Jonas Kaufmann sings Ella Fitzgerald

Jonas Kaufmann sings Ella Fitzgerald


norman lebrecht

October 05, 2021

It looks like the tenor’s career is taking a peculiar trajectory, one unvisited even by anything-goes Placido Domingo.

This is just in from London’s Royal Albert Hall:

This December, audiences will get a rare opportunity to see international opera star Jonas Kaufmann performing a repertoire of Christmas classics as part of the London landmark’s 2021 festive season.

Accompanied by the German State Philharmonic and conductor Jochen Rieder, Jonas will sing renditions of traditional favourites from his native Germany right through to the swinging American Christmas of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Expect songs such as Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Oh Holy Night and White Christmas to name but a few.

Press photo: © Gregor Hohenberg




  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Good on you, Jonas. Love your work!! However, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the “German State Philharmonic”.

  • Bloom says:

    The truth is that he croons a lot these days . In lieder , in Italian opera ( much less in Wagner) etc. At least in this repertoire the crooning is utterly legitimate. If he brushes up on his English and leaves the one whore open sleighs in the garage , he can jingle some very successful balls in London.

  • Really? From the US says:

    Why do these people inflict their constant ill-fated desire to sing genre to which they have no business doing, i.e. Fleming doing “Summertime” I heard that in person and up close, horrible, or say Fleming doing so called, pop and rock and roll, cds wonderful use as a coaster, or Domingo doing anything in English….Count Dracula..or Jeniffer Hudson recently in NY ugh…and embarrassing and just stupid.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      One of the best “Summertime”s was Olga Borodina about 25 years ago in New York, an encore after a program of Russian songs, including Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death. Not just an unexpected delight (using handheld notecards), but vocally plush and stylistically correct. But, then, Ms. Borodina was one of this generation’s truly great and intelligent interpreters of song.

    • Eric says:

      The only singer I ever heard who was completely idiomatic in jazz vocals, popular songs and opera was Eileen Farrell.

    • JC! says:

      Whenever I was angry at my (now ex)husband, I used to put on Renee Fleming’s recording of the Stevie Wonder song, “My cherie amour” from her “Haunted Heart” cd. He loved that song, and he simply detested Fleming’s rendition of it, with all her slides and scoops and crooning. It was a great way to totally annoy him without having to say a word.

    • BrianB says:

      Remember Renata Scotto’s ultimate camp kitsch “Somewhere over the rainbow?” 😉

      • TishaDoll says:

        Scotto is Italian, like Pavarotti, and I love how he sings ‘Moon River’ ‘sempre con fe sincera’ with the beautiful Italian accent. Renee is American singing an American song and in a league of her own. Love Kirsten in popular song. Eleanor Steber is good, too.

  • James Weiss says:

    His Christmas CD is one of the all time worst recordings ever. Even when one is drunk you can’t listen to it without getting sick to your stomach.

  • sam says:

    As long as he doesn’t do it in blackface.

    In drag, that’s OK!

  • Santa says:

    We wish you a commercial Christmas
    We wish you a commercial Christmas
    We wish you a commercial Christmas
    And a humbug New Year!

    Remember to buy
    And squander and spend
    All the stuff you don’t need
    When the year is near end

    Now I want my Christmas presents
    Now I want my Christmas presents
    Now I want my Christmas presents
    So bring them right here!


  • BrianB says:

    Nothing sensational about this. Just about every opera, classical vocal luminary has done a Christmas album at one time or another from the dawn of the lp era on. Marian Anderson did two beautiful ones including her late stereo disc. The worst one? Renee Fleming’s embarassing outing.

  • George says:

    Why not? He was a fantastic Tristan in Munich this year. In December he’s having some fun in London with his Christmas program. Relax.

  • Rob says:

    After the complete diaster that came before him, the twice impeached narcissistic CLOWN who tried to pull a coup, I find it so preposterous that anybody would judge this president.