Sicklist: Jonas Kaufmann is out tonight

Sicklist: Jonas Kaufmann is out tonight


norman lebrecht

March 09, 2020

The tenor has pulled out of Fidelio tonight at Covent Garden.

His sub is David Butt Philip.



  • Tenor fan says:

    Great replacement

    • Anderson says:

      I don’t know that he’s a great replacement. I’ve heard David Butt Philip several times, most recently in Carmen at ENO. He was surprisingly underpowered as José a few weeks back. Wasn’t the case with some of the other singers in the show, particular the two women. Granted I was in the stalls where the orchestra is a bit louder. Also from that vantage point I could visibly see so much tension in his body and singing. I think he’s a bit more suited to lighter lyric roles than he’s currently taking on. He’s pushing too hard and it’s reducing the beautiful lyricism and cutting his resonance that he had a few years back. ROH surely could find a better substitute given that Jonas has been under the weather since before opening. I think David is a lovely lyric romantic tenor, but not dramatic enough for the weight of roles that he’s doing more of now. Best of luck to him though.

      • David Kempster says:

        Is that YOU, David??

      • Maria says:

        Perhaps he wasn’t so well the night when you heard him? It does happen that real troopers in the profession, as more so in the old days, would go on and not cancel so quickly. Seems today they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t by the armchair experts and critics. No wonder Jonas Kaufmann then cancels often in case he’s accused of being underpowered or something else as the flack is lesd! Wait until you hear David before assigning him to the scrap heap. He wouldn’t take on such a taxing dramatic role unless both ROH or he thought it could be achieved. It pays to be kind to singers. We are not robots!

      • Rog says:

        Interesting that Anderson thinks that the ROH could have done better than the man who has been booked as Florestan at Glyndebourne this summer.
        David Butt Philip was terrific last night, in fact. No lack of power and heaps of musicality. A worthy match for Davidsen.

  • Schoenberglover says:

    Still really looking forward to it seeing that Lise Davidsen appears to be the main draw of this production rather than Kaufmann judging from the reviews.

  • Dennnis says:

    It’s now an evidence: more peoples go to Kaufmann’ performances than Kaufmann himself.

    • Stereo says:

      Why do organisations continue to engage this waste of space?

    • Victor Narraway says:

      So witty, so wicked. But…there is an element of truth to this. I’ve lost a lot of money for tickets I didn’t use when Kaufmann cancelled.

  • Zak says:

    Why have they not put on the cover?

  • Edgar says:

    Kaufmann is to sing Tristan Act 3 at the Boston Symphony in April. I wonder who will expire first, Tristan or the tenor…

  • Joseph Wethington says:

    Jonas Kaufman has a most beautiful voice. Since Pavarotti ‘s death and Placido Domingo’s resignation, there’s a critical lack of tenor dominance.And now La Scala is closed.Most opera singers spend their lives trying to achieve some perfection after years of study and training.To me they resemble very strong warriors and athletes.They are so gifted.

    • LydiaWahlberg says:

      Why isn’t Matthew Polenzani considered a top league tenor? He is such a pleasure to hear and watch. I have been a fan for some years now and I believe that his voice only gets better.
      I believe maybe because he isn’t a headline grabber. He is a remarkable family man and there has never been talk of his cheating on his wife.

  • Nik says:

    David Butt Philip is also singing tomorrow night.

  • Emilee says:

    David has little to no business singing Florestan. Not the right color, nor heft. There are much better replacements out there. Sad they won’t get the chance. And to Lydia Wahlberg, Polenzani has less business singing Florestan.