Jonas Kaufmann ends London residency with second cancellation

The German tenor has pulled out of tonight’s Richard Strauss concert with bronchitis.

He has not been replaced. The concert is off. Here’s what the Barbican website says:

Jonas deeply regrets that because he has bronchitis this concert is cancelled. In due course we hope to reschedule this concert to a future date.

Ticketholders will receive a full refund to the original payment method by returning their tickets…

Intended programme:

Korngold Schauspiel Overture
Strauss Symphonic Interlude from Intermezzo, Träumerei am Kamin
‘Ruhe meine Seele’
‘Freundliche Vision’
‘Heimliche Aufforderung’
Elgar In the South
Strauss Four Last Songs

Jonas Kaufmann tenor
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jochen Rieder

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    • He sounded a bit ‘chesty’ on Wednesday, and there is a ghastly bronchitis going round, here in London – I have two friends down with it. BTW it’s vocal ‘cords’ not ‘chords!’

      • Surprisingly you do get both in vocal technique books, Liz, particularly older ones which Americans keep telling us to call ‘folds!’. Either way I think we know what I meant …

  • Due to sing Chenier in Munich in March with the not so reliable Harteros. Maybe on home terf one or both might make it to the starting blocks but the Ausverkauf audience shouldn’t bet on it.

  • This guy is seeming to be a very delicate flower. Or maybe a bit like Tiger Woods, who has spent the last couple of weeks withdrawing from things — so keen to get back at it that they come too soon from injuries/illness. It’s about to cost Woods his career; I hope Kaufmann is luckier and more sensible.

    • This is the generation of “the delicate flower”, courtesy of the USA!! It’s an epidemic.

      Get well Jonas. No ‘delicate flower’ could sing Wagner.

    • Well, you must care too or you would not be responding. People regard him highly because he is the best there is in certain repertoires, and probably also because he is an unusually nice person.

      • I really like your comments and absolutely agree with your reply to Lydia Wahlberg. I am of course really disappointed as I booked tickets for tonight almost a year ago. But I care more that Jonas gets properly well before he tackles anything else. And I do hope there’s a recording of Vier Letzte Lieder in the pipeline!

  • An unusually nice person doesn’t leave the wife, who put her career on hold, and children for a very plain woman twelve years younger than he. He has acted like a fool.
    I just read an interview with the very beautiful Margarete Joswig and she has resumed her career. What is so sad is that she will be singing Fricka!

    • Oh dear. We can only speak as we find! They have separated amicably, and only those very intimate with them know the background. One certain thing is that he has not left his children, who were with him last time I spoke to him in London & with whom he spent much of his convalescence. As for ‘a very plain woman’ – gosh! Hasn’t he got enough good looks for two, and maybe one person’s ‘plain’ is another one’s ‘lovely?’

    • Nice or not, he was a very good singer before he started to sell out, which, admittedly, does make him a bit less likeable. But lots of nice people get divorced, and private lives are, as the name indicates, private.

      • +1. Judging from y the live performances I attended, he was always very good up to the Salzburg Don Carlos. Lately I was a bit disappointed as in the Wesendonck and the Lied von der Erde in Paris and last Wednesday’s concert. I hope he will recover soon! I have tickets for the Paris Chenier on March 26 and hope he will be there.

        • And WhyTF is this man wasting/squandering his resources and time (and ours) by singing the Wesendonck and the Vier Letzte Lieder, repertoire most typically identified with the female voice, sopranos in particular? What next for Jonas? The role of Isolde perhaps? I am sure it would resonate with the LGBT crowd as he would surely “look good” in drag and without facial hair.

    • The beauty competition in the opera world is not particularly tough, and you might be better off watching Hollywood movies if glamour is your thing.

    • Gosh. You do have a thing about him. Most people would consider him very handsome indeed, although he does not appeal to me much because I loathe designer stubble. However, the voice and stage ability is something else…

    • Oh Lydia, I have just been reading your posts of a few weeks ago. You do have a problem don’t you? You sound sour and vindictive. What a shame.

  • Glamour is not my thing. The handsome subject was not brought up by me. I am more concerned with honesty and fidelity in a performer.

  • Ridiculous cancellation! You mean to tell me there’s not a soprano in London and vicinity not otherwise engaged who doesn’t have those songs at her beck and call? And I do mean soprano. Strauss never intended the last songs to be sung by a tenor anyway.

    • Agree. Why is he squandering his time and resources (and ours) singing the Wesendonck and the Vier letzte Lieder, repertoire most intricately related to the female voice, the soprano voice specifically? He is no match. Could never be. What next for JK? The role of Isolde perhaps? Surely he would “look good” shaved and in drag since looking good is all that matters today.

    • I disagree. This is not a West End show where the ‘star’ is indisposed for a couple of shows and a cover has to stand in. This was part of the Kaufmann Residency. Find me the people who claim to have bought tickets for this concert to hear the Four Last Songs and Elgar’s Overture ‘In the South’ and I will call this an ‘alternative fact’. If the Barbican had offered people their money back or some soprano they had to find at the last minute, ice-cream sales in the interval would surely have been more than disappointing.

  • And now we have to decide whether to book the very expensive Otello tickets – with huge mark-up for JK – when they soon go on sale, or wait and risk missing the opportunity to hear him sing this role.

    • Have the prices been announced, and is there definitely a mark-up for his performances vs. Kunde’s?
      If so, it’s a very rare thing for the ROH to do, and the only precedent I can think of is Tamerlano where the Domingo ticket holders received a partial refund after he cancelled.

  • And what about the scheduled recital in the Barbican with Jonas Kaufmann and Diana Damrau on the 16th of February. The programme reads: Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch?
    There is no cancellation notice on the Barbican website.

  • to you all who have give your opinion about J.K. the man is unwell and as probably done to much ( they all do!) and burn out before time!
    The only time that i’have listen to him live was some years back for his recital at the Wigmore Hall and what can I say?……. a bit disappointed(not a lieder singer to my mind) also not quite as good looking as one might think!
    he seems to follow another the singer who as the habit of cancelling (and not always for health issues) but double bookings and that Simon Keenliside! we don’t bother with him anymore! And that’s not taking his talent as a singer away!

  • Nobody mentions that J.K. Is a terrific actor! Handsome is matter of taste. We Muenchener call him lovingly ‘ Das Lockenkoepferl’
    Plácido Domingo says ‘Kaufmann ist der beste Tenor der Welt’.
    Let’s all just cherish him!

    • Excuse me but this charlatan Plácido Domingo has ZERO credibility. He can pronounce away all he wants but it means nothing.

      • You, Ungeheuer/Monster, are so-called ‘safely’ insulting an other person whom you possibly never met nor are acquainted with.
        May I advice contributors to this website to refrain from doing this person the favour of futher attention? There ar already too many trolls in the world.

  • For the first fifteen years of this century, JK (when healthy, obviously) was definitely the best performer in the repertoire that was truly his.

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