Just in: Jonas Kaufmann in major career move

Just in: Jonas Kaufmann in major career move


norman lebrecht

June 02, 2023

The German tenor has been appointed intendant of Austria’s Erl Festival, taking over a year from now.

Kaufmann, who is turning 54, may be planning a post-singing career. His initial contract with Erl runs to 2030. He says: ‘it’s an additional career, not an alternative.’

Kaufmann takes over from the Frankfurt intendant Bernhard Loebe, who stabilised the Tyrolean Erl festival after a period of turbulence when singers complained of harassment and unpaid fees.

Kaufmann immediately criticised Loebe for not identifying strongly enough with Erl.



  • Gustavo says:

    “Der Erl-König”

    From now on, it’s downhill.

  • Jefferson Airplane says:

    At the press conference in Vienna in March, it was stated that Herr Loebe‘s Nachfolger should be female, and that the recruitment process would proceed with this as a Ziel.
    So the question is, is Herr Loebe the wrong kind of man, or is Herr Kaufmann the right kind of woman?

  • Bloom says:

    I wish him good luck in the new position. His singing career is almost over, and even if his artistic powers have diminished considerably in the last few years , no one can deny his major contribution to opera.

    • Annel says:

      With the end of Kaufmann’s singing career, your career as his commentator will also come to an end, dear Adriana. Are you already looking around for a new position? I wish you good luck.

    • Elisabeth says:

      He will continue singing for a good while, believe me.

    • David G says:

      I recently saw Kaufmann (April) as Siegmund, in Naples. He still sounds absolutely amazing. I don’t think he needs to give up singing anytime soon.

  • Paul Barte says:

    Kaufmann has been an outspoken critic of overindulgent Regietheater. Perhaps he can stem the tide in this new venture.

    • Tristan says:

      at least one dares to speak the truth but so did Philippe Jordan and Riccardo Muti also Christian Thielemann and many more – just some low lives haven’t got it right yet – the rubbish we see on most of the German stages but also in Aix etc puts most audience off and sooner or later all theatres will be empty as the youngsters even hate it more and they have the courage to say so – they stay away anyhow

  • Francois says:

    What a relief, I thought he announced that he was going to do Isolde.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Great news for Jonas Kaufmann. And Austria.

    Listening to that little talk you can tell how idiosyncratic the Austrian accent is!!!

  • Tomas says:

    Like the picture—it represents the bubble classical “world” well….

  • Krankfurt says:

    Finally they kicked out Loebe
    This Festival needs new singers, not his usual Frankfurt underpayed slaves from the house ensemble

    • Tristan says:

      and he also should listen to Marschallin
      ‚Abtreten die Leut‘
      time has come for Pereira, Lissner, Loebe and so many others
      ‚Jedes Ding hat seine Zeit‘

  • Singer for singers says:

    So glad when a singer can assume an artistic director position. Singers are the ones who should have these jobs because they have a wealth of understanding and knowledge that non singers will never have. The operatic world needs more of this.