Don’t cough, man: Jonas is rehearsing Aida

Don’t cough, man: Jonas is rehearsing Aida


norman lebrecht

February 10, 2021

Picture from the Opéra National de Paris.

Full cast:
Jonas Kaufmann (Radamès),
Ludovic Tézier (Amonasro),
Sondra Radvanovsky (Aida),
Ksenia Dudnikova (Amneris),
Soloman Howard (Il Re),
conductor: Michele Mariotti
director: Lotte de Beer


  • Kevin B. says:

    Mariotti! Great conductor!

  • Gustavo says:


  • JussiB says:

    I want the final B-flat in “Celeste Aida” sung pianissimo and beefy-voiced Kaufmann won’t cut it.

    I predict there will be ice skating on the Nile.

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      YOU may want a pianissimo, but Verdi wrote it to be sung with a morendo.

      Try reading a score sometime.

    • eszterga says:

      He is the only one basically for decades who sings it the way it is written. Pianissimo… Pick your icepicks if you want but the Nile will be warmer than ever…

    • Helen says:

      He always sings it pianissimo. So, you are talking rubbish!

    • Novagerio says:

      “I want the final B-flat in “Celeste Aida” sung pianissimo and beefy-voiced Kaufmann won’t cut it” – On the contrary! Falsetto will be easier for him.

    • Eric says:

      Beefy-voiced? You must mean throaty and constricted. I wonder if he will croon/whisper o terra addio like he does on his recording.

      • Stefano D says:

        MDM was my great great uncle and I’m a tenor and all I can say is Kaufman is all is all ingolata whatever anyone says he needs more lessons to get that voice out of the throat

        • eszterga says:

          However your great great uncle MDM unfortunately could not offer a pianissimo nor morendo in this specific aria. And don’t get me wrong, he was one of the greatest ever! But probably he would not be proud of his realtive calling himself “D Stefano” neither 😉

  • eszterga says:

    Sorry Mr. Lebrecht but in these hard times you really should cherish a cast like this playing in front of empty seats rather than making fun of someone for wearing a mask during an epidemic. Probably you wear your mask in the grocery store as well, right? But don’t cough, man… Norman is (shopping) hating!

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Come on, man, these are Covid Times, after all. And has anyone considered that wearing a mask for an extended period means that you’re breathing in the very carbon monoxide exhaled by your own body? Imagine wearing double masks!!

  • berserker's exalted says:

    Any word on why Elina Garanca is no longer listed for Amneris?

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      When I last spoke with Elīna she was still a bit unsure if she was ready for Amneris. What would have been her role debut in March 2020 was cancelled. She is still set for her first Kundry in a new production of “Parsifal” opening at Wiener Staatsoper on 01 April (it will be rehearsed and performed for streaming/television even if the current lockdown is extended). Perhaps she was wary of taking on two new roles so close together. It’s just a thought…

      • Robert says:

        I really want to hear her Vive Aida, just that line

      • berserker's exalted says:

        Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the insight! I look forward to seeing Parsifal at any rate, so nice to hear they will be streaming that!

        You said “When last I spoke with Elina”– is there an interview somewhere or was this just a casual chat?

    • Freda says:

      She probably hated the muppets.

  • Laura says:

    Will there be an audience or will it be streamed?

  • Adam says:

    Pity that such wonderful cast is working against such a horrid background. Surely those who design operas today canno go to eben worse. Why is Aida a robot-like statue ? While is everything grey and ugly if we shoul be in a sunny and bright Egypt? Things are grey enoueautifully donelready to ad moreof it on stage. And what are all those paintings – beautifully done, mind you- mean? Whay should operas today involve a supposed symbolism the audience does not understand? We want music aot some nd beauty on stage, not some stage director’s elmstreet nightmare.

  • adam says:

    sorry about the misprints : even . Things are grey enough already to add more …Why …we wnat music and beauty

  • Freda says:

    I saw it on arte TV. A pity such great musicians could not be enjoyed by an audience ,live. A bliss they did not have to endure Lotte de Beer’s horrible contraption. She could be more useful as a shop window designer. What a frightful design, those horrid muppets as symbols of…what exactly ? A wish to be more important than the music and the musicians? Does it mean the opera director handle them all? No chance,my dear.