Jonas Kaufmann is upset

An Argentine newspaper report suggesting more cancellations ahead for the sought-after tenor has provoked an unusually vehement response on his social media:

COMPLETELY UNTRUE All the information contained in the article published in “La Nacion” on March 27th (“Jonas Laufmann tiene un serio problema de salud”) is completely untrue.
The writer is not well informed as Mr. Kaufmann just appeared in a solo all Puccini concert in Prague on March 16 which was acclaimed with standing ovations. He also did a private concert in Vienna on March 19 and appeared on March 21 as soloist with the Berlin Staatskapelle and Daniel Barenboim. Furthermore, Mr. Kaufmann is looking forward to appearing in all his engagements for April as well as all of his other future engagements.
Bruce Zemsky and Alan Green, Managers of Jonas Kaufmann

The response is more revealing than the original report. In normal circumstances, an international artist would not react to speculation in an uninfluential newspaper on the opposite side of the world. And on a normal Easter Sunday it would take more than a small earthquake to stir Messrs Zemsky and Green to pick up a telephone, let alone compose a Facebook rebuttal. All of which indicates extraordinary conditions.

In recent months, Kaufmann has cancelled the Met, Covent Garden and Teatro Real.

A year ago he (rightly) proclaimed: we cancel less than footballers.

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      • Carmen. That’s twice I have been disappointed, but if he is indisposed, what can you do? Some people think he has overworked himself recently.

        • Which Carmen? There were two Carmens cancelled last season in NY not in London. There he sang the full run of Andrea Chenier in January. This season nothing was planned at Covent Garden. Puccini-concert in October was a big success. Next at ROH is Othello June 2017. Before Barbican residency in February 2017.

          • He was due to sing 2 Carmens in a flying visit last December. When he pulled out, Covent Garden kindly offered to exchange my ticket for Eugene Onegin, which was moderately enjoyable.

          • Last December he sang Damnation at Bastille……….. What is a “flying visit”?

          • 2 nights. I don’t see why he can’t pull out of Carmen in London just because he was in Paris in the same month.

  • Franz, the word used was “opposite”, implying distance. “Wrong” is your word and has a totally other meaning.

  • Audiences in Argentina are among the toughest and most knowledgeable in the world. He’s right not to go there if he’s not in top form lest they boo him off the stage.

    • They won’t boo him in Buenos Aires, where he gives a concert and a recital, on Aug. 6 and 14.

      What is bothersome about this report in Argentina’s La Nacion is the claim that JK’s pulmonary tumor was malignant.

      It is interesting that the report follows by a few days JK’s work with Barenboim in Berlin, almost as if some private information leaked into Argentinian circles as a consequence.

      Also interesting is Norman’s point about JK’s NY agents being stirred over Easter, as if JK himself told them to do something in response to the leak.

      Let’s hope the reporter has ALL of his facts wrong.

  • His refutation is he appeared in Prague and Vienna? Right in his own back yard. He has said he wanted to “stay closer to home.” In fact, whey did he appear on March 16th, 19th and 21st when he claimed he had to cancel the entire run of rehearsals and performance at the Met of Manon Lescaut because he was sick?

    • That’s not all.

      He was supposed to sing Das Lied von der Erde for Kirill Petrenko in Munich on March 14 and 15, with the last NY Manon Lescaut being, I believe, March 11.

      This was not announced, however, because Kaufmann told Petrenko no before the 2015-16 season announcement (of the Bavarian State Orchestra, which performed Das Lied).

      In his irritation, at having had to accept the decrepit Peter Seiffert as substitute, Petrenko deliberately let slip, at the Internet-streamed announcement, the original plan.

      Kaufmann substituted the better-paying Prague concert, March 16.

      So sometimes he screws Munich too.

      • Sorry but this information is not true.
        Petrenko annouced Peter Seiffert for the “Lied von der Erde” the day of livestream conference fort the 15-16 season, not Kaufmann.
        And the Prague concert is a replacement of canceled previous concert in October.

        • That’s right, but in announcing Seiffert he let it slip that Kaufmann was originally planned, as if he had momentarily forgotten. (Watch the livestream again, if you can.)

          Of course he had not forgotten. How could the GMD, supposedly commander of the house, confuse a washed-up, wobbly, essentially dumb Heldentenor who peaked 25 years ago and already in the 1990s had serious problems sustaining pitch with the more lyric, highly imaginative, in-his-prime, globally acclaimed Kaufmann?

          He was surely sorely disappointed that his planned Das Lied, with the matched lyric and creative Kaufmann and Gerhaher, had been ruined by Kaufmann’s defection. And he wanted the world to know.

          Yes, the Prague was a make-good from an earlier date. But so what? It was still Kaufmann’s choice to leave Petrenko’s Das Lied.

          It should also be noted that Kaufmann, having filmed the Mahler with Claudio Abbado a few years ago, is due to sing all six movements of Das Lied in Paris this summer.

  • Kauffmann cancelled a recital at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica scheduled for February 24. Luckily the recital hall replaced it with two galas by Anna Netrebko (April 13 and 15).

      • I was a holder of two Broad Stage JK tickets — they refunded as well. I don’t think the Netrebko galas were literally a replacement. Although Kaufmann ticket holders may have been offered that option, it wasn’t the only one.

  • The news was perhaps published in a “uninfluential newspaper on the other side of the world”, but it was already quickly spreading through the internet, so considering the article was about a malignant lung tumor, I can understand he got upset and wanted to clarify.

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