson records for the harmonia mundi usa, Dorian and Arsis labels.