With his new album It’s Christmas! Jonas Kaufmann echoes his own holiday memories and joys, celebrating the most festive time of the year with a unique selection of beloved songs and carols. This diverse holiday album features 40 favorites that reflect the many facets of Christmas, from ancient Christian hymns to contemporary pop classics.
The album includes a rich selection of traditional German holiday songs (“O du fröhliche,” “O Tannenbaum,” “Still, still, still”) which were sung around the Christmas tree every Christmas Eve when Jonas was young. Also included are haunting English carols (“What Child is This”, “In the Bleak Midwinter”) and such beloved worldwide favorites as “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.”
The album’s breadth of variety is also illustrated by the inclusion of rare intimate German-Alpine Christmas songs for voice and harp accompaniment. Then, a highly personal selection of American pop holiday favorites – “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” “Winter Wonderland,” “The Christmas Song,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “White Christmas.”
It’s Christmas! will be released on November 13 as Limited Deluxe Edition on 2CDs with extensive Booklet, as well as digitally by Sony Classical.
Verdis Don Carlos
Jonas Kaufmann spent the past five weeks in Vienna to finally appear back on the opera stage after Covid-19 had brought all performances to a halt since March. During this period of rehearsals and performances of the French version of Verdi's 'Don Carlos' at the Vienna State Opera, he also gave a further recital at the Theater im Park, gave his debut at the Summer Night's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic and gave a recital at the Vienna State Opera with the program of his new CD 'Selige Stunde'.
Some fans cheekily coined the term "Jonas Kaufmann Festival" for this extended period.
Jonas Kaufmann appeared back on the opera stage after five months with the French version of Verdi's "Don Carlos" at the Vienna State Opera. The revival of the 2004 production staged by Peter Konwitschny, was once again conducted by Bertrand de Billy, who reconstructed the original version of Verdi's score, adding passages that the composer himself had taken out in his later version. In light of the current times, this opera production was very unique, especially since the opera was staged with the entire ensemble including a 130-person choir. This was only possible thanks to extensive testing of the entire ensemble and crew every couple of days.
Photos: Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn
Theater im Park
Two further wonderful add-ons to his many appearances in Vienna were two recitals with Helmut Deutsch at the newly founded Theater im Park. The beautiful open air location in the Schwarzenberg Park, which is usually closed to the public, was a perfect setting for a program of Richard Strauss lieder and Viennese songs such as "Ich muss wieder einmal in Grinzing sein" or "Wien wird schön erst bei Nacht".
Recital at the Wiener Staatsoper
Jonas Kaufmann says one of the few good things the Covid-Crisis has brought, is a flexibility to say yes to spontaneous engagements such as the recital at the Vienna State Opera on September 29. Jonas and Helmut Deutsch suddenly had the chance to perform the entire program of their new album "Selige Stunde" in front of a very appreciative audience, as Agnes Baltsa had to cancel her recital due to travel restrictions and the date had freed up. The reviews unanimously praised the very special recital.
Photo: Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn