Cheers for Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann: "Manon Lescaut" in München
Foto (c) Wilfried Hösl
"Kristine Opolais als Manon und Jonas Kaufmann in der Rolle ihres Geliebten Des Grieux - beide in stimmlicher Bestform - wurden vom Publikum stürmisch gefeiert, ebenso Dirigent Alain Altinoglu."
Focus / dpa
"Phänomenal ist Jonas Kaufmann als Des Grieux. Sein baritonales Timbre, seine Gestaltungskraft, seine Phrasierungskunst, seine fabelhafte Höhe – all das passt perfekt zu dieser anspruchsvollen Rolle. Der Tenor mit Stammhaus München ist gerade dabei, mit so gut wie all seinen Partien Interpretationsgeschichte mitzuschreiben."
"Jonas Kaufmann ist als des Grieux ein geradezu manisch Liebender, dessen vokale Reserven an diesem Abend unerschöpflich sind. Seine baritonale Farbe, seine enorme Strahlkraft, sein auch in der dramatischen Höhe immer noch runder Stimmklang geben den Emotionen Richtung und Intensität."
"... im Ringen, im Flehen, im Enthusiasmus und in der Verzweiflung Des Grieuxs eine derzeit konkurrenzlose Idealbesetzung."
"Manon Lescaut" on BR-Klassik
Munich, November 15th 2014: the Opening Night of "Manon Lescaut" with Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann will be broadcasted by BR-Klassik (from 7 to 10 pm CET).
On DVD and Blu-ray: The Berlin Concert and the TV documentary "Berlin 1930"
"Du bist die Welt für mich" - after the recordings sessions Jonas Kaufmann, Julia Kleiter, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and conductor Jochen Rieder presented those evergreens from the late Twenties and early Thirties in a concert in Berlin's legendary Funkhaus Nalepastraße. Together with the TV documenary "Berlin 1930" by Thomas Voigt and Wolfgang Wunderlich the concert is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
The new Jonas Kaufmann album is now available
On “Du bist die Welt für mich” Jonas Kaufmann performs glorious tunes from Berlin’s legendary heyday, accompanied by Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Jochen Rieder. The album is released as limited first edition with bonus DVD, on vinyl LP and standard CD, as well as Super-Deluxe Box Set.
ECHO KLASSIK Award for the Verdi Album
It has been officially announced that Jonas Kaufmann has won an ECHO KLASSIK award for his Verdi Album in the category "Solo recording of the year / Vocal". The Award ceremony will take place on October 26th in the Philharmonie in Munich.
"Operatic night to remember": Kaufmann's debut in Australia
Here are some excerpts from reviews:
"Superstar tenor Jonas Kaufmann is the type of man your mother warned you about. His rock star looks are equal parts Antonio Banderas, George Clooney and Eric Bana – he has the Spaniard’s gaze, Clooney’s statesman-like poise and is an incredible Hulk in the high notes department. With a face that has graced Vogue, this tenor is the opera world’s closest thing to a Hollywood heartthrob. …. For much of his Australian audience, who have never heard him live, the collective question hangs in the air: will Kaufmann be as good as he is on YouTube? Puccini’s 'Recondita Armonia' from 'Tosca' breaks the ice and after its final note the audience applaud in rapture, realising he is everything we have heard about and more."
Jermaine Chau, The Guardian
"Kaufmann’s tenor voice is transparently clear with honeyed tone and the most beautifully burnished finish. It is neither craggy nor over-light, neither overly dark nor meretricious, neither unduly pinched nor stentorian. It sits in the ideal centre of these extremes with impeccable smoothness. Yet there is much more to his art than the superb sound. …. He moulds the lines into shapes that
Live from the ROH: "Manon Lescaut" in cinemas across the world and on BBC 3
Jonathan Kent’s new production of Puccini’s "Manon Lescaut", starring Kristīne Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann, will be relayed live to cinemas across the world at 7pm BST on 24 June. It will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on 1 July at 6.45pm.
"Vocal marriage in heaven" - "Manon Lescaut" returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 30 years.
From the moment Kaufmann and Opolais embark – with infinite delicacy - on their emotional journey, it becomes clear that this is a vocal marriage made in heaven. His warmly burnished sound is balanced by the exquisitely-nuanced purity of hers, and they are supported by a performance in the pit, under Antonio Pappano, of rare refinement.
Foto Bill Cooper / ROH
The great German tenor was in magnificent voice, somehow managing to sound heroic and vulnerable at the same time, and looked every inch the young blade whose impulsive fling turns into something deeper. His Des Grieux broke the heart, a man so wretchedly beset by love and so desperate to rescue his beloved from her demons.
Exhibiting qualities from each of the Three Tenors — Pavarotti's gleaming tone, Carreras's good looks, Domingo's dramatic presence — Jonas Kaufmann is justifiably lauded as the outstanding tenor of our day. In Jonathan Kent's new production of Puccini's Manon Lescaut he delivers a thrilling performance that satisfies both musically and theatrically.
Kaufmann wird in britischen Medien unterdessen als „Superstar“ der Opernwelt gefeiert. Covent Gardens Musikdirektor Antonio Pappano, der am Dienstagabend dirigierte, verglich den Deutschen kürzlich mit Opernstar Plácido Domingo. Das betreffe Stimme, Sprachtalent und schauspielerische Fähigkeit. „Es gibt
"The greatest tenor of today": Jonas Kaufmann in the Met's new production of "Werther"
„... currently the most in-demand, versatile and exciting tenor in opera. …. To be a great Werther, a tenor must somehow be charismatic yet detached, vocally impassioned yet ethereal. Mr. Kaufmann is ideal in the role. He sings with dark colorings, melting warmth, virile intensity and powerful top notes. There is a trademark dusky covering to his sound that lends a veiled quality to Mr. Kaufmann’s Werther and suits the psychology of the character.”
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
(c) Ken Howard
„…the greatest tenor of today: Jonas Kaufmann. … Every leaf in the woods glowed as Kaufmann looked around and sang with that velvety tone that is his alone. … the impressive French mezzo
Schubert’s Winterreise: Jonas Kaufmann’s new album
If he wanted to, Jonas Kaufmann could easily fill his calendar with Verdi and Wagner, Puccini and Massenet, but, however much he loves opera, he cannot live without lieder. For the German tenor, interpreting the classical lieder repertory is “the haute école of singing”. It demands far more detailed work than any other vocal discipline, more colour, more nuances, a greater range of dynamics and a more subtle approach to the music and words.
Kaufmann wins Limelight Recording of the Year 2013
The critics of "Limelight" have selected last year's top 40 classical releases. And the winner is... Jonas Kaufmann's Wagner Album!
"Fulminantes Debüt": Jonas Kaufmann in Vienna's new production of "La Fanciulla del West"
Bei der Uraufführung 1910 an der Met hatte Enrico Caruso den Johnson gespielt, und schöner als Kaufmann kann auch er nicht gesungen haben.
Jonas Kaufmann feiert in seiner ersten Staatsopernpremiere mit prachtvollem, männlichem Bronze-Timbre, glutvollen Macho-Tönen und viel Sinn für lyrische Piano-Feinheiten ein fulminantes Debüt als Edelbandit Dick Johnson.
Ernst Naredi-Rainer, Kleine Zeitung
Jonas Kaufmann ist ebenso eine Idealbesetzung: Er gibt den Dick Johnson kraftvoll, mit seinem atemberaubend schönen baritonalen
Singer of the Year: Jonas Kaufmann performs at the ECHO Klassik concert in Berlin
Don’t miss Jonas Kaufmann receiving his award for Singer of the Year at the Echo Klassik Preis this Sunday 6 October. Broadcast from 8pm onwards, Jonas will also perform an aria from his new Verdi album.
Verdi. Jonas Kaufmann’s new album
It was with Verdi that he made his international breakthrough in 2006, when he sang Alfredo Germont in La traviata at the Met. And for Jonas Kaufmann the Verdi bicentenary in 2013 is inevitably dominated by performances of works by the great Italian opera composer, with three productions of Don Carlo (in London, Milan and Salzburg), two role débuts in Il trovatore and La forza del destino and his first album devoted to Verdi. The new CD features thirteen highlights, of which eleven were firsts for Kaufmann: on stage he had so far sung only the tenor favourite “La donna è mobile” from Rigoletto and the duet with the
Jonas Kaufmann is Bayerischer Kammersänger
München, 8th July 2013: On the stage of the Bayerische Staatsoper after the performance of Verdi’s "Il Trovatore" Dr. Wolfgang Heubisch State minister for science, research and arts and Intendant Nikolaus Bachler awarded Jonas Kaufmann the title of Bayerischer Kammersänger.
Munich, July 3rd 2013: Between two performances of "Il Trovatore" Jonas Kaufmann replaced the indisposed Klaus Florian Vogt in “Lohengrin” at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munchen.
Jonas Kaufmann (Lohengrin) and Annette Dasch (Elsa). Photo (c) Wilfried Hösl / Bayerische Staatsoper
New Munich „Trovatore“: BR Klassik live radio broadcast of opening night and live streaming on BSO website on the 5th July
The new „Trovatore“ production, which opens on the 27th of June the Bayerische Staatsoper summer opera festival is currently among the hottest tickets in town; the performances have been sold out for months. Good news for all those who didn’t get a ticket! There are two ways you can „be there“ live: The opening night on the 27th of June is broadcast live on BR-Klassik radio at 7pm CET and the performance on the 5th of July will be streamed live on the Bayerische Staatsoper website.
Recogition from the foundation “Bündnis für Kinder”
For his commitment to bringing classical music closer to children and youngsters Jonas Kaufmann has been awarded the "Engagement Prize" by the Stiftung „Bündnis für Kinder“. The ceremony took place on the 25th of June in the Hubertushall of Schloss Nymphenburg. State minister Christine Haderthauer attended the ceremony and the Intendant of the Bayerische Staatsoper Nikolaus Bachler handed the prize to Kaufmann.
Wagner Birthday Concert on arte
In front of countless spectators Christian Thielemann, Jonas Kaufmann and the Staatskapelle Dresden celebrated Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday with a concert at the Semperoper Dresden. This was broadcast live in full on arte Live Web and had been available online for a couple of days.The excerpts from the concert (43 min.) which have been shown on arte TV on May 26th are still available to view online.
Wagner in der Semperoper: Jonas Kaufmann und Christian Thielemann.
Foto (c) Matthias Creutziger
„Die Goldene Deutschland“ for Jose Carreras and Jonas Kaufmann
Hamburg, 12th May 2013: On the occasion of the Hamburg Haven -Day the „Traumschiff“ („Dreamboat“) Germany hosted the first edition of the „Die Goldene Deutschland“ (“Golden Germany”) Awards. Among others, José Carreras, Jonas Kaufmann as well as the bestselling author Rosamunde Pilcher have been honoured for their special contributions to culture and audiences’ entertainment
"Deeply moving" - Jonas Kaufmann in the revival of "Don Carlo" at the ROH
Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros. Foto: Catherine Ashmore
"For this revival of Nicholas Hytner’s 2008 production, the Royal Opera House has assembled an outstanding cast. The title role is one of many which Jonas Kaufmann seems born to sing, and his ideal combination of grandeur and vulnerability bodes well for his future Otello; his soft, lyrical singing is a wonder to hear, and his acting is utterly convincing, whether portraying this troubled character’s neuroses or avowing eternal love and friendship."
Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH
"First, there is Jonas Kaufmann in this title role. The voice of this German tenor is one of the wonders of the modern world. Combining a wondrously mellow tone with huge, apparently
International Opera Awards: Two trophies for Jonas Kaufmann
The day after his Verdi & Wagner concert in the Royal Festival Hall Jonas Kaufmann has won best male singer and the reader's award at the inaugural International Opera Awards. The reader's award was voted for by readers of Opera Magazine. Best female singer went to Nina Stemme, best conductor to Antonio Pappano, best director to Dmitri Tcherniakov, Lifetime achievement to Sir George Christie.
The Met's new "Parsifal", Live in HD
Saturday, March 2 at 12 pm ET: See the Met's new production of "Parsifal" in the cinema of your hometown - live in HD. Choose your location to be directed to the movie theater partner site for information, performance start times, and ticket availability.
Jonas Kaufmann / Parsifal. Foto (c) Metropolitan Opera
"Jonas Kaufmann Day" in Phoenix
After his concert in Phoenix, Arizona Governor Janice Kay (“Jan”) Brewer proclaimed February 24 as Jonas Kaufmann Day as did the Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton and the city council in a separate proclamations. The awards were given to him during the performance.
No. 1 in the UK Classical Charts
Kaufmann's live recording of the Petersburg „Walküre“ is No. 5 in the UK Classical Charts, his Wagner album No 1.
„One of the year's landmark classical recordings”
Andy Gill, Independent
“As the joke goes, I wish I could jack up the scorecard and give this CD an ‘11-11’.”
Robert Levine, classicstoday
“No Wagner tenor sings Lieder with such musicianship, colour and sensitivity. With this glorious disc, Kaufmann sets a standard for our time.”
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
“A voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree” – Jonas Kaufmann in the Petersburg "Walküre"
“’A voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree’– Kipling describing Bagheera, the black panther in The Jungle Book; it could equally be applied to Kaufmann, whose baritonal timbre and almost smoky half tones make his Siegmund intensely masculine.
Mark Pullinger, opera britannia
“Much of the attention this release gets will focus on Jonas Kaufmann’s Siegmund, and rightly so because he is a marvel. He is now at the point of his career where his voice is perfect for the role of the Wälsung hero. … If the rest of the Wagner
"in his glory" - Jonas Kaufmann in the Met's new production of "Parsifal"
Foto (c) Metropolitan Opera
“At 43 Mr. Kaufmann is in his glory, equally adept in German, Italian and French repertory. Handsome and limber, he is a natural onstage. The baritonal colorings of his sound, his clarion top notes, the blend of virility and tenderness in his singing, his refined musicianship — all these strengths come together in his distinctive Parsifal.”
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
“Kaufmann is astonishing as Parsifal, singing effortlessly and with the radiant tone so rare in Wagner tenors.”
Manuela Hoelterhoff, Bloomberg News
“Vocally, he rises to the stirring climaxes in Act 2 with his customary thrilling tone, then seems to deliberately hold back in
Grammy for the Met „Ring“
The 55th Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles crowned the new iMet "Ring“-production (DG, 8 DVDs / 5 Blu-ray Discs) as best opera recording of the year. The much debated Robert Lepage
The15th of February sees not only the Met Premiere of "Parsifal“ but also the release of Jonas Kaufmann’s much anticipated Wagner CD. Alongside excerpts of „Tannhäuser“, „Siegfried“, „Walküre“, „Meistersinger“ and „Rienzi“ the CD contains the two-verse original version of the Grail narration from „Lohengrin“ as well as the Wesendonck Songs. Further two Wagner recordings with Jonas Kaufmann have also been recently
„In a class of his own“ - Jonas Kaufmann in La Scala's new production of "Lohengrin"
“In the title role, Jonas Kaufmann was in a class of his own, totally involved and giving a masterclass of daringly varied, sometimes mannered, vocal technique.”
Martin Kettle, The Guardian
„Kaufmann ist überhaupt der Star der Aufführung: Sein Tenor mit baritonalem Timbre, exzellenter Höhe und leichter Italianità auch bei Wagner-Rollen ist perfekt für den Lohengrin.“
Gert Korentschnig, Kurier
„In Kaufmann, il cavaliere, la recitazione è in perfetto accordo con il disegno vocale. Da un punto di vista tecnico Kaufmann è qualcosa di unico: controlla l'emissione illuminando o ombreggiando ogni parola, ogni frase. Con i pianissimi, le messe
Live on RAI 5 and Arte / ZDF: Prima alla Scala with "Lohengrin"
With another 7th of December approaching the Teatro alla Scala in Milano has opened another season, this time with a new production of Wagner’s Lohengrin, directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The first night has been broadcast live on RAI 5 and Arte / ZDF. The cast: Jonas Kaufmann (Lohengrin), Annette Dasch (Elsa), Evelyn Herlitzius (Ortrud), Tomas Tomasson (Telramund), Rene Pape (König Heinrich) and Zeljko Lucic (Heerrufer).
Fight scene act 1: Evelyn Herlitzius, Tomas Tomasson and Jonas Kaufmann. Photo (C) Monika Rittershaus
“Europamedaille” for Jonas Kaufmann
Bavaria’s cabinet minister for Europe, Emilia Müller awarded Jonas Kaufmann the “Bayerische Europamedaille” in a ceremony which took place on the 8th of October in the Prinz-Carl-Palais in Munich. The medal is awarded since 1990 in recognition of services rendered in promoting the reputation of Bavaria in Europe as well as promoting the European integration and collaboration in Bavaria.
Hottest ticket in town: The London “Tosca”
Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel as the leads and Antonio Pappano conducting – the two performances of “Tosca” at the Royal Opera House in July 2011 were by far the hottest tickets in town. For all who weren’t lucky enough to be there it has been captured on DVD and Blu-ray, released by EMI on October 12th.
Live from the Met: Robert Lepage’s „Ring“ production on DVD and Blu-ray
Already seen by over a million people in the theatre and at cinemas around the globe, the Met Ring was filmed live in high definition and is now being released on both DVD and Blu-ray to launch Deutsche Grammophon’s celebration of the composer’s bicentenary year in 2013. James Levine, the Met’s longstanding Music Director, who has conducted 21 complete Ring cycles at the Met; and Fabio Luisi, the Met’s Italian-born Principal Conductor, who took over conducting the second half of the cycle after illness
Salzburg "Carmen" on CD
After having premiered at the Salzburg Easterfestival and been heard in concert versions at the Berlin Philarmonie, this summer Simon Rattle’s “Carmen” production is back at the Salzburger Festspiele with Magdalena Kozena, Jonas Kaufmann, Genia Kühmeier and Kostas Smoriginas leading the cast. The recording, made in Berlin in April will be released by EMI on the 24th of August. Exclusively in Salzburg it is already available from the 15th of August.
Two Rodolfos for Anna Netrebko: Piotr Beczala acts, Jonas Kaufmann sings
Salzburg, 4th of August, 7:50pm – ten minutes before the start of Puccini’s „La Bohème“. Emergency call from the office of the Salzburger Festspiele: Piotr Beczala has fallen ill, is unable to sing Rodolfo and has just cancelled for tonight. How on earth to find a replacement within the next hour, who could save the sold out performance? Last hope: Jonas Kaufmann! In spite of having the
„Dream-debut“: Jonas Kaufmann sings Bacchus
„Ideally cast“, „dream-debut“, „magnificent in sound and intensity“, „spectacular“, „virile, brooding and in magnificent voice“, „vocal testosterone“, „technically perfect, with impeccable diction and wonderful phrasing – Jonas Kaufmann’s sovereign performance as Bacchus in the new production of ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’ at the
Foto (c) Ruth Walz / Salzburger Festspiele
Margarete und Jonas Kaufmann sponsor BSO-seats
The Nationaltheater of the Bayerische Staatsoper is updating its seats. The old seats are being sold off and anyone can sponsor one of the new seats. Margarete and Jonas Kaufmann are some of the first sponsors for this BSO project. More information in the press release of the BSO.
Opera Recording of the Year
The Winners of the ECHO KLASSIK Award 2012 have been announced. “Opera Recording of the year (19th Century)” is Beethovens “Fidelio” with Nina Stemme and Jonas Kaufmann, conducted by Claudio Abbado (Decca).
Salzburg und Linz
After first rehearsals for the new production of "Ariadne" in Salzburg I'm looking forward to my open air concert in Linz on Saturday evening.
End of the Forced Break
before any more speculation and rumors get into circulation, I would like to inform you today that my forced break is as good as over. According to the results of my latest medical examinations, I am now well on the way to recovery, and so I will be able to resume my activities from the beginning of July. I am looking forward to the concerts in Linz and Munich, as well as the rehearsals and
UEFA Champions League Final Opening Ceremony
After my appearance at the Champions League Final on Saturday night, it appears that some people were very surprised: how could I cancel several performances and concerts due to illness but still sing at the CLF? To avoid any further misunderstandings: I did not sing, but rather lip-synched to a pre‑recorded tape. Had the promoters insisted on my singing live there, of course I would have
Jonas Kaufmann has donated Charity prize to "Campus"
Last December in New York Jonas Kaufmann received the Gerda Lissner Foundation Charity prize. The prize, in amount of 5.000 Dollar, is awarded yearly to an internationally renowned singer who in turn dedicates it to a social or artistic project of his choice. Kaufmann has donated the prize to the BSO's Children's and
Video Clips "Don Carlo"
Several clips from the live- streamed performance of "Don Carlo" (January 22nd) have been published on YouTube by the Bayerische Staatsoper, including the complete final scene.
Standing Ovations: „Don Carlo“ in Munich
Anja Harteros (Elisabetta) and Jonas Kaufmann (Carlo) in Verdis "Don Carlo", Bayerische Staatsoper München. Photo (C) Wilfried Hösl
Jubel, Bravogeschrei und Getrampel vor allem für Kaufmann und die Harteros … Die beiden Sänger haben schon in Lohengrin wunderbar mit einander harmoniert und sie boten auch diesmal Musiktheater in Vollendung.
Georg Freund, Der Neue Merker, 16.1.2012
Er sang die Titelrolle nicht als Tenor in Opernpose, sondern war bemüht, die charakterliche Labilität des Infanten aufzuzeigen, der mal bebend vor Angst zu Ebolis Füßen kauert, mal heldenmutig
Musical America Awards: Jonas Kaufmann is "Vocalist of the Year”
New York, December 5th 2011: Musical America hosted its Artist of the Year Awards. Vocalist of the year is Jonas Kaufmann, who acknowledged the award as a sign that his vocal versatility is not only accepted but welcome in the States. “Now, I am not stuck in a corner as a ‘heldentenor’ or a ‘light Italian’ voice. I am having fun. I feel like I am in a dream, as if I’m entering another dimension. I hope to sit on this cloud for quite awhile.”
"Faust" live in HD
On December 10th the new production of Gounods „Faust“ had been transmitted live in HD to cinemas all over the world. To watch video clips from the dress rehearsal (November 25th) please click on the text marked in blue.
The new "Faust" at the Met - some press comments
Jonas Kaufmann enacted the protagonist’s plight sensitively, shading the line with heroic ardour and exquisite finesse, as needed. He sculpted long pianissimo phrases that took our breath away, if not his.
Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times
Mr. Kaufmann, a Met superstar who recently performed a rare song recital on the Met stage, was a handsome, vocally splendid Faust. He sang the pensive and romantic passages with veiled dusky colorings and tender lyricism, and unleashed pent-up power in full-bodied phrases, capped by fearless high notes.
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
Jonas Kaufmann's darkly burnished tenor encompassed both the dramatic intensity and exquisite lyricism required of Faust. "Salut! demeure," his apostrophe to Marguerite's house, was a marvel
Highlights on Video: The new song recital
On the NEWS side you will find our little film (15 Minutes) which presents some highlights from the new Lied Recital, which Helmut Deutsch and I performed on July 26th in the Nationaltheater in Munich: Songs from Franz Liszt, Gustav Mahler, Henri Duparc and Richard Strauss. Between the songs you’ll hear some statements from Helmut and me. We hope that you like the new
Gramophone Award for Verismo Arias
London, October 6th 2011: In the category "recital" Jonas Kaufmann's album with Verismo Arias got a Gramophone Classical Music Award 2011. "The reason people will buy it is simply this - a great singing actor at his peak, singing very, very well", reads the statement of the editors of "Gramophone".
What tenor doesn’t dream of one day singing the big “hits” from the verismo era, thrilling pieces like “Ridi, Pagliaccio” (“Laugh, Pagliaccio!”) or Turiddu’s farewell to his mother from “Cavalleria rusticana”. I remember when I was a student, I used to think to myself: “Man, it must be awesome to be able to sing that stuff!” And it is. The recording sessions for my verismo album took place in Rome in May of 2010, and they were among the most beautiful experiences of the past season. With Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia taking part, the whole project was under a lucky star right from the outset. It didn’t seem like hard work to us; we just had fun putting it all together.