Covent Garden is selling tickets for Jonas Kaufmann’s Otello

Covent Garden is selling tickets for Jonas Kaufmann’s Otello


norman lebrecht

March 05, 2017

With slightly awkward timing, the Royal Opera House opened its box-office on Friday for sales of June’s Otello with the ephemeral German tenor.

The immediate sales are to Friends only. General booking begins March 28.

It was on Friday that Kaufmann’s New York manager Alan Green announced he was pulling out of the Metropolitan Opera’s season highlight.

Kaufmann’s cancellation reasons – ‘his personal life and professional obligations’ – may not apply in London. Also, he owes more of a personal and professional obligation to the ROH music director Antonio Pappano than he does to the Met’s Peter Gelb. Let’s see.


  • Ungeheuer says:

    Again, he should withdraw from this ill-advised assignment to focus on the role of Isolde (Act 2 concertant with the Boston/Nelsons) as he already sings the pre-Isolde studies, the Wesendonck, and even Strauss’ Four Last Songs. Who is the Tristan for those concerts? (((-:

    • Anthony Trollope says:

      I think he should sing BOTH Tristan and Isolde, perhaps simultaneously from Vienna and New York …

  • Ronald Lee says:

    Kaufmann is scheduled for april 12,2018 for the 2nd act of tristan with the bso/nelsons at carnegie hall..he sings tristan not isolde..the cast includes camillla nylund,mihoko fujimura and george zeppenfeld

  • Olassus says:

    Such a convoluted and ELITIST system!

    Seven categories, including 5 levels of “Friends”:

    General Booking
    28 March 2017, 9am

    Student Priority
    27 March 2017, 9am

    7 March 2017, 9am

    3 March 2017, 9am

    Supporting Friends
    1 March 2017, 9am

    Premium 1 Friends
    22 February 2017, 9am

    Premium 2 Friends
    21 February 2017, 9am

    • Vienna calling says:

      The ridiculous thing is that on most days you can buy as many tickets as you want. Even for Manon Lescaut and André Chenier with the now elusive new superstar there were plenty of seats for almost all shows.

      • Paul Bale says:

        On First Day Of Friends booking all seats were sold out in all much for paying g £90 for the privilege of booking early! Elitist is not the word. Disgusting.

  • Olassus says:

    I can’t imagine he owes much artistically to Pappano, whose inabilities in Verdi have compromised several Kaufmann efforts. Giordano and Puccini, OK.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    Less worried about a JK no show than the prospect of another Keith Warner production.



      • DESR says:

        Tony’s mate Keef… At least Warner doesn’t try to insult his audiences and betray his hatred of much of the repertoire, though he is not perhaps the most imaginative or coherent of directors. Now who could I be thinking of…?

        Clue: it is not Castorf (on this occasion).

        • michaelmarcus says:

          At this point in his career there are two priorities: his vocal chords and his personal relationships which are more important than showing up for another Tosca booked 5 years ago.

          We don’t know if he will ever sing as well as has, given his recent catastrophic medical problems. He should be the one who decides his own destiny and we can only pray that he will give us his brilliant tenor sonority for a precious,brief time more.

  • Tinkerbell says:

    I guess he forgot Gelb Brought him to the MET & stardom. He must believe he is the greatest living tenor. Callas & Pavarotti were fired from the Met & Lyric – guess he thinks he is far superior to these legend.

    Tinker Bell

  • Richard Craig says:

    Make no mistake this is a marvellous voice for the 21st century,i shall never forget hearing Mr Kauffmann at the RFH a few years ago and marvelling at the timbre of his voice,but the best was hearing him sing the role of Siegmund in Die Walkure from the met this was a stunning performance the best I have heard since Jon Vickers a true heldentenor, I would love to hear him sing the role of Otello but am wary of booking in case he cancels ( which he seems to be doing a lot of recently) but otherwise I will hear the broadcast from my local cinema.

  • Jackyt says:

    The ROH prices are sky high for JK in Tosca and will not be reduced if he fails to show. I decided not to risk disappointment and opted instead to book Michael Spyres in Mitridate directed by Graham Vick at considerably less than half the price of Tosca.

  • Brad M says:

    As a mere ‘ordinary’ Friend at £96 per year when I logged on this morning to book, all Otello performances with JK had sold out in the amphitheatre. So have booked for the 2nd cast, with Gregory Kunde (who I presume is lined up to cover them all if JK withdraws).

    My track record on hearing JK is not the best – of 5 attempts at ROH I have only heard him twice. Having said that, he is one of the most exciting singers I have heard in 40 years of opera going and I wish him well for the future. Given the problems with his vocal chords it must affect his future plans and it would probably make sense to avoid vast houses like the Met.

    • Waltraud Becker says:

      “……at that time…..” Perhaps some did not observe that it is Christmas-time when rehearsals for Tosca take place and he should stay away from home and his family. May be the fixing of the date was not discussed to the end. Othello is in the middle of the year, to fly from London to München and backwords is easy for him and the members of his family. .
      Before the Met´s success JK was engaged and successful at ROH and a very good friend with Pappano since 2002.

      • MissShelved says:

        One might also note that JK’s ex-wife (with whom he shares joint custody of the kiddos) has one solid operatic booking per year — Gertrude in yuletide Hansel & Gretels. Let’s be honest. He owes her.

  • Brad M says:

    All the Otello performances with Kaufmann are now completely sold out, so there will be lots of disappointed punters if he does cancel. There are still 100+ tickets for the three performances with the ‘2nd cast’.

  • GFC says:

    I saw the dress rehearsal this morning. It is sensational. Kaufmann, Agresta, orchestra and chorus exceptional. Warner production works! Do NOT fret if you have a ticket – and do not sell it! This is the biggest event in Covent Garden’s year.