Jonas Kaufmann: US halls won’t bounce back

Jonas Kaufmann: US halls won’t bounce back


norman lebrecht

October 23, 2020

The tenor is encouraged by support for theatres from European governments during Covid-19. But he’s gloomy about the US outlook.

Here’s what he says:

Viele Künstler haben dort eine andere Arbeit suchen müssen – und ich glaube nicht, dass es ein Zurück geben wird.

Roughly: Many artists have had to look for ther work over there – and I don’t think there will be a going back (to things as they were).




  • j says:

    that sure is depressing…

  • Andreas says:

    JK = the definition of ignorance. A lot of musicians in Vienna were forced to find different jobs (mostly in delivery/courier services). Yup, in his beloved Wien. And in so many other different European cities.
    Tired of Kaufmann and the Netrebkos or Domingo and his groupies headlining every “gig” in these times

    • The comparison JK makes is valid. Some numbers: Germany has 83 opera houses and 133 orchestras owned and operated by the state. All of them are still being paid, and most with no reductions in salary. I suspect the same it true for Austria which I think has around 16 orchestras owned and operated by the government. (Austria’s population is about 1/10th the size of Germany’s.) In the USA, by contrast, almost all orchestra musicians were put out of work, and the few that weren’t mostly had their salaries greatly reduced.

      In addition, Germany allocated 50 billion Euros to help the cultural industries. Even if it wasn’t enough, the free-lancers got much more help than in the USA. We should also note that EU countries like France, Germany and others are continuing to allocate funds to help the arts as the pandemic continues.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Those European nations you mention; are they mired in staggering sovereign debt or do they have a national budget which can afford to protect their cultural artifacts? Debt = inflexibility.

      • Jo Quinn says:

        That is very I interesting. I did not know that their Gov’t’s paid them & kept them going during the pandemic. That’s wonderful. I hope in the future my country will do more to support our artists & all the arts especially during serious crises.

      • Maria says:

        Yes, this is the case and always been.

    • Natalia Pereira says:

      And you are useless hater .and a troll..Europe is way more state orientated towards people than USA even in arts and we are proud of that .Certainly some countries allocate a bigger budget for culture than otheram, for sure Austria is helping many musicians but people still can be active looking for an extra income…

    • and so it goes... says:

      You people still can’t explain how artists are supposed to support themselves financially. Why?

      So you’re not “ignorant of the facts”, a lot of artists are continuing to go bankrupt and homeless while you and your kind predictably have absolutely nothing to offer.

      Hopefully one of your loved ones will off themselves and you can go criticize them at a virtual funeral. They’ll be stone cold dead so you can really enjoy your dystopian rant without interruption. Bet you can’t wait!

      Besides that, the way everyone keeps shutting things down, the concert halls may get boarded up for good. I know, you’d really love that so you can wallow in your negativity.

      Well not all of us want any of this. I don’t. Yet the halls are well on their way to self-destruction between who runs them and the officials forcing them to stay closed. Opera and Symphony in the US have no future anymore. However that is good for governments. Less expenses for them so it’s a win when they fail and stop leeching off of taxpayers.

  • Carlos ho says:

    And Europe can keep him. For good

  • fred says:

    JK = fine tenor, cute photo
    JK + medical-social predictions = no match

  • Papageno says:

    I never care for Kaufmann’s ‘distinctive’ beefy voice anyway.

  • Sheila Baker says:

    Please please send him to Queensland Australia. We would love to have him. Play his clips from utube daily.

  • Jeremy says:

    He’s write. Opera will evolve now in the US to something that can be better sustained by private enterprise. How jealous we American Artists are of our colleagues in Germany where culture is appreciated and supported as a vital part of the social fabric.

  • cara says:

    “what a genius he is.”
    stay silent.

  • Bratsche brat says:

    Since when do we care what opera divas think? 😛

  • Alan Sample says:

    Poor America! It once was a great nation with a budding future. No more!

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    Some years ago when the then Dutch government proposed cuts to the cultural budgets, over a hundred thousand people (remember this is a small country) came out onto the streets to protest. I can’t see this happening in the US somehow, where there is too much reliance on wealthy sponsors.
    Mainland Europe has a different mentality. The government in Austria for example would probably fall if it let its cultural sector wither.