Jonas Kaufmann obliges major newspaper to publish correction

Jonas Kaufmann obliges major newspaper to publish correction


norman lebrecht

August 23, 2019

Three days ago, the respected Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that ‘it is known’ that the tenors Rolando Villazon and Jonas Kaufmann had undergone vocal cord surgery.

The SZ is Kaufmann’s hometown newspaper. He was not happy.

Today, the paper published a retraction: ‘Jonas Kaufmann denies having undergone vocal cord surgery’.

Nothing from Villazon?



  • The Cuban Stallion says:

    A simple web search would have revealed that Rolando speaks openly about his past throat surgery.

  • sam says:

    Is it really a “retraction” though, or even a “correction”? When the original story in its original form has not been taken down, when the subject of the story is simply given a chance to respond the following day? More like a “letter to the editor” really.

    • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

      I don’t think vocal cord surgeries involve retraction. I think retraction is used mostly in surgeries a bit further down in the body.

      (A friend of mine was an ear-nose-&-throat doctor, and business was slow. So he changed his specialty and became a proctologist. Now he says business is looking up.)

    • Z says:

      Yeah, a “retraction” should come from the newspaper itself, almost by definition, which is not the case here.

  • 32VA says:

    Good for him. These German fishwrap sheets believe they own peoples’ private lives to exploit for financial gain.

  • Phillip Ayling says:

    It doesn’t seem to me that the periodical has withdrawn its claim or acknowledged that an error was made (which is how I imagine a retraction). Rather, it seems that they are just doing a follow-up and reporting that Jonas Kaufmann is disputing their report.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Villazon is not much of a singer since his initial surgery several years ago. Judging from his production of Der Fledermaus in Berlin, he is not much of a director either.

  • Gustavo says:

    Can we accept phenotypic engineering in music?

    Isn’t it like doping in sports?

  • Waltraud Becker says:

    Kaufmann spoke several times in interviews about that rumors and always rejected them definitely.

  • Una says:

    So what if they did as long as it works? And tennis players and osteopaths and violinists and villa players regularly have replacement surgery.

  • Jonathan says:

    In the opera world, there is an incredible and unjust stigmatization of singers who have undergone any type of vocal surgery. Many times these surgeries have nothing to do with faulty technique.
    Sondra Radvanovsky has openly spoken about having to undergo surgery due to a problem with her vocal folds caused by a problem with a medical procedure she underwent as a child.
    I know of at least one well-known singer who took an ibuprofen before a performance because of a headache and ended up popping a blood vessel on a vocal chord. He had to have an operation and sings better than ever.

    In the world of professional sports, it is expected that athletes will, from time to time, get injured and rehabilitate themselves. There is no stigmatization against a tennis player who sprains an ankle while playing, and the notion that a vocal chord surgery necessarily indicates a singer whom we should look down our noses at is rubbish.

    Furthermore, it incentivizes singers to keep their vocal problems a secret.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Given the often strangulated (and constipated-sounding) technique Kaufmann employs, it surprises that much worse than vocal cord surgery has not happened.

    • Helen says:

      You are at it again. You must be such an unhappy person because you rarely have anything decent to say about anyone. You don’t like Kaufmann. For goodness sake I think we get the message so why don’t you just keep quiet now and direct your ire elsewhere. Preferably on another blog on another planet.

      • sycorax says:

        Why? Do you think Kaufmann is above critique? I don’t think so – and I find too that he sounds strangulated and always slightly overstressed – which is sad because he once started sounding great.

        • Waltraud Becker says:

          I would say You should stop listening to him to minimize Your suffering.

        • Helen says:

          You are about as bad as Caravaggio. You too rarely have anything good to say about anyone least of all JK. I agree with Waltraud. Perhaps you should save yourself the stress and quit listening to JK if he is causing such pain to your senses.

  • Caravaggio says:

    As for Villazón, poor he; for he was expected to be heir apparent somewhere in the mold of The Three Tenors franchise. It was not to be. The clownsmanship requirement for the job, though, that, he’s got.

  • Roger says:

    That’s NOT a retraction that stating Kaufmanns opinion

  • Stefano DiTerra says:

    It reminds an old guyold guy there was nobody like Mario del Monaco

  • Who gives a damn, both Kaufmann and Villazon are examples of the worst singers. Villazon at least has a nice quality but should be singing baritone roles. His exaggeratedfacial expressions are that of a clown. Thinks that a G natural is a high C and what the hell does todays audience know about singing since they haven’t heard anything good since a yoimg Pavarotti! Mari Lanza where are you. Your Editor is a wimp for its retraction!!!!!! Philip Tropea tenor