Jonas Kaufmann doesn’t do distancing

Jonas Kaufmann doesn’t do distancing


norman lebrecht

July 23, 2020

This is the cast for Aida in Naples.

The picture is from his fan club’s Instagram feed.

If opera singers defy Covid rules, they cannot expect the authorities to be overly sympathetic to the arts form.


  • Harold says:

    Considering how Jonas does his passaggio – full open mouth – opposite a singer; by comparison, standing close with his peers is relatively safe.

    • Hillary says:

      The BLM rioters and protesters decided to break the rules with no care for anyone else and it is they (younger population) who are now testing positive in the riot areas.

      As usual, these people with no morals are getting both themselves and others sick in the name of Liberalism and love the attention.

      • Kendra Morrison says:

        The US media continues to emphasize the same cities with ‘spikes’ are the ones where rioters and protesters decided to go against science, data and respect for one’s fellow man.

        Fortunately they’re getting mostly themselves sick for no purpose while others continue to follow reasonable scientific data.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Same situation in Melbourne, where there is now a considerable spike in Covid-19. The opportunity cost for the indigenous population is that the people have lost interest in their cause/s.

      • Richard Bloesch says:

        What’s with all the conservative, Trumpian comments on this site? I thought classical musicians and music lovers were more sensible.

        • John Rook says:

          The lockdown-loving left-liberals have the rest of the MSM to comfort their neuroses.

        • Antoine Freeberger says:

          It’s “diversity” Richard.

          Besides, saying the genre of classical music or the arts excludes the Right is like believing all of the “experts” and pollsters who deluded themselves into believing Hillary Clinton’s victory was “in the bag”.

          The arts community needs a more diverse representation of supporters. It would certainly help declining forms like symphony and the dreaded opera.

          Norman should explore this topic and be more inclusive of all stripes of art aficionados particularly in such dark financial times. He’d be fair and balanced in his views.

        • Tom says:

          These are members of right
          wing groups who are all over social media you can’t avoid them

          • John Rook says:

            Sadly, there aren’t enough of them.

          • Non-Black Herero Guest says:

            It’s so diverse Tom!

            Isn’t it wonderful to not live in a vacuum??

            Can’t wait to see what all the new “experts” are going to be peddling now that the old ones either got sacked for ineptitude or caught up in #metoo scandals.

  • Dalledu Alletre says:


    A perfect cast and conductor.

  • Paul says:

    Who cares about him? Just another overrated singer today, almost at the end of his career given his last recordings/performances…
    The problem is not only that these folks defy the Covid rules, but also all their other colleagues staying at home and struggling in these times… shameful!

    • Alviano says:

      Gee….I wish I could listen to such over-rated singers every night.

      • Maria says:

        Yes, me too! Don’t you just love the armchair critics on here who think they show suoeriority in their tastes by being negative, and trashing great singers getting on with their jobs in never more harder times. Always says more about the armchair critic!

  • Rob says:

    Oh boy, he likes to get close.

  • doctor$$$ says:

    He’s not aging well.

  • Rike says:

    Wie nah wird man sich in Salzburg (auf der Bühne und im Orchester) wohl kommen?
    Ich denke, alle Musiker (Salzburg, Neapel ….)werden ausreichend und häufig getestet werden.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “Ich denke, alle Musiker […] werden ausreichend und häufig getestet werden.”

      Ich denke, Musiker sind immun.

      Kraft unseres Denkens haben wir die Lage jetzt volle Kanne unter Kontrolle. 😉

    • Waltraud Becker says:

      Das denken Sie nicht nur, das ist Teil des Konzeptes, das solche Veranstaltungen überhaupt möglich macht. Man kann schon an den Fotos sehen, wer ihre Maske dabei bzw. um den Hals hat, um sie sofort wenn die Gruppe verlassen wird, wieder anzulegen. Einige aus der Tosca-Crew haben das allerdings nicht nötig………….

  • Bloom says:

    The “Aida” gang, as they call themselves. They are proud of their unlawful acts. (These infantilized celebrities live in an alternative, cartoonlike world where the virus doesn t exist or it is only a boring invention of some anonymous adults , meant to ruin their fun.)

    • Bloom says:

      It is also worth mentioning that Jonas Kaufmann , when he recovers from his frequent fits of celeb infantilization, makes considerable donations to organizations that support unemployed professionals in the classical music field.

      • Peter says:

        5000 USD is considerable? You must be joking…

      • Waltraud Becker says:

        “when he recovers from his frequent fits of celeb infantilization,”
        What a ly! He has donated a lot until now and now gave another 5000 Dollars. Never heard about other singers having done that…..

        • Lila says:

          5000 USD is a considerable donation? his shoes are more expensive.

        • Bloom says:

          Not many singers afford doing it. Financially speaking .Who else? Anna Netrebko? (Whatsoever, the greatest , the only true gift he may offer to the opera world and to himself is an act of artistic integrity. Stop the engines completely , refuse the usual celeb brainwashing, fight the stage addiction, stop the furor of signing contracts after contracts, step back from the madness of the system, reflect and heal whatever is broken in him. If possible. That would be a priceless, divine gift.)

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Entire nations in the western world have become infantilized by their governments over the last couple of decades. Which part of the nanny state should be restricted to musicians and singers? If you treat people like children – and, especially, if they behave like that – why would you expect some to be exempt from that? Gimme gimme is infantile. What else is new under the sun?

  • sam says:

    What can possibly go wrong in Italy?

    Don’t worry.

    If anything happens, Germany will fly Kaufmann back to a German hospital, and the EU will bail out Italy with another 750 billion euros.

    That’s what solidarity means.

  • Rike says:

    I think, all musicians in Salzburg, Naples……
    will be tested and will always be.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “I think, all musicians in Salzburg, Naples……
      will be tested and will always be.”

      Sure, let’s do that again:

      I think musicians are immune.

      With the power of our thinking, we managed to deal with this crisis. Booyah!

      And this is why I hate people.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Don’t stop at Covid-19. Many of them deserve IQ testing.

      • Brettermeier says:

        “Don’t stop at Covid-19. Many of them deserve IQ testing.”

        Person, woman, man, camera, TV.


  • Miko says:

    Havn’t you heard? Boris says it’ll all be over by Xmas (quite literally for tens of thousands…)
    So nothing to see here.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      Even Donald has stopped giving the virus a deadline… now he says it’ll disappear “eventually”… I guess it shows evolution to go from patently false predictions to patently useless ones.

  • Feurich says:

    He should invest in a pair of pants. Looks like child dressed by his mother.

    • Waltraud Becker says:

      Could it be it is warm in Napoli?

    • liloloperaluv says:

      What do you wear when it is 91°F/34°C?
      Moms usually dress their children for school pictures. I think he dressed himself for comfort not for photographers. (And inadvertently answered some fans’ question.)

  • Waltraud Becker says:

    I fear Mr. Leberecht did not read what Anita has posted: she told about testing ………….. At Salzburger Festspiele singers of the same production do NOT need to keep distance as well.
    Scandalizing is the main idea of Slippedisc, without serious resarch!

  • Hubert says:

    Claudio Sgura, Jonas Kaufmann, Fabrizio Beggi, Anna Pirozzi and Anita Rachvelishvili don’t do distancing, if you please. Three Italians, one German and one Georgian – so why YOU worry about authorities not being sympathetic to the art form? Italian, German or georgian?

  • Karl says:

    Distancing might not be needed in some places now. It’s possible that Naples has achieved a level of herd immunity. It looks like in many places when 20% of the population has been exposed the infection and death rates begin to drop. That may be because about half the postulation has a preexisting immunity to covid.…0716101536.htm

    • John Rook says:

      Karl, please buy into the ‘correct’ neurosis. This reliance on hard facts will get you nowhere.

    • liloloperaluv says:

      Be cautious in your choice of sources:
      1) Spectator article by admitted non-scientist contradicts accepted definition of “herd-immunity”. Author also accepts anti-body test results as proof of “immunity”. Maybe UK doesn’t have whole batches of tests that were bogus. The presence of anti-bodies may indicate resistance to a limited viral load for a period of time.
      2) Sciencedaily summarizes latest research and today’s research can contradict yesterday’s. Latest: False negative tests “”A negative test, whether or not a person has symptoms, doesn’t guarantee that they aren’t infected by the virus.”
      The ‘Aida gang’ and anyone relying on negative swab tests take note: If you are advised of definite exposure through contact-tracing, have any symptoms, or are in high-risk population, the test results may be wrong.

  • Helen says:

    Gosh, what snide comments about Jonas Kaufmann. What is wrong with some of the folk that contribute to this blog. What a sour mean lot they are. Waltraud Becker is quite right. Anita said that they have been continually tested for coved 19 and they are taking care. There is no story here. It is wrong to make it about Jonas Kaufmann. Of course using his name seems to be the way to invite responses, from those who can’t stand him and then from those who wish to defend him.. This is unfair to him. He behaves in an exemplary way, I am sure Mr Lebrecht you are well aware of that and it is wrong for you to imply that he is being unthinking and selfish.

    • Barbara says:

      Well said, Helen!

    • liloloperaluv says:

      Well, we all know N. Labrecht is a successful blogger because he knows a popular name (Kaufmann) gets views. Note I said “successful” not respected or distinguished. It is an oblique acknowledgement of Kaufmann’s standing.

  • Duane says:

    This surprises me, knowing that Herr Kaufmann has a penchant for avoiding germs. Many times, in his career, he would opt, not to meet with fans, for concern about catching a bug, that could affect his voice. Perhaps, with few singing engagements, during this time of pandemic, Herr Kaufmann may feel he can inter-react closer with fans, friends, and colleagues. I respect Herr Kaufmann and his artistry, so I’m trying not to criticize. I do know one thing, and that’s the COVID-19 virus should be taken seriously, concerning it’s airborne ability for contagion!! I sincerely wish Mr. Kaufmann only the best!