Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jonas Kaufmann Interview: Lohengrin

Now, here is a video I am very glad to have found. Jonas Kaufmann takes time out from singing at La Scala to share his thoughts about Lohengrin: the opera (which he characterizes as Italian), Lohengrin:the tenor (whom he characterizes as a lyrico-spinto), and Lohengrin: the man (whom he characterizes as...well, listen to the interview). He also talks about other Lohengrin productions he's sung.

Unsurprisingly, Herr Kaufmann is both diplomatic and gentlemanly as he answers questions about Regieoper. His comments about Hans Neuenfels' Lohengrin at Bayreuth are both positive and complimentary. He is less positive about Richard Jones' vision in Munich; but he's never rude, nor is he ever particularly negative. While indirectly suggesting that some directors should see a therapist instead of working out their parental issues on stage (politely naming no names), Herr Kaufmann also offers a positive argument for thoughtfully presented Regieoper.

This 42-minute interview (it's well worth the time) also includes video excerpts from the Jones Munich Lohengrinincluding a complete Mein lieber Schwann.  Near the end, he is asked about other Wagnerian roles. He has done four already (where is a recording of his Walther in Meistersinger?) and he shares a proposed plan for taking on the rest (eventually.)

The good bloggers at The Wagnerian drew our attention to this interview, which is courtesy of Opera Online. The interview is subtitled in French, however it is conducted in Herr Kaufmann's rather eloquent English. I love his melting-pot accent: part American, part British, part generic European. And of course, he's not hard to look at!

Other clips of Jonas Kaufmann in Lohengrin:

Im Fernen Land
Das süße Lied verhallt u. Atmest du nicht?
Complete Lohengrin from La Scala 2012

Other Links of Interest: 

Some reviews of the La Scala Lohengrin 

Sándor Kónya sings Im fehrnen land in Italian and in German


  1. I discovered this interview by accident and have bookmarked it. The man is a superb artist and musician. So far I have loved everything I have heard him sing. I already have the Zurich Tosca and don't know whether I will go for ROH--probably will, however. I can't imagine him improving on Cavaradosi's arias. I have never heard them sung with such nuance and subtlety. I grew up with a 78's recording with Gigli and Caniglia. Even as a teen ager I know that Caniglia was not an ideal Tosca, but Gigli, well, he was Gigli: beautiful, sometimes lacrymose and very Italian. My next Tosca was Callas and later Kabaivanska, an artist I admire. But Johas leads the pack. I do hope a von Stolzing is in the works: Harteros as Eva and Pape as Sachs. Record it either in Munich or Berlin. Conductor? either Barenboim or Thielemann. Please hurry I am getting older and I want this very badly.

    1. The interview is well worth the 40+ minutes it takes to listen. I found one selection from Meistersinger. Now I need to figure out who the bass is (Michael Volle, perhaps?)

  2. Does anyone know who it is who is interviewing JK?


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