Jonas Kaufmann
2.9K views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Laura Fontana
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann:

Jonas Kaufmann: | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it
?Agli inizi ero insicuro e mi infastidiva il riferimento al fisico, oggi no: ben venga tutto cie che avvicina il pubblico all?opera? dice il pia grande tenore del mondo. Che qui si mette a nudo (metaforico) e confessa tutto: dalle follie d?amore a un certo fastidio. Per quel ?noioso? di Werther. Il video backstage
Laura Fontana's insight:

Translation in English. "We were in the car, on the radio were a pop song. My children were outraged: "That is fool to put it now: it's very old." Wait: it's not last year? "Precisely!"».
Blessed boys: dad is the greatest tenor in the world (public and critics, for once, agree), Wagnerian interpreter par excellence, but also perfect for Puccini or Verdi, "reserved" until 2021 (Yes, 2021), and you treated him like that?
Laughs, Jonas Kaufmann, with a contagious big laugh. Cheerful, Merry, self-deprecating: "this job is not work, it is joy». A joy that is currently in Manon Lescaut at the Royal Opera House (24 June will be broadcast live in theaters around the world) and an album due out in September (Melodies of a Golden Era, a collection of Arias from operettas of Franz Lehár and others), just as he will be in Rome for a project with Antonio Pappano.

Sure sure to be German?
I don't know, I wasn't there at that time. Seriously: I've been asked often. Then I talked with an expert in genealogy: in Thuringia, where are my origins, in the sixteenth century many craftsmen settled Jews fled from Italy. Who Knows! Certainly speaks perfect Italian. How did he learn? My grandfather loved your country, when I was a kid we were there two or three times a year: we took a House by the sea, often in Lido di Classe, in Romagna, and then we went to the peninsula. Know better than Germany.

He even called his two sons Fabio and Matteo.
When Charlotte was born, 15 years ago, she was very dark. Then for the others my wife and I (the mezzo-soprano Margarete Joswig, from which he have just separated, ndr) we thought it was better something mediterranean.
How do you explain to them that the work is not "old" stuff?
I ask them: can you cite five songs that make youi cry at first listening? I can nominate ten works (written in the 1800s) that move you the first time you see.

Then you do not need to renew it, how they want certain extreme filmmakers?
Nobody wants to see scenes of a hundred years ago, when it was normal to sing a love Duet without looking, facing the audience. Today will not work anymore. But it doesn't mean we have to throw everything away or totally overthrown. The most daring thing I have proposed?
At the beginning, I was hired for the role of the "Naked Guy" in Schoenberg's Moses und Aron. The premise: you must undress yourself. "Ok. You know that there are also four nude virgins, no? If you put it on stage, there is no problem ". The speech ended there.

By the way: he is a sex symbol.
The first time it has been difficult to accept that all the people were concentrate on it, it seemed that the voice didn't matter. Now you can talk quietly, I do not think there are doubts about my quality. Indeed, I think this may be a help to attract audiences to the opera and classical music. There are others like me.

When was this "genetic mutation" in the Opera?
Someone handsome there was, indeed, as Franco Corelli. The point is that we live in a society, we are "spoiled" and many fail to follow the story without a visual aid. For this you need credible protagonists. Now then there are DVDs, relentless and democratics: everyone can see the Werther in Paris or the Met's Parsifal.

Werther seems away from you. The hero that you resembles more?
Fortunately not him: it's a challenge to make it funny and believable, because it is boring, always suffers. I would say: get in therapy! Even Parsifal is difficult to actualize. Maybe I'm more like the Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut.

In life are you so romantic?
Not so much, I control: can't get to 100 for 100 of the brain ... Anyway the more I go forward, I understand: the important thing is what comes from the heart, you have to follow your instincts. When I sings, it's instinct or technique? Perfection does not touch. If I have to choose, I will choose the "real" version, not the "nice".

The most striking gesture done for love?
I was 18 years, a complete madness: I was in Rome with friends and, in a restaurant, we met the girls. We follow up to the hotel, on via XX Settembre. Others have told me: you can sing, sing! I obeyed and I stopped everything, even cars.

And the girls? Declined?
No: they said hello from the window.

Dumb girls ... At 18 years did you sing already professionally?
Singing has always been a happiness for me: in my house we listened to classical music and, at 5 years, I wanted to take piano lesson but they allowed me to enter in a chorus: wht a feeling to be there, in the sound. Since then I haven't stopped. After high school I cannot dedicate myself to it totally, but I subscribed to mathematics on dad's insistence. He kept repeating: "you're a family man, you like kids, you can't choose a job that maybe won't give you money". However I could not resist: after three years, I ditched the University.

If it is a family man, stay away from home will be quite a sacrifice.
Yes, I hadn't considered how much I would have travelled ... Fortunately there is the internet, and I see my kids every night: when they go to bed, I read them something. There are no middle ground with children: or no contact until I go back (so forget that they need me) or the daily contact.

Will they enjoy hearing you reading: he is also famous for his acting ability. The result of the school?
I studied acting, I don't know if it helped. Perhaps it is more useful to the eye that I have to see the life, life teaches us. When I go to subway ...

Go by Metro?
Yes, it is practical.

And if they recognize you?
What problem will be to sign an autograph? By Metro you will find everything to inspire. It's like a huge garden in our world, you just have to look carefully.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Laura Fontana
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann - BBC3 - 31-05-2014.mp3

Jonas Kaufmann - BBC3 - 31-05-2014.mp3 | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it
Shared with Dropbox
Laura Fontana's insight:

A brief summary:

Jonas Kaufmann was the focus of a special edition of BBC Radio 3's Music Matters, during a break in rehearsals of Jonathan Kent's new production of Manon Lescaut.

Jonas spoke to Tom Service about what drove him to pursue a career in music:

'There are two types of musicians - the ones that are really passionate about everything and only seek emotion, and those that seek perfection and technique. I always belonged to those in the passionate group', said the Munich-born tenor. 'My family loved music so I grew up listening to classical music all the time, especially meaty and heavy classical music - not just Mozart and Bach, but the real things: Mahler, Strauss, Wagner, Bruckner, Shostakovich. Things with lots of power but not opera.'

'I had some key moments when I saw an opera performance and I realized I could be part of that. It's a step further being a musician in the middle of an orchestra as opposed to being accompanied by the orchestra and being on the set with a costume, make-up, and wig. It seemed like the ideal situation to be in if you really want to say something.'

He spoke of the challenges faced by singers, unlike those faced by other musicians:

'The problem with singing is it's such a different way of teaching something - with an instrument you can show how to hold the violin and the bow. [With singing] your teacher tells you, "When you inhale it's like you're smelling a rose, and when you open your mouth it should be like you've put a pear in it, or a hot potato". There are all these crazy little images that they give you! We don't have a common language.'

'Through the experience that I've had in the last five or six years, I can estimate how my voice is going to change and what a part is going to be like,' said the tenor about how he plans for roles within an art form that sees him booked for new parts many years in advance. 'We get stuck with the things we planned five years ago. You have to plan in a way that's healthy.'

'The moment you don't have anyone waiting at stage door for you, it's probably terrible. I don't want to think of that day. But sometimes you have the impression there are fans that with the ticket, believe they've bought a part of me too. It's not just a performance,' said Jonas of the pressures of being one of the world's top opera singers. 'It's difficult to combine the two worlds [of personal and private]. Nevertheless, it shows you the power of what we're all doing.'

The tenor saved special praise for the Covent Garden audience: 'Compared to other venues, they're very good listeners. You can feel that they're there. It's very intense.'

He also gave his thoughts about how opera stays relevant and Regietheater (director's theatre):

'We are the preservers and conservers of an art form that had its peak in the past. Opera itself is not outdated - it still works and it still pushes the button in the right spot if it's done in the right way. I'm not against renewing operas, especially in terms of productions. The idea [of Regietheater] is very good because you need do ensure [the art form] doesn't get stuck. Great opera is based on instincts that have never changed - we still fall in love with each other, we still hate each other, we still fear death. If you give the piece the chance, even if it's 300 years old, it will still do the same thing. '

Jonas also gave his thoughts on music written in the second half of the twentieth century, his future plans, and the differences in how singers connect with live audiences between opera and more intimate works such as Lieder.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Laura Fontana from Classical Music News
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann talks about his Schubert recording

Jonas Kaufmann talks about his Schubert recording | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it
Franz Schubert's song cycle about a winter journey through loss and depression has just been recorded by Jonas Kaufmann, who calls it a unique masterpiece.

Via the listener
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Laura Fontana from Classical Music News
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 21/05/2014 - Audio Interview (Extras, Part 3)

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 21/05/2014 - Audio Interview (Extras, Part 3) | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it

Mp3 Audio Interview (in Italian). About discovering his voice, his colleagues (Harteros), regietheater, working with opera directors and his family.


Via the listener
Laura Fontana's insight:

 

 

La Barcaccia, 21-05-2014

They start with "Otello", the duet between Jonas and Fleming. They ask Jonas if he was born tenore and he says that actually he was born "tenore leggero", high enough. The problem with the voice is that you can't see inside (you can see the positions of a violinist and correct them): with the voice you have to trust your instinct. Usually a singer starts reproducing a singer that he likes. All the people kept telling Jonas:"You are a "german tenore leggero" like Peter Schreier so he started trying to reproduce that sound that wasn't his real voice. At this point they broadcast a piece with the old voice of Jonas, "Un'aura amorosa" (Così fan tutte): Jonas says that it's terrible (I agree...). They ask if he listened to some music when he was young and he answers that during all the day there was music, records, radio, reels: not only Bach and Mozart, but also Šostakovič, Rachmaninov, Wagner, Mahler, Bruckner.At the age of 5 years he wanted to have piano lessons (as his sister) but the parents said he was too young and sent him to a chorus that he liked very much because he had the sensation of being inside the sound not in front of it: he says "Fantastic!". Jonas says that he learned how to sing with the others and he never stopped to sing, just for half a year when he changed voice. When he was fourteen years old he discovered to be a tenore, never a baritono: he never had (even when he sang in the wrong way) the notes of baritono. After he learned how to use his voice without forcing it. They ask him which partner he prefers but Jonas refuses to choose and says that he sings with the best soprano. He says that having a good partner is more satisfying. Then they talk about "Lohengrin" in Milano and he says that he liked both the partners he had, even if they are quite different. Then they talk about the controversy at La Scala with the "loggionisti": owing their protests the most famous singers don't want to sing at La Scala. Jonas says he's not afraid even if he comes from Germany where the polemic started: he thinks that opera should be always renewed but little by little with no provocations. He doesn't believe that the theatre is a political place but a place of entertainment. We can just help the public to better understand an opera of the past but without changing and destroying the plot and the music. Then they talk about the art directors and he says that he has a reputation for having the "physique du rôle", the voice and an opinion. Lot of art directors don't think that the singers have their own ideas: he says the art director has his opinion, tenore has his own opinion then they talk together and find a mix. Some art directors don't want singers that discuss, they want just sort of slaves but the result is bad. He says anyway that even for a singer it's difficult to decide if something is going to work or not: the important thing is to go on the stage with all the opera in mind (not as some singers that know just their role). They ask if something funny happened to him: he says that during the first year he had to do 3 roles, one of them was a naked young man. The art director told him that he had to totally undress: Jonas said "No problem", but in the opera there were also 4 virgins naked and Jonas said that the art director had to find also 4 virgins. So they sang dressed... They talk again about the art directors and Jonas tells about La fanciulla del west, in Vienna, where he had to hide himself in a very small cabinet and the art director said that it was such a small place so they could avoid the 50% of tenori. At the end they ask about his family and he says that it's a disaster. He's a father with all his hearth but he's never at home because Skype doesn't replace a real person and it's very difficult. They say that the tenore wife should be a sort of Penelope, very patient: Jonas says "Eh, yes..." They ask the names of the children and Jonas says that they are 3, and they gave italian names to the boys, Fabio and Matteo, because they thought they would be like him: instead they are blonde. The daughter, Charlotte is like him. He doesn't feel so much german, he has some doubts looking at himself on a mirror. About Italy he knows that it's a country with some problems but for a person that comes here for 2 months it's the Paradise (come here Jonas!!!!!). To solve the troubles of the theatre he thinks that it's important to keep an high quality level, opera of course is the most expensive but you can't give up the quality.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Laura Fontana
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann: the world's greatest tenor - Telegraph

Jonas Kaufmann: the world's greatest tenor - Telegraph | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it
He is fluent in four languages, with an unparalleled vocal range and the instincts of an actor. Meet opera superstar Jonas Kaufmann
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Laura Fontana
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 15-04-2014 - Audio Interview (Part 1)

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 15-04-2014 - Audio Interview (Part 1) | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it
Laura Fontana's insight:

La Barcaccia, 15-Aprile-2014
"They say hello, then they make compliments to Jonas for his perfect italian. When asked where he learned such a good italian he answers that his family loved Italy and they went to Italy on holiday 2/3 times per year, to Lido di Classe (Ravenna). They went to see Operas to the Arena of Verona and Jonas went there when he was a little boy. He loved Opera very much and when he attended an Opera for the first time (he was just a very young boy) he saw "Madama Butterfly". They were in the first row, it was fantastic, but at the end when he saw the soprano going out for the applause he was very surprised because he thought she was really dead. His sister (five years older) asked him if he didn't notice that the soprano was sweating and she a had a lot of make-up, but he didn't believe it: it was like giving up to a dream. Then during his career he performed lot of roles, dying on the stage: Jonas says that not always it's good to be the good one, sometimes it's interesting to be the bad one also. They talk about the Winterreise that Jonas performed in Milano the night before with Helmut Deutsch at the piano. Deutsch was teacher of Jonas at the conservatory, they were friends and Deutsch helped Jonas to understand the way of singing. Deutsch accepted him as student because another teacher told him not to take Jonas that was always making troubles. Deutsch was curious and now you can see a great partnership between them because Deutsch follows Jonas knowing perfectly his particular voice that opens a new way of singing with sounds near the "pianissimo". This could be dangerous for a tenore but it's a precise desire of Jonas, actually it was his desire from the beginning but for the first 2/3 years he couldn't sing in that way. One day he went to Helmut class but he wasn't prepared because he had an audition the day after: so Helmut asked him to sing an aria. After hearing him he asked where that voice came from and Jonas answered that he couldn't use that voice singing the lieder. Deutsch said that instead he had to use all his voice to sing, not just the 30% and he became a great singer of lieder too. After listening a brief part of Winterreise they ask if he likes his recorded voice and he says that he likes his voice and when he records he would like a sound absolutely near to that one in a theatre. Today the sound of the orchestra is louder: Jonas says that he likes that but Operas were written when the orchestra sound wasn't so high and "fortissimo" doesn't mean that the orchestra has to cover the voice sound. In that way nobody needs amplification. Then they talk about the particular ability of Jonas of doing "crescendo" and "decrescendo": he learned with an american teacher (a baritono). They studied for 4 years and he was taught to sing in a relaxed way, with confidence in his voice because if you have doubts you start to push your voice too much or you became stiff. The secret is keeping your throat relaxed and using the diaphragm. That is possible with a total relax, even of the nerves. Then they talk about the "falsetto" (Jonas was accused of using falsetto). Jonas says that "falsetto" is a tone isolated, with no support of breath: it's impossible to do a real "crescendo" and if the "forte" is too pushed there's no possibility of doing a "decrescendo". It's a half voice, but your voice with its own colours. Jonas says that you should have the possibility of doing "crescendo-decrescendo" (even because it's written by the author of the opera) and that you have to do it when necessary, because we're not talking about circus. Music exist not to be beautiful but to give us emotions so you don't have to do something not necessary. There's difference between operas and lieder: operas have orchestra to support singers, lieder have just the piano and the voice that should be more expressive. Deutsch and Jonas are partners. Before listening to "Aida" they ask if there will be an Aida with Jonas and Pappano and he says yes, hoping in a concert too. We listen to "Celeste Aida" and they talk of a real feat with a total "morendo". Then Kaufmann sings "un trono vicino al sol" with the "morendo": perfect. He's going to do "Tristano", "Aida", "Otello". After "La forza del destino" nothing can scare him. They end with "Core Ingrato".

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Laura Fontana
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 22-05-2014 - Audio Interview (Extras, Part 4)

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 22-05-2014 - Audio Interview (Extras, Part 4) | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it
Laura Fontana's insight:

 

 

La Barcaccia, 22-05-2014 Firstly they play the "Walchiria" then they talk again about the Opera and its future. Jonas says that in the 50's people said that the Opera was over but it was because there weren't anymore beautiful Operas. When asked if he thinks that Operas can still be actual or if there is the need of modernize them, maybe too much, he says that the mith, the magic inside the Operas are unique. When this is put in danger owing to some productions, we loose the heart of Operas. He makes an example: if he does the Winterreise, Boheme, Traviata, that were written more than one hundred years ago, people start crying. Why? Because that music is the key for our soul, our emotions and people, overall during these difficult times, need something that in some way get them free of crying or being happy during the Operas. Instead pop music doesn't resent any crisis: he says that some days before he was in his car with the family and there was a pop song on the radio. He said that he knew the song but his children said that it was old, at least 6 months before! The difference between pop music and Operas is just that: Opera is eternal. They ask what he thinks about the crossover: he says that till now it didn't happen. He doesn't like to say "never" but, for example, if he makes friendship with a pop singer, after some (maybe too many) beers they can decide to do something together and they could do it but not to sell more CDs, so no "Kaufmann and friends". They ask if his children admire him and he answers "No". They admire him as father not as singer: they go to see him to the theatre but it's something normal, the job of "papà" and he likes that they treat him as a normal person. Then they ask where he met his wife and he says that she is a singer, mezzosoprano, and she still performs some concerts, not Operas because they need too much time. They didn't share the study of music because "canto" is very personal. It's difficult to criticize a person near to you: you can do it with a student. Maybe in the future instead of doing parts of baritono (laughs), he will give canto lessons. At the end they ask a word of hope for the Italy and he says that Italy is full of people that love Operas and he and the other singers are responible for that but he says also that the important thing is give a start to the young people. This is the duty of the State and the school but firstly of the family that should change sometimes channel and make young people listen to other music. They say hello and they are going to meet again in September.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Laura Fontana from Classical Music News
Scoop.it!

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 20/05/2014 - Audio Interview (Extras, Part 2)

Jonas Kaufmann - La Barcaccia (Rai) 20/05/2014 - Audio Interview (Extras, Part 2) | Jonas Kaufmann | Scoop.it

Mp3 Radio Interview. About operetta, cancelled productions in Salzburg (Forza in 2015, now it will be Fidelio), vocal technique and more.


Via the listener
Laura Fontana's insight:

 

 

La Barcaccia, 20-05-2014Today backstage of Jonas Kaufmann at "La Barcaccia", italian radio, recorded I think the 15th of April: "Greetings from the interviewers that announce 3 interviews to Jonas: the first one was the 15th of April, the others are during this week. Today they broadcast a sort of backstage, when they were waiting with Jonas and chatting. They say he's a very nice person (but we know that better then them!): then we listen to the "sol" of Celeste Aida and they ask Jonas whether it's really able to do that or it's an effect created on studio. Jonas repeats immediately "Un trono vicino al sol" with the "sol": perfect! Some laughs and idiots things by the 2 conductors that say that "head of tenore" is something bad and Jonas a bit amused says that he started as "tenore leggero", never as baritono. Jonas says that Helmut Deutsch saw him at a festival near Vienna:in the first part there was a future soprano (Birgit Nielsson) but Jonas sang during the second part (Wagner) and Deutsch was surprised because Jonas managed to do "crescendo" and "decrescendo" as maybe never. Jonas didn't realise that and he says that the secret is not to think about that, just to do it. Then Jonas tells about Domingo that did something similar with Baremboin (Requiem): Jonas thinks he was great but he says that he phoned Domingo and Domingo wasn't happy about that, maybe too feminine voice... Then they ask Jonas if he worked with Muti and he answers that they worked together in 1999 and stop. They should have done something on Salisburgo Festival but Jonas is going to perform Fidelio as Florestan. They ask him if he likes more an opera in particular and Jonas refuses to chose because in his opinion it's dangerous to put some opera as second best (while he answers you can hear: "gnum, gnum, gnum...he's eating: after all he's human...). They joke a bit about an opera that Jonas couldn't do (Puritani) but they laugh because he can do all the operas. They ask about voice warm-up and he says that he always keeps 3 octaves from high mi to low mi, and he can do the "frasetto". Joans does the feminine voice (wonderful). They notice the fact that he did these things with covered mouth and he says that years ago he had to warm-up his voice with 4/5 singers in a single dressing room and he thought was a bit crazy so he put his hand in front of his mouth and just by chance he discovered that it was much better. After some years he read that a famous soprano did the same with a towel. He says that it's very useful because you understand that you can do high notes and low notes with the same position.

 

more...
No comment yet.