Jonas Kaufmann lets slip the new roles he is learning

Jonas Kaufmann lets slip the new roles he is learning


norman lebrecht

August 07, 2017

More laid back Down Under than he can afford to be back home, Jonas Kaufmann began talking at a press conference about the roles he is learning for future performance.

Among them are Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Pelléas in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Samson in the Saint-Saens opera and Paul in Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt.

This is revealing for all sorts of reasons, not least that Kaufmann is concerned to leave an individual footprint on the opera repertoire. Pelléas and Paul are two roles that do not appear among Placido Domingo’s record 147 career roles.

Kaufmann would have the opportunity to own them.

We are indebted to Limelight’s close reporting of Kaufmann in Australia.

photo: Opera Australia


  • AMetFan says:

    Jonas would be an estimable Paul, of course. But in this generation, it is owned by Torsten Kerl. I believe he has retired the role, but what an incredible portrayal. A truly career defining performance that still haunts me. Good luck to all who follow.

  • John Kelly says:

    Would love to see Die Tode Stadt at the Met (fat chance). City Opera did it (wonderfully) a few years ago. Granted not a great story, not even a great opera, but certainly as worthy of a revival as some of the things we’ve seen at the Met recently. A new production, shared with a European house would be welcome, at least for me. Kaufmann would be excellent as Paul and I’d fancy Yoncheva as Marie/Marietta, though I am sure others will have a different suggestion.
    One thing is certain – the score is FANTASTIC, the City Opera players adored it (at least the 4 I spoke to).

  • Una says:

    He might be learning them but is he actually doing them????

    • Frederick West says:

      What does ‘doing them’mean?

      • Max Grimm says:

        I assume Una wants to know if Kaufmann is already being thought of or designated to sing the roles he is learning for performances currently being actively planned and scheduled.

        • Frederick West says:

          Thanks. It was a bit ambiguous. I certainly hope he does it

        • Una says:

          Thanks Max for coming to.the rescue and interpreting me for myself and others with my native British English! Made me laugh that I was ambiguous! Ugh?

          Back to the Proms!!

  • Katherine Roppel says:

    I sound like a skipping record but the two roles I would love to have Jonas sing are Pelleas and Tristan in the entire opera. It is probably too late for Aeneas. I think he will probably continue to refine Otello to make it even more his own. Also hope to see him again at the Met.