Artistic Director in Erl
Jonas Kaufmann will take over as artistic director of the Erl Festival in Austria; he will succeed Bernd Loebe in September 2024. As Hans Peter Haselsteiner, President of the Tiroler Festspiele Erl (photo), announced at a press conference on 2 June in Vienna, Kaufmann prevailed over 42 other applicants.
With his vision, enthusiasm, personality and his stage experience, he convinced the appointment committee, which also included Lotte de Beer (director of the Vienna Volksoper) and Bogdan Roscic (director of the Vienna State Opera), and was chosen by them as "primus et unicus" for the appointment.
Jonas Kaufmann will usher in a new era for the Erl Festival, explained Andrea Mayer, State Secretary for the Arts and Culture. To have him "as the new artistic director of the Erl Festival is an extraordinary honour and reflects the festival's aspiration: international charisma and at the same time honoring the culture and history in the region."
As Kaufmann said at the press conference, his new task is by no means "a first step towards the singer's early retirement. I don't feel that I should retire, and I don't want to. I'm a person who likes to work a lot, so now I have another hobbyhorse to work on without having to be on stage every day."
To watch the recording of the press conference, click here.
Verdi & Verismo – the concert tour
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
Wednesday May 3, 8pm
Saturday May 6, 8pm
Friday May 12, 7:30pm
Monday May 15, 7:30pm
Thursday May 18, 7pm
Sunday May 21, 8pm
Alte Oper Frankfurt
Wagner Weekend: Tannhäuser and Walküre
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.
A number of important firsts
There have been some great recordings of Turandot in the past, but this one does not pale in the face of the competition, reads the final sentence of the Financial Times review. The latest studio recording of Turandot, Puccini's spectacular last opera, marks a number of important firsts: Antonio Pappano had never conducted the work before the March 2022 recording sessions in Rome, and neither Sondra Radvanovsky nor Jonas Kaufmann had sung their parts on stage before. This is also the first recording of Turandot to include the entire final scene, completed by Franco Alfano after Puccini's death in 1925. Radvanovsky and Kaufmann are joined by Ermonela Jaho (Liù), Michele Pertusi (Timur), Michael Spyres (Altoum), and the chorus & orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The success of the entire project was confirmed by a concert performance that took place a few days after the recording was completed and received a standing ovation. The recording was recently released by Warner Classics. For the making-of video click here.
Aida on ORF III
The performance of Verdi's Aida with Anna Netrebko, Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann and Luca Salsi will be broadcast on Jan. 29, unfortunately in Austria only: starting at 20:15 on ORF III in the series Erlebnis Bühne. Afterwards the recording will be available for seven days on ORF's TVThek. A version with international reach is to follow soon on the website of the Vienna State Opera.
Kaufmann & Tézier in Baden-Baden
Next Sunday, January 8, a special concert takes place, live at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and on ARTE Concert: with his friend, the world-class baritone Ludovic Tézier, Jonas Kaufmann gives an extraordinary opera evening. The two artists will sing famous scenes and duets from operas by Verdi, Puccini and Ponchielli, which they have also presented on their internationally acclaimed album "Insieme". They will be accompanied by the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jochen Rieder. The concert will be broadcast on ARTE Concert at 6pm.
It’s Christmas – Gold Edition
It is a great pleasure for me that I was able to expand my Christmas album again, this time with poems and stories that are as much a part of Christmas for me as the candles on the Christmas tree. First of all, of course, there is the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke, which is read on Christmas Eve not only in the churches but also in many families. Over the centuries, many great poets have dealt with the wonder of Christmas, and so we have been able to collect a whole range of wonderful poems here, from Goethe and Claudius to Mörike and Eichendorff to Storm and Rilke.
Awards for Liszt and Korngold
Berlin, October 9, 2022. At the Opus Klassik Gala in the Konzerthaus, Jonas Kaufmann accepted two trophies this year: the first he received for Singer of the Year for his Album Liszt - Freudvoll und leidvoll; the second for the Opera Recording of the Year, Korngold's Die Tote Stadt (released on DVD and Blu-ray). Kaufmann accepted this award on behalf of Kirill Petrenko, the Bavarian State Orchestra and his colleagues; the Bavarian State Opera production, which also recently won a Gramophone Award features Kaufmann in the extremely demanding role of Paul.
To see the recording of the Opus Klassik Gala, click here.
Bavarian State Department Award
Munich, September 30, 2022. During a ceremony at the Maximilianeum, the President of the Bavarian State Parliament, Ilse Aigner, awarded the Bayerischer Verfassungsorden to Jonas Kaufmann. In her laudatory speech for the artist, Ilse Aigner said: "Your voice gets under the skin. For many years you have been one of the top stars of the opera world, enchanting music lovers in countries all over the world with your singing and stage presence. You have been successful in Milan, Zurich, at the Vienna State Opera, the Opéra national de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden