Jonas Kaufmann and Marco Vratogna (Iago) in the ROH's new production of "Otello". Photo: Catherine Ahmore
The long-awaited moment finally arrived on Wednesday: In front of a sold-out Royal Opera House here, Mr. Kaufmann made his debut in the part, and he calmly, confidently sang it for the ages. His sound inescapably evokes memories of live performances and classic recordings by Vinay, Vickers and other masters; in a single night he joined their company.
There are two sounds in this world that surpass all others in the feelings of exultation they can induce in the ear of a listener: the glorious smooth tenor voice of Jonas Kaufmann and the stunning power of Antonio Pappano conducting Verdi.
What Kaufmann offers is a supremely burnished baritonal tenor with a ringing, heroic top but capable of extraordinary lyrical beauty in more intimate scenes.
Kaufmann thrills in a dark, expressionistic staging
His ringing top notes blast out heroically, his love duet with Desdemona is sublimely beautiful and caressing, and his acting is sensationally vivid. The looks of shock and disbelief, the icy coolness, the tortured nobility… this is a gripping and heartbreaking portrayal of disintegration.
Le premier Otello triomphal de Jonas Kaufmann
Everyone will want to hear and see Jonas Kaufmann’s extraordinary “Othello”
Juan Antonio Muñoz H., El Mercurio
Opera fans from all over the world are looking forward to Jonas' role debut as Otello in London on June 21. His partners are Maria Agresta (Desdemona) and Marco Vratogna (Iago). The ROH's new production, directed by Keith Warner and conducted by Antonio Pappano, will be relayed live to cinemas as round the world on June 28. To find a cinema near you please click on this link.