Wagner Weekend: Tannhäuser and Walküre

Tannhäuser, Salzburg Easter Festival 2023, scene from the 2nd act with Georg Zeppenfeld and Jonas Kaufmann. Foto Rittershaus

The radio recording of the Salzburg production of Tannhäuser, in which Jonas Kaufmann has sung the title role for the first time, will be broadcast on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30pm. The other leading roles will be performed by Marlis Petersen (Elisabeth), Emma Bell (Venus), Christian Gerhaher (Wolfram) and Georg Zeppenfeld (Landgraf Hermann); Andris Nelsons conducts the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. On Sunday, April 16, Kaufmann will perform Siegmund in Die Walküre at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, with Okka von der Damerau (Brünnhilde), Vida Miknevičiūtė (Sieglinde), Christopher Maltman (Wotan), Varduhi Abrahamyan (Fricka) and John Relyea (Hunding); the conductor is Dan Ettinger. Additional performances are on April 20, 23, 26 and 29.

Die Walküre in Naples, rehearsal with Vida Miknevičiūtė (Sieglinde) and Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund). Foto Romano

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The Sound of Movies

Great songs from classic movies have been a passion of Jonas Kaufmann throughout his life. His new album The Sound of Movies reflects the singer’s fascination with a selection of popular hits, in a variety of languages, that spans from the Weimar-era Germany ("Ich küsse ihre Hand, Madame" from 1929) to “Bring Him Home” from the 2012 film of the global hit musical Les Misérables.

Kaufmann initially became enamored by cinema music via tenors Joseph Schmidt and Richard Tauber, as well as the sublime orchestrations of the great golden-age film composers like Erich Korngold and Max Steiner who were steeped in the heritage of Puccini and Strauss.

The album includes "Nelle tue mani" from Gladiator, Henry Mancini's "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's and Vangelis' title song from Conquest of Paradise, among others. Great musical hits are also represented: "Maria" from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, the title song from Singin' in the Rain and "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel. And two evergreens by the American star tenor Mario Lanza: "The Loveliest Night of the Year" from The Great Caruso and "Serenade" from The Student Prince.