Excerpts from articles
|Opera News: The best of the
|We offer our favorites of the CDs and DVDs we
reviewed in 2008.
|THE BEST FROM THE BEST: A baker's dozen
of must-have recital discs from 2008 were
Isabel Bayrakdarian's evocative Gomidas Songs (Nonesuch); Arie di
Bravura from the dazzling Diana Damrau (Virgin); Elena Cecchi Fedi's
album of Porpora cantatas (Hyperion); Juan Diego Flórez's elegant Arias
for Rubini (Decca); Un Frisson Français, Susan Graham's
affectionate French song survey (Onyx); Jorma Hynninen's bracing
Merikanto Songs (Ondine); Jonas Kaufmann's aptly titled Romantic
Arias (Decca); Tales of Opera from Simon Keenlyside (Sony);
the luscious Souvenirs from Anna Netrebko (DG); René Pape's ambitious
Gods, Kings and Demons (DG); Krassimira Stoyanova's impressively
comprehensive I Palpiti d'Amor (Orfeo); Rolando Villazón's exuberant
Cielo e Mar (DG); and a haunting collection of songs from
Theresienstadt by Anne Sofie von Otter and Christian Gerhaher (DG).
|The January 2009 Choice CD Blog - Our
Favorites from 2008
|WCLV clasical FM, January 16, 2009
|... Romantic Arias — Jonas Kaufmann, tenor;
Prague Philharmonic/Marco Armiliato (LondonDecca 10837): This disc brings to
mind the Great Blizzard of March 2008. Jonas Kaufmann visited Cleveland for
Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Cleveland Orchestra, but the
Saturday night concert was canceled due to the weather. Forty or so ticket
holders missed word of the cancellation and braved the wrath of a Cleveland
snow storm to arrive at a mostly dark Severance Hall. Tenor Kaufman and
baritone Christopher Maltman apparently felt such devotion merited a reward.
So, they treated the hardy souls to an impromptu recital!
|Opera News, February 2009, Interview with
|His affinity for German repertoire is on display
in Romantic Arias, the Decca recital disc with tenor Jonas Kaufmann. The
orchestral portion of Max's aria from Der Freischütz is persuasively
idiomatic and exhilarating. At the beginning of Faust's Invocation Ã la
Nature from Berlioz's Damnation, the composer notes that the conductor must
mark all nine beats of the 9/8 time signature in order to achieve precisely
the nuanced fluctuations in tempo specified in the score. The final vocal
phrase, in which Faust despairs over the happiness that eludes him, is
marked un poco ritardando; Armiliato calibrates the ritardando sublimely,
abetting Kaufmann's moving characterization of Faust. "Jonas Kaufmann is a
very, very intelligent singer," he says. Upcoming releases for Armiliato
include a Decca album of verismo arias sung by Renée Fleming and a Sony disc
of Neapolitan songs with Salvatore Licitra.
|The Independent, 6 March 2009
|Angela Gheorghiu: 'Difficult?
No, I seek perfection'
|The discs, on EMI, bring Gheorghiu together with
a very special new recording partner: the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, one
of opera's most exciting emerging stars. She proudly claims the credit for
"discovering" him. "We were planning this recording around four years ago
and we thought we would have Roberto [Alagna], but then he left EMI," she
explains. "And in the same period, I needed a tenor for La Traviata at the
Met. My manager gave me a tape of Cecilia Bartoli singing with Jonas and
said, 'He is singing in Zurich, but nobody knows him – just listen and trust
your instinct.' I listened, and I said, 'OK, he is my Alfredo.' Afterwards I
suggested to EMI we should have Jonas for Butterfly. It's like Roberto, and
Tony Pappano: when somebody has an unusual talent I never make a mistake. I
have a gift for discovering, and I was right!"
|IMZ Newsletter #02/2009
|IMZ at MIDEM 2009
special guests, several well-known artists followed our invitation to be
present at their screenings. Accompanied by representatives of the polish
government, composer Krystof Penderecki attended the first presentation of
the exceptional concert film of his work The Seven Gates of Jerusalem, a
fact that attracted much interest, as well as Clasart’s celebration of the
new Jonas Kaufmann portrait and the Zurich Carmen production with the named
and Vesselina Kasarova as it was topped by Mr Kaufmann’s presence, who
himself saw the material for the first time…
Jonas Kaufmann with Katja Raths/Clasart and Alexander Pereira/Opernhaus
Zurich at MIDEM 2009 © Kazuaki Sasai
|SEEN AND HEARD SUMMER OPERA
|As for forthcoming new productions; 2010 is a
promising start with a new Lohengrin (directed by Hans Neuenfels and
conducted by Andris Nelsons (the City of Birmingham's Symphony Orchestra's
new Music Director from September 2008. Ed) with Jonas Kaufmann, Annette
Dasch and Evelyn Herlitzius). In 2011 there will be a new Tannhäuser
directed by Sebastian Baumgarten and conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock. In
2012 a new Der fliegende Holländer conducted by Christian Thielemann with
Adrianne Pieczonka, followed in 2013 by a new Ring (all that is known about
this is that Thielemann will not conduct it) and after nothing new for 2014,
in 2015 there will be a new Tristan und Isolde, directed by Katharina Wagner
and conducted by Christian Thielemann.
|Frenchman takes helm of Paris
|Mar 23, 2009, PARIS (AFP)
|— Globe-trotting Frenchman Nicolas Joel on
Monday unveiled a star-studded 2009-2010 season for the Paris Opera, the
first of his new six-year mandate at one of the world's great opera
houses.... Starring in the 20 works scheduled for the season are some of the
world's leading singers: Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, Jonas Kaufmann,
Marcelo Alvarez, Juan Diego Florez and Joyce DiDonato....
|Philippe Jaroussky speaks to BBC Music
Magazine about the discs he has been listening to this month:
|BBC Music Magazine, April 2009
|"I'm so jealous of mezzo Joyce Di Donato. She has the range I'd like
to have! On Furore she can be delicate but also very tragic and dramatic.
Her articulation is so precise, her intonation is perfect, the way she
projects her voice...everything is amazing."
"Jonas Kaufmann has everything. He is a tenor who can sing very
different repertoire with the same integrity and quality. He never shows
off, keeps things simple, and his voice is so powerful yet charming."
|Abu Dhabi counts cultural
blessings at music, arts festival - Feature
|02 Apr 2009, DPA
|And from March 21 until Thursday, the Emirates
Palace Hotel presented a star-studded lineup at the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and
Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and German tenor Jonas Kaufmann thrilled
the audience at the opera gala opening concert with arias from "Nabucco,"
"La Traviata" and "Madame Butterfly," earning several encores. The hotel
concert hall's acoustics, which are less than optimal, detracted only
minimally from the general enthusiasm.
|No. 1 UK Classical Chart
position for EMI Classics recording of 'Madama Butterfly' starring Angela
|EMI Classics is delighted to announce that on
Sunday 8th March, its brand new complete studio recording of the Puccini
opera Madama Butterfly starring Angela Gheorghiu in the title role, went
straight to No. 1 in the UK Classical Chart.
|How Sweet The Sound: An
Interview With Joan Baez
|Huffington Post, October 14, 2009
|Joan Baez: Mostly what I listen to when I turn
on my little iPod is opera.
MR: Which operas?
JB: I listen to different voices, like Jonas Kaufmann. I just sort of
discovered him. And my favorite is Swedish, Jussi Bjorling. Most people
don't know about him, but to me, he's the greatest tenor that ever lived.
|Opera: highlights of 2009 - The best moments
in opera during 2009
|The Telegraph, 14 Dec 2009
|By Rupert Christiansen
Best tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the Royal Opera’s Don Carlo...
|Best albums of 2009
|Herald Sun, Australien, December 20, 2009
|OUR reviewers name their top 10 albums
|6. Jonas Kaufmann, Jonas Kaufmann
(Decca/Universal). Germany's pre-eminent tenor sings Mozart, Schubert,
Beethoven and Wagner _ brilliantly.
|Review of the Year 2009: Opera
|MusicalCriticism.com, 23 December 2009
|... Jonas Kaufmann's Don Carlo at Covent Garden
lifted an otherwise disappointing revival of Nick Hytner's dreary
production, leadenly conducted by Semyon Bychkov ...
|2009 Year in Review:Aught-nine oughta hears -
Free Press music reviewers cue up their favourite albums from the past year
|Winnipeg Free Press, 29/12/2009
|James Manishen:....2. Jonas Kaufmann, Angela
Gheorghiu, Antonio Pappano, Puccini: Madama Butterfly (EMI)
Puccini's unforgettably teary opus is flawlessly cast and paced as if
|Best of the year's classical recordings
|Bay Area Reporter, 31 December 2009
|Tenor Jonas Kaufmann similarly went from
incredibly fine to undeniably great in 2009, when his peak achievement on
disc was his Pinkerton in EMI's Madama Butterfly. That studio recording was
one of the year's finest in any category, with an equally exemplary
Butterfly from Angela Gheorghiu and superlative conducting from Antonio
Pappano, whose year on disc also included a blazing Verdi Requiem and a
distinguished Schubert Schwanengesang with tenor Ian Bostridge (also EMI).
|Best of the year - We offer our favorites of
the CDs and DVDs we reviewed in 2009.
|Opera News, January 2010
|SCREEN STARS: The best opera DVDs of
2009......Francesca Zambello’s lavish Covent Garden Carmen, with Anna
Caterina Antonacci and Jonas Kaufmann at full sizzle (Decca)....
|Mark Forrest's highlight of
|Classic FM - A Decade in Pictures
German tenor Jonas Kaufmann and then seeing him and Simon Keenleyside in Don
Carlo at the Royal Opera House. Unusually for an opera the story isn't
completely mad and the music is Verdi's best. The pianist Marielle Labeque
was sitting next to me as her husband Semyon Bychkov was the show's
conductor. She was talking me through the production and issuing warnings:
'you'll be weeping after this next act.' Unmissable."
|Auszug aus einem Interview mit
"I like this slightly longer version [Don Carlo: Modena, 1886] of the
Italian very much if you’ve got a tenor strong enough to do it, and honestly
the audience are in for a fabulous treat with Jonas because – we know him
from Tosca, and we know his reputation, but in this piece he is without
compare. He is absolutely fantastic in it. He has elasticity, he has ample
volume, he has the character and I’m really looking forward to watching the
audience have the privilege of hearing him. A strong way of putting it, but
its true.” I point out that Kaufman has also entered the consciousness of
the country via his opera albums (which have attained a similar popularity
to Keenlyside’s ‘Tales of Opera’). “It is remarkable to have a star who is
worth his weight in gold. He’s the real deal. He’s a good actor, he’s a
fabulous singer, a good colleague”.
|Auszug aus einem Artikel über
|Opera News, March 2010
|Our interview in September 2009 finds him
bustling around a sleek pied-à-terre in London, offering a selection of teas
and a fresh box of cookies. Twelve hours ago, he was carried off the stage
of the Royal Opera at the end of a sweeping, grand performance as Rodrigo in
Verdi's Don Carlo. On the morning after, he is bubbling over with praise for
his colleagues Jonas Kaufmann, who sang a strikingly comprehensive Don
Carlo, and Ferruccio Furlanetto......
|Mozart's mature operas
|Sunday Times, February 28, 2010
|Zurich’s previous Idomeneo was Jonas Kaufmann —
a member of the company since 1991* — and I was lucky enough to catch him
there as the king’s son in Humperdinck’s wonderful but wickedly neglected
Königskinder (Royal Children). It is hard to imagine this role more
thrillingly or poetically sung than by Kaufmann in his current form. What a
pity that the Metropolitan Opera — or Covent Garden, for that matter — isn’t
mounting a production for him in 2010, the centenary of the opera’s world
premiere in New York. *2000/2001
|On the horizon
|The New Yorker, March 15, 2010
|The Luc Bondy “Tosca”—the most reviled Met
production in recent memory—returns next month with the kind of cast that
lets the audience ignore the décor: Karita Mattila, Jonas Kaufmann, and Bryn
Terfel. James Levine conduct
|Antonio Pappano raises the
March 14, 2010
|Pappano’s summer “festivals” at Covent Garden
are invariably the most star-spangled of the season, and next year’s is no
exception, with Gheorghiu and Karita Mattila sharing Tosca, and Jonas
Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel returning as Mario and Scarpia....
... In addition to Albery’s Tännhauser, there are two more newly staged
rarities, conducted by Mark Elder: Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride (to be
directed by Paul Curran, the Scots-born director of Norway’s National Opera)
and Cilea’s verismo warhorse Adriana Lecouvreur, with the mouthwatering
cast of Gheorghiu, Kaufmann and the Russian mezzo Olga Borodina....
|Q&A with Dmitri Hvorostovsky
|WhatsOnStage, 16 May 2010
|What colleagues do you most like to work
Renee Fleming. I adore her. She’s been a wonderful colleague for many
years. I love Jonas Kaufmann. He’s one of the best tenors now.
Roberto Alagna too. And Sondra Rodvonovsky. We toured recently and did Il
trovatore four times together last year.
|theartsdesk Q&A: Sir Charles
|22 October 2009
|Is this one of the reasons why you don’t
conduct on the Continent because a lot of the worst excesses of this style
of theatrical direction, of Regietheater productions, come from Germany and
Yes, I’ve tried to avoid it and of course slowly but surely they realise
that I don’t want to do it, so they don’t ask me. To be quite honest, I now
prefer concert performances of operas. I like semi-staged operas and, at the
Edinburgh Festival, I am hoping to do – it will probably be my farewell – a
big concert performance of Idomeneo. I’ve done a lot of concert
performances at the Edinburgh Festival: Fidelio, Leonora, Der Freischütz,
which Jonas Kaufmann was so wonderful in - it was his UK debut, I think
- and also I did all the famous Mozart operas.
|Limelight Magazine Australien:
Today's 12 Greatest Singers
Story: Straight to the heart
For our annual opera issue, an expert panel, including Limelight editor
Francis Merson, ABC Classic FM presenter Damien Beaumont and soprano Emma
Matthews, chose the 12 greatest opera singers performing today and their
most outstanding recordings.
(I don't have the magazine, but Dr. B.
published the names on her Blog):
Juan Diego Florez
|Opera News, July 2010: On the
|In late April, I went to the Met's current cast
of Carmen (mostly drawn by the opportunity to hear the astonishing JONAS
KAUFMANN as Don José). During Act II, however, I wasn't quite prepared for
the dance sequence in Lillas Pastia's tavern. What had seemed simple and
spirited when the production opened had been transformed into something that
looked more like a New Haven tryout of West Side Story, complete with
cartwheels from the evening's Carmen, KATE ALDRICH. The ballet during the
prelude and entr'actes remained, adding little and distracting us from the
When I got home, I looked online and found an interview with the
choreographer, CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON, in The Faster Times. Wheeldon gave the
party line about how revitalizing the audience with updated productions was
"the only way to go." He added, "This Carmen is very sexy, it's
no-holds-barred." I appreciate Wheeldon's point that the singers and dancers
should be more fully integrated in opera performances. But I'm afraid he's
fallen prey to an idea that is creeping through opera productions like a
virus — the notion that incessant movement is the equivalent of dramatic and
sexual tension. Stillness can be a wonderfully powerful quality on the
opera stage; it can accomplish so much more than all that laid-on, hyped-up
(ich habe diesen Ausschnitt hier weniger wegen der Aussage, dass Jonas
"astonishing" war, das wissen wir ohnehin, sondern wegen der Einstellung des
Schreibers zu dem Ballett in der New Yorker Carmen. Ich fand das Ballett
während der Zwischenakt-Musik zwar nicht extrem störend, aber es war
überflüssig wie nur etwas überflüssig sein kann, und die sportliche Einlage
von Kate Aldrich fügte auch nicht viel Sinnvolles zu der Inszenierung hinzu.
Ich würde gerne wissen was der Schreiber von der Mailänder Carmen halten
würde :-)). Bei dem letzten Satz fällt mir sofort der Werther in Paris ein.
|Gramophone Magazine, August
|Interview with Abbado
Few – if any – conductors today are held in such esteem as the acclaimed
maestro Claudio Abbado, so a chance to discuss what lies behind his
music-making is both a fascinating read and the fulfilment of one of our
Abbado famously almost never gives interviews. But, in a fascinating
exclusive, Gramophone spent time with him at his home in Bologna, for which
we invited many of his musical friends and colleagues to propose questions –
including Maurizio Pollini, Jonas Kaufmann, Yuja Wang, Thomas Quasthoff, Gil
Shaham, Barbara Bonney and many others.
What particular reason are there for your love of „Lohengrin“? Why do you
think it is often described as Wagner’s “Italian” opera? And why does one so
seldom hear from singers what Wagner says he was looking for – “German”
expression coupled with bel canto style?
With the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, we did a recording with Jonas Kaufmann of
opera arias by Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Wagner. I think he’s a great
singer and I like him very much. “Lohengrin” is a great opera and more
lyric, say, than “Tristan”, but I don’t like to make classifications of
opera. As to the question about seldom hearing what Wagner was looking for,
the answer is that there are not too many good singers like Jonas Kaufmann.
|The Irish Times, July 17, 2010
|New score at Bayreuth as opera
upstages warring Wagners
|For the first time in many years the on-stage
action – a Lohengrin premiere and the Bayreuth premiere of star tenor Jonas
Kaufmann – has attracted more attention than the off-stage intrigues of the
composer’s warring descendants. Not that the antics of Germany’s uncrowned
royal family are any less entertaining than usual, but more on that later.
|Opera News, August 2010
|Maestro Richard Bonynge, long a devotee of
Jules Massenet, explains his passion for the neglected oeuvre of the Gallic
master to SYLVIA L'ÉCUYER.
|ON: What are some of your fondest
memories of conducting Massenet?
RB: Oh, there are so many wonderful things! I did Werther at the Met
quite a lot, and I would have liked to do it more often. I did it with
Crespin and Kraus, wonderful singers. In fact, I was just watching the
other day, on the television, a production from the Bastille in Paris with
Jonas Kaufmann. Wonderful singing! I hope he will do some more, rather than
go into heavier German repertoire, where I think lots of people will want to