Jonas Kaufmann meets his understudy

Jonas Kaufmann meets his understudy


norman lebrecht

February 24, 2021

The tenor, presently in a Paris Aida, nipped over to Sazburg to meet his Doppelgänger at the Marionette Theatre.


He could be planning a second career as ventriloquist.


  • A.L. says:

    As well he should. Already sounds it.

  • Alexander says:

    a little bird told me Aida was cancelled , alas ….

  • Rogerio says:

    Please correct me if I am wrong;
    After Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo’s careers started to end, Opera World created this larger-than-life Kaufmann guy as an interim measure, in the hope that a worthy successor of those three comes along one day.

    • Petros LInardos says:

      The search for a successor to the three tenors easily started in the 1990s. Kaufmann’s star started shining internationally well into the 2000s. There were other tenors who rose from the 1990s on, but arguably nobody captured the public imagination the way the three tenors did. I am discussing careers and fame, not artistry.

    • EU person says:

      You are right unfortunately., this clown is considered as the #1 tenor now..

      • CRogers says:

        ‘Clown?’ Methinks the lady doth protest much. JK is a highly intelligent man, vocalist, musician and artist. What is it that you’re angry about? I’ll say that again-what is it you’re angry about? It’s not that difficult to work out. You’re a frustrated singer? You’re angry with successful men? You are jealous of people who others find attractive? Turn your gaze inward and contribute something worthwhile to the discussion instead of your emotionally illiterate commentary which is just a dull drain. Having turned your gaze inward and you find no answer, here’s a little bit more advice: complain to the record companies, concert promoters and theatres who employ JK. Use your intelligence to get yourself to a less resentful, happier place. I challenge you to come up with something a bit more authentic, including which living singers meet your criteria of good singers. Good luck you’re going to need it.

        • Janet Hesthman says:

          I love Jonas and his singing and his acting! I am always happy with his performances as I have been with each of the 3 tenors mentioned. He has put a great effort in becoming the artist that he is today.

      • Helen says:

        And he is. For many reasons. Whether you like him or not he is rated highly because he is very versatile. He has an unusual but unique voice, and great stage presence. He is also charming and very handsome. His detractors who are often out in force on this blog site just sound bitter and twisted. Unfortunately Norman seems to like to stir you up and then people like me respond. Really we shouldn’t because your views are not really worth it and Herr Kaufmann will continue to delight his many fans for a long time to come.


    Saw the Salzburg Marionettes nearly 50 years ago at the NAC is Ottawa. Magic Flute. Brilliant cast (recorded). Wonderful production. Only Flute I’ve seen where the dragon had the same degree of reality as the “human” performers.

  • Jane says:

    Don’t let accuracy or facts get in the way of a ‘story’ – no longer in a Paris Aida, duties there complete. Now on crèche duty in Salzburg while his wife directs Zauberflöte. Seems as though rehearsals for the Vienna Parsifal are taking place…

  • Marian Raccuglia says:

    I have not heard any voice surpass that of Luciano Pavarotti

    • Anin says:

      Did Pavarotti sang Persifal? Fidelio? Chenier?
      He did sing Don Carlo and had some problems with the audience at La Scala….
      Pavarotti had a wonderful voice but in a very limited repertoire; the rest he just couldn t sing. His Werther was dreadfull.
      Kaufman has a very different kind of voice and in fact his way of using his voice is may be the most important thing and makes him so successful

      • Clara says:

        Better less roles sung better than anyone else, than more roles out of which the majority were sung mediocrily…
        All the hype around Kaufmann – understandable to a certain point, as there are no other options out there today, but to minimize Pavarotti in order to defend a bari-tenor like Kaufmann – this means people today have almost no clue about opera!

  • Lena says:

    The puppet should have bee used in the horrible Aida version in paris. Pity De Beer did not think of it to be added to the show.

  • Marina palumbo says:

    Ich bevorzuge es, wie es ist!!!

  • Stephen Lord says:

    For my two cents…every generation seems to mourn what was and despair at what is. The 3 tenors were not Corelli, diStefano or DelMonaco. And they were not Gigli who was not Caruso. JK is an easy target because of his assets which make his liabilities, which we all have, seem greater. While not a favorite of mine, partly because I grew up with the 50’s and 60’s tenors in my ear, I admire anyone who gives up what these people give up for a career. Trust me, I know. Yes, they have rewards for ego and purse. Yes, they chose it. Yes, they chose their managers and PR folks. But when all this is gone – as time is a great thief – they will be left without a raison d’être and still will pay the price of public comment, good or bad, whilst those who love will still love and the detractors will still stew.

  • Stephen Lord says:

    PS: Happy Birthday, Caruso!

  • Ken Thomson says:

    Where is S a z b u r g?
    Never heard of it…