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Metropolitan Opera Guild Spring Events Include “Met Mastersingers” Tribute to Thomas Hampson March 22; Opera News Awards April 29

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The Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera News, the award-winning magazine published by the Guild since 1936, will present two notable events this spring. On Tuesday, March 22, the Guild honors Thomas Hampson, one of today's foremost singers, in its "Met Mastersingers" series at New York City's Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. The great American baritone – who is making his company role debut as Verdi's Macbeth at the Met this month – will engage in an informal conversation with Paul Gruber, the Guild's Executive Director of Program Development. The evening program will also showcase video excerpts of Hampson's most celebrated performances; a new video biography created for the occasion; and the honoree performing songs by Liszt, Barber, and Porter (program subject to change). On Sunday, April 29, the seventh annual Opera News Awards will be presented in a gala celebration in the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza in New York City, paying tribute to five extraordinary artists who have made an invaluable contribution to the art form: sopranos Karita Mattila and Anja Silja, baritones Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Peter Mattei, and director Peter Sellars.

"Met Mastersingers: Thomas Hampson" is the third installment in a series that began in February 2010 with an event honoring soprano Renée Fleming; in the fall of 2010, the German bass René Pape was celebrated. Gruber has had conversations with a "who's who" of great artists at many Guild events over the years, including such luminaries as Teresa Stratas, Renata Scotto and James Levine.

Created in 2005, the Opera News Awards recognize five individuals each year for distinguished achievement in the field of opera. Proceeds from the gala evening on April 29 will benefit the education programs of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Always a night of extraordinary star-power and glamour, the Opera News Awards celebration will once again bring together a bevy of New York's cultural and social luminaries. The corporate sponsor is BNY Mellon Wealth Management; the event has also received support from American Airlines and Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York.

For more than 75 years, the Metropolitan Opera Guild has provided substantial support to the Met, and has greatly enhanced the public's appreciation of opera in general. Since its founding by the pioneering philanthropist Eleanor Robson Belmont in 1935, the Guild has contributed more than $245 million to the Met. The organization has one of the country's most innovative and far-reaching music education programs, which impacts more than 1,800 schools and communities. In August 2010, the Guild received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's "Arts-in-Education" Model Development and Dissemination Program for its Comprehensive Opera-Based Arts Learning and Teaching (COBALT) project.

The Guild publishes Opera News, the world's largest-circulation magazine devoted to opera, and which also has the largest circulation of any classical music magazine in the United States. The magazine, published monthly, is a winner of three ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in music journalism. F. Paul Driscoll has been Editor in Chief of Opera News since 2003; Brian Kellow, whose recent book Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark made many "Best of 2011" lists, is the magazine's features editor and contributes a widely-read monthly column, "On the Beat." The Guild also produces an annual series of major public programs, including the Opera News Awards, and the Met Legends and Met Mastersingers series.

The star of the Met's Macbeth will be on stage with Paul Gruber to discuss his work, watch video excerpts of his performances, and sing some favorite songs.

Tickets are $40 for Guild members and Met patrons, and $50 for all others. Following the program, join the Guild for a champagne-and-dessert reception with the artists: $150 for premium seating and reception. For tickets, call (212) 769-7009, or order online here.

Awards presented to sopranos Karita Mattila and Anja Silja, baritones Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Peter Mattei, and director Peter Sellars.  Tickets are available through the Metropolitan Opera Guild at (212) 769-7009 or online here.


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