Just in: Jonas Kaufmann cancels the Met

This is an unfortunate recurrence.

Met statement: Jonas Kaufmann has canceled his performances in this season’s new production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut due to illness. Star tenor Roberto Alagna, currently at the Met giving an acclaimed performance of Canio in Pagliacci, will sing his first-ever performances of des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, replacing Kaufmann. To allow time for him learn the staging before the February 12 new production premiere, Alagna must withdraw from his remaining performances as Canio as he undertakes this new challenge.

Kaufmann cancelled Carmen at the Met last year. Recently he gave acute sinusitis as the cause for pulling out of the Real in Madrid.

jonas kaufmann1

Some more detail here.

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  • I have seen Robert Alagna sing De Grieux with Anna Netbreko on YouTube. What do you mean he hasn’t sung it before?

  • Well, I hope Jonas is well again soon. I’ve heard him sing at the Musikverein in Vienna (with Thielemann on the podium) and he really is superb.

  • Well, it is only a matter of time until the System finds the next “beau tenebreux” who has darker hair, more sculpted abs, less family obligations, can also sing and make ladies dream. It’s a big market out there…

      • Yes, Thiago is very, very good…

        AND I for one will NEVER again plan my trip to New York, The Met, in the depth of winter, just to find out that Jonas Kaufmann is not well and will be replaced… THREE YEARS in a row is enough!!!. And each time thousands of dollars lost- plane tickets, hotel stay and opera tickets… A coincidence? Start to doubt it…

        • Now instead of giving up on a performance of a lifetime why on earth haven’t you thought of ticket insurance? I insured event the train rickets for the Carnegie hall recital and have full credit for trip and ticket.
          Protect your little investment but don’t give up on pleasure. Kaufmann’s desire is to sing not to be ill.

        • Sorry for you, Anna. I had more luck with my two winter trips: one to N-Y (for “Parcifal” at the Met), another to Chicago (for his concert with R. Flemming). Everything was bought in advance, my husband was anxious about possible cancellations and bad weather, but we were lucky and admired Jonas in Wagner’s opera and at the concert where he performed Italian and French arias and duets. However, we all are humans and can get sick, besides, famous opera singers travel a lot and can get virus infections as well. I wish Kaufmann to get well soon.

          • I agree. I am not going to avoid Jonas Kaufmann performances just because I have already been disappointed three times by cancellations. I am concerned, however, that he was not scheduled for any Met productions this year. I am now retired and have to watch my money, so I worry about cancellations more than I used to. By the way, sinusitis can be severe, and I know people whose sinuses have required surgery to lessen the chance for infection.

  • That really is unfortunate! Roberto Alagna has saved the day before, so he can do it again, I’m sure! I sure hope Herr Kaufmann is not seriously ill and that he has a good return to health!

  • Makes one wonder if there isn’t a truly serious physical issue. One does not cancel performances that are a month and more in the future because of sinusitis. May he get well soon. Please.

    • They do cancel with sinusitis as it’s an infection, and where the resonance in a singer is found. If blocked, you can’t sing – or very, very badly, and far worse and detrimental than many other things that happen to singers. It isn’t worth his reputation to go on and sing, so all courage to him.

    • The fact is, he doesn’t need to do it: his des Grieux has been filmed in London and Munich, both times with Opolais.

      And he may have planned the switch with Alagna, who is apparently a friend and who may have wanted to jump into this new role.

    • Sinusitis is an extremely unpleasant and debilitating condition, often requiring antibiotics. I had it once for 3 weeks and the pain was incredible, accompanied by vomiting and headaches.

    • How right you are. .most singers will never be totally upfront about their physical health. I being a singer myself will never tell the public that my ENT. has recommended I take a month or two of very limited vocal use due to a slight formation of vocal fold calluses.
      Resting of the voice is the only cure.
      Mr. Kaufmann needs to slow down on his schedule and truly be careful when it comes to his repetory. He seems too willing to do roles which may not be suitable for his voice.

  • Yes, I learned a few days ago that Jonas Kaufmann had cancelled the Carnegie Hall recital and now the opera as well. I also missed him last spring at the Met in Carmen. I didn’t realize he was sick until Don Jose walked on stage. I haven’t given up. I look forward to seeing Roberto Alagna for the first time. But I am still looking at dates in Munich to try. I hope he isn’t seriously ill. Sinusitis can be rough. In singers it is common. Whenever they get sick, it seems to go for their voice. (I know. I worked as a librarian for years at a music school.)

  • Yes, I learned a few days ago that Jonas Kaufmann had cancelled the Carnegie Hall recital and now the opera as well. I also missed him last spring at the Met in Carmen. I didn’t realize he was sick until Don Jose walked on stage. I haven’t given up. I look forward to seeing Roberto Alagna for the first time. But I am still looking at dates in Munich to try. I hope he isn’t seriously ill. Sinusitis can be rough. In singers it is common. Whenever they get sick, it seems to go for their voice. (I know. I worked as a librarian for years at a music school.) – See more at: https://slippedisc.com/2016/01/just-in-jonas-kaufmann-cancels-the-met/#comment-97935

    • I’ve missed several also and also would not give up on hearing this incredible voice. Munich for Tosca with Harteros it is….

  • This recurring illness is unfortunate and perhaps those close to him should be tested for possibility of carrying this virus. He needs to be protected from becoming ill.
    Now for Alagna. Not quite up for this role. Crossover maybe but this beautiful part ? Hopefully I think Opelais can carry the entire opera. This part is very much hers. Sorry to miss seeing that incredible chemistry with Kaufmann.
    Hoping for better.

  • Kaufmann and Opalais were electrifying together in that dreadful London production of Manon Lescaut. And the only relationship Alagna has on stage is with the prompter. This is a real disappointment.

    • I saw the February 18th Manon Lescaut at the Met and after Alana sang Tra voi bel he warmed up nicely and sang the role very well. Ms. Opalais was fantastic, I enjoyed the whole production. Glad I got to see Alagna, he is a very capable tenor with a good sized voice!

  • Sinusitis can be a nightmare – an attack can be very debilitating and painful. The nasal drip causes coughing which can badly damage the voice and throat. It’s impossible to cure completely, I’ve had it since a teenager, eventually had surgery which didn’t help at all, and I’m so sorry that Mr. Kaufmann suffers from it. He is completely right to take time off and rest his voice, otherwise he might do permanent damage to his great gift.

  • Let us hope Herr Kaufmann makes a full recovery and returns to performing only when he is ready. We in Ireland long for a visit from him some day.
    Marie in Dublin

  • The Met knows how to raise prices for a Kaufman performance but they have not learned how to give a refund for his cancellations. I saw Vittorio Grigolo from a Premium Family Circle seat. The same seat was approximately $15..00 more when Kaufman sings. Grigolo’s , Massenet Manon was magnificent., as everything he does. I was told by a Kaufman fan that he has had a reputation for cancellations for some time.

  • Very disappointed about Mr Kaufman’s cancelation. We spent a lot of money to come to NYC just to hear him. He did the same thing last year with Carmen. Is he scheduled to sing anything in the future? Don’t know if we’ll risk it again. (Shades of Caballe, the cancelation queen). Too bad, because it is a unique voice. Although their are other good tenors, his is a unique sound and timbre that no one else has.

  • Kaufmann has been artificially darkening his voice, as for the complete Don Carlo from Vienna and has developed a nodule on his vocal cords. operation might impair his instrument…let’s hope not. He’s a wonderful actor and really throws himself into a role. I wish him luck.

  • Fatitzzi – there you hit the nail on its head!

    He has been contriving that sound below the stave and I imagine he’s now paying the price…

    Where are the Bergonzis and Corellis who could sing this repertoire without manufacturing!

  • I hope Jonas never lowers himself to perform with the Met after they released the solo Film last season from La Scala where he blew his encore repeating a song he already performed, causing him great embarrassment . The mistake could have easily been removed in editing if the creepy opera elite were decent people at all.
    Hope Jonas never looks back.

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