François Girard‘s stunning post-apocalyptic production of Parsifal at The Metropolitan Opera trail-blazed the way for Wagner’s centennial year celebrations last year. Wagner's last and most intriguing opera, Parsifal centers on a young hero’s search for compassion, redemption, and acceptance in a world dominated by rules and fanaticism.
Opera buffa in two acts / Sung in Italian The eponymous heroine of Paisiello’s Nina (1789) had a far-reaching influence on the operatic taste of the Romantic era. The mad heroines of Bellini and Donizetti are her direct descendants. Driven out of her wits by the supposed death of her lover, Lindoro, the role of Nina offers a wealth of opportunity for histrionic and vocal fireworks. In this live recording from the Zurich Opera of a revival of Cesare Lievi’s highly successful 1998 production, Cecilia Bartoli triumphs as Nina.
Earlier this summer, Jonas Kaufmann, The world s greatest tenor (The Telegraph), performed his most popular Italian repertoire live at Waldbühne, Berlin s outdoor amphitheater. The smash-success live concert was recorded for Kaufmann s new album, An Italian Evening. Kaufmann brought-the-house-down with a succession of hits from his extremely popular Dolce Vita album as well as exciting arias and duets (with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili) from the Italian opera repertoire including Volare, Non ti scordar di me and Nessun Dorma.
“Jonas Kaufmann as Cavaradossi sings perhaps one of his greatest roles: E lucevan le stelle is unbelievably moving, and his cry of "Vittoria! Vittoria!" is guaranteed to make your hair stand on end! Angela Gheorghiu is a passionate Tosca, and Bryn Terfel unctuously oozes sleaze in a chilling portrayal of Scarpia.” (James Longstaffe)
The highlight of the 2013 Salzburg Festival in Giuseppe Verdi’s bicentennial year, Don Carlo is conducted by Antonio Pappano and stars Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. “With Antonio Pappano in the pit, Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros brought to their interpretations of the leading role rapturous arcs of phrasing and tone that we have not heard for a generation. Verdi's music can weather mediocrity and still provide audiences with enjoyment … but here he was truly honoured as he would have wished.” (The Telegraph)
Starring Angela Gheorghiu as the celebrated French actress Adriana Lecouvreur and Jonas Kaufmann as her lover Maurizio, Count of Saxony, Cilea’s verismo drama explores celebrity, romance, jealousy, and death. The trio of sublime voices is completed by Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as Adriana’s jealous rival, the Princess de Bouillon. David McVicar’s hit production – the first performance of the opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for more than a century – presents the life of the French actress as a blurring of the distinction between fantasy and reality.
With Anna Caterina Antonacci and Jonas Kaufmann bringing rare erotic intensity to the drama of Carmen and Don Jose, this Royal Opera production is a darkly passionate reading of one of the world's favourite operas. Under the baton of Music Director Antonio Pappano, Bizet's irresistible score drives the tragedy forward - powering a landmark staging of a musical masterpiece.
Double Tony Award winning stage director Desmond McAnuff’s production, hailed by the New York Times as “rich with ideas and theatrically daring”, presents Faust as an atomic scientist inhabiting a dark world shot through with Cold War resonances. Alongside Kaufmann, a typically gold-standard Met cast includes the “phenomenal” Rene Pape as Mephistopheles and the “ideally-suited” Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite. Star conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin draws an “elegant, darkly textured performance” from the Metropolitan Opera orchestra.
A superstar of opera, Jonas Kaufmann is somewhat less renowned for his interpretations of art songs, though this 2014 Sony release of Franz Schubert's Winterreise is his second disc in the genre, following his 2009 recording of Die schöne Müllerin for Decca. Even though it's more recognizable in the context of his Wagner and Verdi roles, Kaufmann's fluid and strongly supported tenor voice is well-suited to Schubert's arching lines and lyrical expressions, and its warm tone and rich timbres convey a variety of moods and emotions with minimal effort and no strain.