"Oper für alle": "Manon Lescaut" live screening and streaming
Friday, July 31st: Don't miss the live screening / streaming of Puccinis "Manon Lescaut" from the Nationaltheater in Munich. The screening will take place on the Max-Joseph-Platz (in front of the Nationaltheater), the streaming at Staatsoper.TV. The protagonists are Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann, the event will be moderated by Thomas Gottschalk.
"Carmen" in Orange
Kate Aldrich and Jonas Kaufmann in the new production of "Carmen" at the Festival Choregies d'Orange. The premiere is on July 8, the performance on July 11 will be broadcasted live on France 3, Culturebox and Medici TV (Foto Philippe Gromelle).
Open Air Concert in Munich
Saturday night live in Munich, Sunday night on TV: Open Air Concert with Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Thomas Hampson, Elena Zhidkova and Ildar Abdrazakov. Watch the interview with Jonas Kaufmann for BR-Klassik.
Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Netrebko at the press conference. Dmitri Hvorostovsky had
to cancel the concert due to illness.
Resounding success - The Puccini Concert al La Scala
Conductor Jochen Rieder and Jonas Kaufmann.
Double debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival
Saturday, March 28: The new production of „Cavalleria rusticana“ and „Pagliacci“ staged by Philipp Stölzl and conducted by Christian Thielemann marks a double debut of Jonas Kaufmann, singing both Turiddu und Canio. „Cavalleria“ will be shown on TV on Easter Monday, April 6 (ORF at 22:00 h / ZDF at 23:15 h), both operas on April 11 at 20:15 h on 3sat.
Jonas Kaufmann (Canio), Foto SN/APA
On record and live: "Aida" in Rome
"Over the past two decades the number of studio recordings produced by the world’s biggest record labels of grand operas has dwindled. However a new studio recording of Verdi’s epic masterpiece Aida being produced by Warner Classics and featuring an all star cast proves that the tradition of recording large scale operatic works in the studio is still alive. What’s more, the new recording, due for release in October this year, will boast an authentically Italian provenance with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano at the helm." Read more in "Limelight".
Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros and Antonio Pappano during the concert performance of
Verdi's "Aida" (Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, February 27th).
Live from the ROH: "Andrea Chenier" in cinemas across the world and on BBC 3
The new production of Giordanos "Andrea Chenier", starring Jonas Kaufmann, Eva-Maria Westbroek und Željko Lučić, will be relayed live to cinemas across the world at 7:15pm BST on 29 January. The performance on 31 January will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 7.15pm.
"Jonas Kaufmann brings down the house with the sheer beauty of his singing" - "Andrea Chenier" in London
"This is a star vehicle for the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann and he drives it superbly well. Whether it's thundering out Chenier's early declaration of idealism (…) or eking out the deparate passion of his farewell verses, Kaufmann sings with thrilling power, burnished tone and ringing top notes. That he is probably the best thing which has happened to breeches since Colin Firth's Mr Darcy doesn't hurt either."
“…when Kaufmann launches into his opening aria it’s as though the sun has come out: with his convincingly heroic presence, and the sheer beauty of his singing, he simply brings the house down. And so he does when he sings his dream of love, when he wrestles with his soul, and when he takes his leave of life: each aria is perfection incarnate.”
"Kaufmann is performing the title role for the first time, and it’s hard to imagine him bettered. His striking looks make him very much the Romantic and romanticised outsider of Giordano’s vision. His voice, with its dark, liquid tone, soars through the music with refined ease and intensity: all those grand declarations of passion, whether political
or erotic, hit home with terrific immediacy. His acting is superb, too, from the gauche, resentful bow with which he greets Rosalind Plowright’s vicious Countess di Coigny, to the slightly crazed rapture with which he goes to the guillotine with Eva-Maria Westbroek’s adoring Maddalena at his side."
"He has never sounded better in London. His dark tenor smoulders with the heat of a poet’s unfulfilled ardour and his top notes ring out effortlessly (one of them goes from the softest thread of sound to a blazing forte)."
"Kaufmann has the lion's share of the arias and if his voice was a shade darker than that of the great Italian tenors who have sung the role, his musicality, power and charisma won the day."
"...the melting beauty of his intonation and the nuance of his phrasing are sublime. Those B flats are pretty ringing, too, as well as stunning passagio notes – ‘firmamento!’ – and he gives just enough emphasis to ‘Non conoscete amor’ for the phrase to be urgent but not blustering. Come un bel dì di maggio was almost more affecting, ‘carezza di poesia’ the perfect example of what characterizes Kaufmann’s art – the absolute mastery of intimate narrative, voiced with quiet yet intense fervour. After this, his 2017 Otello here is even more eagerly anticipated."
"Timely as Umberto Giordano’s opera is, it’s rarely performed, as the taxing title role demands an exceptional tenor. Jonas Kaufmann, with heroic stage presence and voice to match, is such a man."
"… most of the audience had come to celebrate the most exciting tenor of the day without the distraction of a meaningful drama — and Jonas Kaufmann did not disappoint. Chénier’s poetic exhortations were fleshed out through his swarthy middle voice to the most thrillingly open top in the business."
"As for Kaufmann, he's in his element. Frock-coated and pony-tailed, his Chénier is a poetic Puss in Boots with a voice of liquid gold. On opening night, "Come un bel di di maggio", the condemned man's farewell poem, elicited roars of approval from buffs and adoring fans alike."
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
seem to span a great arch from the first note to the last. In 'La vita e inferno', from Verdi’s 'La Forza del destino', Kaufmann etched this great picture of despair with sincere dramatic intensity of unforced integrity. He rose to the final note in a mood of whispered defeat but before it concluded, the tone had swelled to a mood of fierce defiance – a whole world of emotion on a single A flat."
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald
"Kaufmann arrived in Sydney following performances of 'La Forza del Destino' so it’s perhaps not surprising that his singing of Alvaro’s final aria from that opera was rather special. The most extended number on the program, it gave him the chance to show what a superb vocal storyteller he is. The aria proper started daringly pianissimo, rising to a heartrending 'Leonora mia, soccorrimi' and a glorious 'Pietà del mio penar!' So beautiful was the crescendo from pianissimo to full voice on the last note that the audience burst into applause, obliterating the orchestral play out, after which Kaufmann charmingly apologised to his conductor."
Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine
Ben Neutze, Daily Review
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
seit Plácido niemanden, der die Freiheit und Breite des Repertoires von Jonas hat“, sagte Pappano dem „Telegraph Magazine“.
Kaufmann has done nothing better than this charismatic Des Grieux at the Royal Opera and his dark, brooding tenor sings with unstinting passion and vocal freedom.
His singing, which seems to gain in weight and richness every time he appears here, is exceptional.
Puccini declared that he composed Manon Lescaut “with a desperate passion”. That’s exactly what comes across here.
"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
Sophie Koch, in her Met debut, worked herself into a dramatic frenzy… The last duet with Kaufmann was memorably beautiful. Such radiant singing seared the heart and provoked one of the greatest ovations in recent memory.“
Manuela Hoelterhoff, blomberg news
“The obvious raison d’être for the endeavour was Jonas Kaufmann, who pined nobly in the title role and rang the rafters neatly and toughly, perhaps more often than absolutely necessary. He also floated exquisite pianissimos and breathtaking diminuendos when the spirit moved him.”
Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times
“As Werther died, the color leeched out of his voice in ways rarely been heard since Maria Callas' La Boheme recording.”
David Patrick Stearns, WQXR Opervore
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.
And if there is an acid test for any lieder singer, it is undoubtedly Schubert’s Winterreise, a cycle of twenty-four settings of poems by Wilhelm Müller that is generally regarded as the pinnacle of lieder singing, a sequence of songs as thrilling for listeners as it is for the performer. “
Against the background of all the horror stories that bombard us today, we are undoubtedly rather more hardened than Schubert’s contemporaries, and yet even today’s listeners can still find this cycle affecting,” Kaufmann describes his experience of the work. “Even as interpreters we always find ourselves sucked into the emotional undertow of these songs, although we know perfectly well what to expect. I think that Winterreise has the same sort of cathartic effect as a Greek drama: the emotional experience purges the soul. On me, the work has an almost meditative effect because Schubert expressed these emotional depths with clarity and simplicity that I ultimately find consoling and that allows me to regain my own inner balance.”
After working together closely for many years and giving a number of recitals of Schubert’s great song cycles, Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch have now made their first recording of Winterreise. The recording was made in October last year in the August Everding Hall in Grünwald in Munich and documents the current state of a very special partnership that began many years ago at the Munich Academy of Music and Theatre. Over the years the initial teacher-pupil relationship has been transformed into a wonderful example of artistic communication that has found expression not only in the recording studio but also at countless song recitals, most notably at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on 30 October 2011, the first solo recital heard at the Met since Luciano Pavarotti’s recital in 1994. The performance was greeted with the sort of acclaim that is normally reserved for a major operatic concert.
Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch will make their Carnegie Hall recital début on 20 February, before going on tour with Winterreise, starting on 28 March. Their journey will take them from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona to Geneva, Berlin, Graz, London, Paris, Prague and Moscow, ending at La Scala, Milan, on 14 April 2014.
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
Timbre, viel Schmelz und Italianità
Jonas Kaufmann betört als atemberaubender Bandit Dick Johnson; die Kraftreserven, die erregende Legato-Kultur und das fast gehauchte piano suchen ihresgleichen.
Elisabeth Hirschmann, oe24
Eigentlich ist dieser Dick Johnson eine undankbare Rolle, da es keine wirkliche Arie gibt. Gerade deshalb war Jonas Kaufmann bewundernswert, weil er die ganze Oper wie eine Arie gesungen hat und jeder kleinsten Phrase intelligentes, emotionales Leben eingehaucht hat.
Michael Wruss, OÖNachrichten
Jonas Kaufmann incarne un bandit passionné et ardent, avec de belles nuances dans la voix. Son «Ch’ella mi creda libero» final est tout simplement irrésistible.
Claudio Poloni, Concertonet
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
Marquis de Posa from Don Carlo; all the other titles he had learned especially for this CD: “Celeste Aida” from Aida and “Di quella pira” from Il trovatore, the famous tenor arias from Macbeth, Luisa Miller and La forza del destino, the dramatic highlights from I masnadieri and Simon Boccanegra and two arias each from Un ballo in maschera and Otello. This range not only reflects the exceptional development in Verdi’s operatic output but also reveals Jonas Kaufmann’s vocal flexibility, which extends from the lyrical sweetness of “Quando le sere al placido” in Luisa Miller to Otello’s emotional outburst in “Dio mi potevi”. Few singers have ever completed this journey.
For Jonas Kaufmann, Giuseppe Verdi is “a man of the people: his music is so powerful that it reaches people and moves them even outside the world of opera. Quite simply, Verdi is musically synonymous with Italy. Everyone knows his melodies and can sing them. And then there is Verdi the great dramatist, the man who set plays by Shakespeare and Schiller and who was seventy-four when he wrote a piece that sounds more modern and bolder than anything he had written until then: Otello. When I recorded these two scenes for my Verdi album, I was so drawn into the sway of the music that I wish I could have sung the whole part on stage straightaway. But I shall have to be patient, because it will be a couple of years before I sing my first Otello in the theatre.”
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
in Germany. The „Goldene Deutschland“ (“Golden Germany”) Awards have been initiated by actor, Tv host and entertainment businessman Alexander-Klaus Stecher on the 10th Anniversary of his programme “StechersStammtischs”. The awards ceremony has been recorded by SAT.1 and will be broadcast on SAT.1 Gold on the 13th of May at 10,35pm CET.
"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
effortless power and control, he is always a joy to see and hear."
William Hartston, Daily Express
"The reason for the buzz around this revival came clear as Jonas Kaufmann launched into his rapturous opening aria. His phrasing was exquisitely shaped, and his projection - underscored by distant horn-calls - was perfect, with its gentle falls into half-voice; his whole being radiated ardent nobility."
Michael Church, The Independent
"This was a Don Carlo one could imagine defying the Spanish Empire, its violence and tyranny. His vocal authority was matched by physical energy. Kaufmann embodies the part perfectly. His interactions were outstanding."
Anne Ozori, Opera Today
"As Don Carlo, Kaufmann varies his singing so much with soft, warm, intimate sounds that the Italian passion of the music starts to recede out of reach, but he, too, was impressive and, in his three duets with Harteros, deeply moving."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times
"No doubt the house was delighted to secure once again Jonas Kaufmann, currently the world’s favourite tenor, in the title role. Kaufmann brings to the part a full-throated heroic tone that also magically floats in response to the nuances of the text."
Barry Millington, Evening Standard
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
“the world’s leading Wagner tenor“
Andrew Clark, Financial Times
Sebastian Spreng, miamiclasica
“Tenor Jonas Kaufmann is a prime example of what Wagner should sound like. When I listen to Wagner, this is how I dream it should sound. What a gift for the 200th anniversary of the composers birth.”
John Terauds, Musical Toronto
“His luscious voice is big, beefy and blasting - so no problems there. His stamina is amazingly impressive as well: he holds Siegmund’s anguished cry of ‘Wälse’ ... for what seems like an eternity.“
Warwick Thompson, Sinfini Music
„Kaufmann offers further confirmation that he is indeed the longed-for Wagnerian hero of our generation.”
Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice
“Jonas Kaufmann is just about the most exciting guy out there these days. Apparently he can sing almost anything but he's exceptional in Wagner…soft singing that's exquisitely supported and a virile, ringing tone in louder passages that is nothing short of electrifying.”
Tom Huizenga, NPR Music
“Kaufmann reaffirmed his status as the leading Wagnerian tenor today. His two new recordings, Wagner on Decca and the complete Die Walkure on Mariinsky, are stunners.”
David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
„Niemand klingt so unfassbar wunderbar und herzbewegend, wenn ‚In fernem Land’ us seinem Mund direkt aus seiner Seele ertönt.“
„Was für eine wirklich grandiose CD! – Wer dabei meint, er müsse unbedingt doch ein Haar in der Suppe finden, bringt sich selber um den Genuss. Und zu genießen gibt’s hier reichlich, zu kritisieren gar nichts.“
DZ, Der Neue Merker
“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
bicentennial produces recordings as good as this then we are in for a great year.”
Simon Thompson, MusicWeb “Recording of the month”
“In the first act at least, with Jonas Kaufmann as an incomparable Siegmund, Anja Kampe a profoundly moving Sieglinde and Gergiev pacing the performance to an overwhelming climax, the result is spellbinding. In fact, few performances on disc can match it for sheer excitement, or for Kaufmann's blend of easy power, immaculate diction and lyric beauty.”
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
„His Act I has Jonas Kaufmann’s heroic, poetic Siegmund at the peak of his powers, partnering a limpid, youthful-sounding Sieglinde in Anja Kampe — a dream pair of Wälsung twins for our time, and one to compare with the greatest on disc.“
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
"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
Act 3, giving many of his phrases a hushed, worshipful quality.”
Mike Silverman, Washington Post
“It is rare to see such detailed and nuanced character development in both the physical and vocal dimension, but Kaufmann's performance on Friday reminded everyone of why he is at the top of the ladder these days."
David Salazar, Latinos Post
“His two main monologues ideally married words and line with scarcely conceivable power and dramatic nuance, all the while deploying his formidable acting skills. His final word, “Schrein”, sticks in the memory for its half-tone delivery, matched seamlessly to the tenuous thread in Gatti’s strings.”
David Allan, bachtrack
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
production features among others Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde) and Hans-Peter König (Hagen, Hunding, Fafner). The conductors are James Levine (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre) and Fabio Luisi (Siegfried, Götterdämmerung).
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
di voce, il legato, la musicalità spazza via la retorica degli effettacci rendendo credibile, vero, umano il declamato wagneriano. Con questo gioco chiaroscurale Kaufmann ha mostrato quale ricchezza di sentimenti si cela dietro la maschera dell'eroe.“
Giovanni Gavazzeni, Il Giornale
Foto (c) Monika Rittershaus
„In Hochform strahlend und obendrein klug und reflektierend gestaltend, bietet er weit mehr als ‚nur’ den Silberglanz des Gralsrittes auf Exkursion. Die fragile Opferrolle, die ihm Claus Guth verordnet, beglaubigt er mit vokalem Charisma.“
Joachim Lange, Der Standard
„Titelheld Jonas Kaufmann führte die Interpretation des vermeintlich schwachen Helden mutig über in seinen Gesang: fein und ängstlich klangen die stolzen Worte bisweilen, die finale Gralserzählung schien er mehr zu hauchen. Und wie er im Vers ‚Alljährlich naht vom Himmel eine Taube’ das ‚a’ auf ‚Taube’ dehnte und dehnte, es in ungeahnte Sphären abheben liess, war das größte Glück des Abends.“
"Allein für die Silbe 'au' im Wort 'Taube' braucht dieser Lohengrin gut acht Sekunden. … Kaufmann zelebriert diesen Ton, als wäre er der Schlüssel zur Erleuchtung. Und er wird es: Das teilt sich sogar den zerstreutesten Schwatztanten im Publikum mit. Plötzlich könnte man eine Stecknadel fallen hören in der Scala. Und alle akustischen und sonstigen Widrigkeiten sind überwunden, übersprungen, dank der Intensität dieses Singens."
Elenore Büning, FAZ
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
caused Levine to withdraw. With Bryn Terfel performing his first complete cycles as the embattled god Wotan and American soprano Deborah Voigt making her role debut as his disobedient warrior-daughter Brünnhilde, alongside international stars Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek as the incestuous Siegmund and Sieglinde, and last-minute stand-in Jay Hunter Morris saving the day as the fearless but ill-fated hero Siegfried, the New York Times declared the cast “as strong a lineup of vocal artists for a Wagner opera as I have heard in years”.
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
TV live broadcast of Ariadne scheduled for the very next day Kaufmann agrees to sing with score from the sides while Beczala acts the part on stage. At 8:45pm the „Bohème“-performance with Anna Netrebko and the two Rodolfos can finally begin. Everything works out well. The public cheers and the TV crew of ORF now have a recording of precious rarity.
„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
Salzburger Festspiele proved impressively that fears for his voice after the month-long infection, which led him to cancel several appearances, were unfounded” (Sophia Felbermair, ORF.at). According to Klaus-Hans Jungheinrich, a renowned German opera expert, Kaufmann is simply „ the best Bacchus there ever was“ (Frankfurter Zeitung).
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
performances at the Salzburg Festival. It certainly has something to do with the hustle and bustle of the world we live in that many people nowadays find it alarming when a singer takes a somewhat longer break after an illness. In earlier operatic times forced breaks like these were nothing unusual. People simply took the time they needed for everything, and in particular to allow the healing process to run its full course. The infection I picked up at the end of April was so tenacious that I simply needed this time get my health completely restored. And as sorry as I am that I had to disappoint many of you with my cancellations, I still hope you will regard this long out-time as just what it is, namely a sign of responsibility toward myself and my audience. I would like to thank you most sincerely for all the good wishes and your support: you really were a great help to me!
Jonas Kaufmann, June 19, 2012
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
cancelled that appearance as well. At the CLF I just had to stand there and mime for five minutes. Having a double trying to lip-synch to my voice next to David Garrett would have been out of the question. So I did it and to avoid any doubts, I did it for free! I even insisted that the press officers of UEFA and DFB (Deutscher Fussball Band / German Football Society) verify this, and they published the appropriate information on their official websites.
Thanks again to everyone who sent me good wishes. I’m looking forward to singing for you soon again.
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
Young People's Program Campus, a project for which he is also acting as an ambassador. The photo shows Kaufmann handing over the cheque to Staatsintendant Nikolaus Bachler and Henning Ruhe, the Head of the Opernstudio and Coordinator of the Education Department of the BSO, before the Don Carlo performance on the 29th of January 2012.
5.000 Dollar for the BSO's Children's and Young People's Program "Campus": Nikolaus Bachler, Jonas Kaufmann and Henning Ruhe.
© Wilfried Hösl
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
aufbegehrt und dabei immer kopflos, ganz aus dem Affekt heraus zu handeln scheint. Gepaart war diese überzeugende Darstellung mit einer Gesangsleistung, die jenseits aller Geschmacksfragen als grandios bezeichnet werden muss.
Alexander Meissner, Klassik.com, 17.1.2012
Mais il faut ajouter que les performances solidairement données par Anja Harteros et Jonas Kaufmann dépassaient les rêves les plus fous de leurs supporters extasiés. Lui, après son épisode wagnérien barytonnant de la saison passée (Siegmund au Met) a retrouvé la position plus favorable de sa voix ; si peu italien qu’il soit de timbre, la cantilène Verdi va idéalement à son jeu expressif et dramatique d’ombres et de lumières, et la messa di voce phénoménale qui trouve dans ces longs sons tenus (rêvés) leur légitimation absolue. L’Infant est montré ici carrément malade, constamment sous la menace d’un raptus peut être bien épileptique, et Kaufmann le joue, l’incarne, le chante avec un mélange de défi extatique et de témérité vulnérable en très beau héros schillérien ténébreux : de la voix il caresse, et cingle.
André Tubeuf, Qobuz, 18.1.2012
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
of sensitivity and dreaminess, and Mr. Nézet-Séguin's floating orchestral accompaniment helped create the illusion of Faust in the thrall of innocence.
Heide Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
As Faust, Jonas Kaufmann showed once again that he can sing just about any tenor part better than just about anyone else in the opera world. He flooded the lyric lines with dark, throbbing tone, surging to a secure high C in his “Salut! Demeure” aria.
James Jorden, New York Post
Jonas Kaufmann (Faust) and Marina Poplavskaya (Marguerite).
Photos: © Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera
After Kaufmann’s tender yet potent account of “Salut! demeure chaste et pure” in Act III, my date leaned over and, in a throaty whisper, said, “Whoa—this guy’s got it all. (…) And when Poplavskaya and Kaufmann get together—watch out! Generally, when operatic lovers spend the better part of an act dithering about whether to kiss each other, I start to climb out of my skin. But in the extended Act III seduction scene, these two modulate from the modest to the flirty to the reluctant to the anguished to the smoldering with a level of musicianship and emotional intensity that is ravishing.
Adam Green, Vogue
His voice is in glorious form, supple, strong and tinged with baritone-like depths. Paired with Kaufmann’s innate musical intelligence, it gives shape and color to every phrase. His Salut! Demeure chaste et pure was inflected with tender lyricism, culminating in a joyous powerful high C.
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The Classical Review
His voice is pure gold, and few tenors show s much total emotional control as he does.
Howard Kissel, The Huffington Post
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
programme and we are looking forward to see you at one of our next recitals, either in the Musikverein in Vienna (February 13th), the Stephaniensaal in Graz (February 15th), the Philharmonie in Berlin (February 17th), in the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris (February 20th) or in the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden (April 23th).
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".
"Audience favorite": Kaufmann’s first Siegmund at the Met
New York, April 22, 2011. Jonas Kaufmann’s role début in the new production of Wagner’s “Die Walküre” at the Metropolitan Opera was greeted with equal enthusiasm from press and public.
“The audience fell in love with the new Met Siegmund, Mr. Kaufmann, who proved his Wagnerian prowess last summer as Lohengrin at Bayreuth. Handsome and limber, he looked like a young demigod ...
Photo: © Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera
Opera News Award for Jonas Kaufmann
New York, April 17, 2011: At a gala dinner held in New York’s legendary Plaza Hotel, Jonas Kaufmann was singled out for the coveted “Opera News Award”. With this award, the editors of OPERA NEWS magazine regularly pay honor to extraordinary accomplishments in the operatic field.
Senior Editor Louise T. Guinther justified the award by saying: "Jonas Kaufmann has seduced opera audiences the world over with a uniquely plaintive timbre, a lieder-singer's interpretive subtlety and the depth and range of his dramatic portrayals. His intensity and intelligence, his suppleness of voice and body, combined with innate musicality and smoldering good looks, make him the model of the 21st-century opera star."
The recipients of the Sixth Annual OPERA NEWS Awards: Bryn Terfel, Patricia Racette, Kiri Te Kanawa, Riccardo Muti and Jonas Kaufmann | © Dario Acosta 2011
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.
My personal favorite on this album is a largely unknown piece, the lament of Romeo over the dead Juliet from the operatic version by Riccardo Zandonai. In general I wanted to bring the familiar war horses, such as Andrea Chénier’s monologues and “Cielo e mar” from “La Gioconda” together with some rarities, among them arias from the “other Bohème” by Ruggiero Leoncavallo and the totally forgotten opera “I Lituani” by Amilcare Ponchielli. “Ombra di nube” by Licinio Refice may not be an aria at all, but rather an art song, but I found the recording by the verismo diva Claudia Muzio so heart‑stirring that I absolutely had to record the piece. For the grand finale, I picked the famous, magnificently moving duet from “Andrea Chénier”. The role of Maddalena is sung by my colleague Eva-Maria Westbroek, with whom I hope to have the pleasure of many a joint appearance in coming seasons.