Musical America, November 29, 2012
by James Jorden
1st annual JJ Opera Awards (Auszug)
In order to gather as many important operatic events of the recent past as possible in one place, I have prepared not so much a roundup as a stampede of 18 months’ duration, extending back from the present to May 2011.
Grandest Opera Production
Less intellectually lofty, but hitting every button on the “You had to be there” board was Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur at Opera Orchestra of New York on November 8, 2011. Oh, everyone was there, including people you had long since assumed were dead. Who knows, maybe they were dead, but just had to come back this once. Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann cooed and roared and sighed and swooned, looking like Nouvelle Vague film stars the whole time. The mere presence of the cancellation-prone Gheorghiu was enough to transform the concert into an operaphile’s best dream. Even if her wispy performance of “Io son l’umile ancella” provoked less than flattering comparisons to Scotto or Tebaldi, nobody could fault her fluttering of that white silk caftan in her death scene.

Most Vitally Important Tenor
You could say a lot of nasty things about the listless, pointless, cheesy staging of Faust by Des McAnuff at the Met (see how easy that was?). But you have to admit even so ghastly
a night as November 29, 2011 had one saving grace: the clear demonstration that Jonas Kaufmann can sing practically everything. What’s more, he sings it all in a superbly musical and personal way, and what’s even more than that, every moment he’s on stage, he is intensely and viscerally engaged from his toes to the tips of his tousled sable curls. It’s a tribute to
Peter Gelb’s casting acumen that Kaufmann features so prominently in (rumored) casting for the Met over the next five to seven years, beginning with the (confirmed) title role of Parsifal in February 2013.

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