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Jonas Kaufmann: In Conversation With

Jonas Kaufmann: In Conversation With

by Thomas Voigt


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'One of the most sought-after tenors with the stamina and heft for Wagner and the ardent warmth for Italian opera'
New York Times

Jonas Kaufmann is a phenomenon. With his musicality, his vocal technique and his expressive powers - to say nothing of his matinée-idol good looks - he is widely regarded as the greatest tenor of today. Thomas Voigt's intimate biography, written in collaboration with Kaufmann, reflects on the singer's artistic development in recent years; his work in the recording studio; his relationship to Verdi and Wagner; the sacrifices of success; and much more. It gives unparalleled insight into the world of one of the most captivating opera singers of the international stage.


'Mr Voigt's journalistic credentials are impeccable ... Mr Kaufmann goes into detail on the physical demands of his art; he speaks eloquently on the fear to which all singers are prone'
The Economist

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474606325
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group, Limited
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Thomas Voigt is a freelance writer, journalist, filmmaker and vocal coach, born in 1960 in Hagen, Germany. From 1992 to 1996 he edited Opernwelt (Opera World) and from 1998 to 2003 was editor-in-chief of Fono Forum. He has published biographies of Martha Mödl, Inge Borkh and Edda Moser and made documentary films about Fritz Wunderlich, Lisa Della Casa, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Robert Stolz and Jonas Kaufmann. For his services to journalism he was awarded the Gottlob Frick Medal in Gold.

Table of Contents

'A singer entirely after my own heart' 1

Foreword Placido Domingo

'Dimmi quando, quando, quando…' 3

Introduction to the revised edition

The tenor as an object of desire 9

'A creature not of this world'

'A sex symbol in the service of opera'


Exhibitionism and eroticism

'The new king of tenors'

The first twenty-five years 19

Wagner and Puccini

Bella Italia

The worst possible troublemaker

In the extra chorus at the Theater am Gärtnerplatz

Maths or music?

Gigs and bit parts

Lessons with three vocal legends: James King

Josef Metternich and Hans Hotter

Margarete Joswig

Saarbrücken 39

The galley years

Between chimneys and motorway - Overexertion and vocal crisis

A turning point 47

Lessons with Michael Rhodes

'Stop manipulating your voice'

A fresh start as a freelance artist

Music theatre 59

Protest at the opera

The Stuttgart Opera

Martin Kušej's production of Fidelio

Cost fan tutte with Giorgio Strehler - 'Create something new each time'

La Scala debut

Fidelio with Rilling and Harnoncourt

The Salzburg Entführung

Debuts in Chicago and Paris

La rondine in London

Zurich as mother ship 75

Ensemble theatre

A prophet in his own country

Permanence and freedom

A rollercoaster of emotions

'He always remains down to earth'

Alexander Pereira: 'An out-and-out phenomenon'

'Do they really mean me?' 85

Met debut

Die Walküre and 'the machine'

Song recital at the Met


High Definition: opera in the cinema

Management and PR 103

Dumbing down

Perfect timing

Zemsky and Green

'Romantic Arias'

'Phenomenally talented'

'The management regrets…' 115

The singer as athlete

Two months' rest

Dolce Vita and a streak of bad luck

Accidents onstage

Smoke, germs, reflux

Verdi and Wagner 127


The German-Italian border

Bel canto for Wagner

Lohengrin at Bayreuth and La Scala

Wagner's ideology, Verdi's humanity

The long road to Otello

Conversation with Jürgen Resting: 'Ideal for damaged characters'

At home in Munich 153

'Ritorna vincitor!'

Conversation with Nikolaus Bachler: 'A source of great happiness'

Conversation with Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann: "Then you can take risks'

Franco-German relations 163

The globalization of opera

Goethe, Gounod, Massenet

Natalie Dessay: 'Not even a little bit nervous!'

Christa Ludwig: 'Ecco un artista!'

'In the Palace of the Emotions' 173

Don Jose - Controlled ecstasy

Opera singing as therapy

'Who's got the biggest?'


La bohème with two tenors

La fanciulla in Vienna

Puccini with Pappano

Antonio Pappano: 'To thine own self be true'

The performance after the performance 191

Meeting fans

Key experiences

The 'Unofficial Website'

Lieder, the ne plus ultra of singing 199

The magic of the moment

Mentor and partner: Helmut Deutsch

A masterclass with Hans Hotter

Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Helmut Deutsch: 'Don't ever bring me anyone like that again!'

Inner balance 217

Career and family

Living out of a suitcase

Tomorrow's audiences

Helene Fischer and John Malkovich

'A completely normal person'

Comparisons and models

Singing and the soul

Appendix 233




Notes on the contributors

Index of names 249

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