Don’t judge this album from the first aria – the Puccini arias are the weakest here. The French repertoire finds Kaufmann on excellent form. The most encouraging thing about him is his musical intelligence – a genuine soft high note to crown his Carmen Flower Song – and elsewhere he strives to serve the music. The voice can’t quite do all he asks yet, but it’s full of brooding, Vinay-like darkness.
With Anna Caterina Antonacci and Jonas Kaufmann bringing rare erotic intensity to the drama of Carmen and Don Jose, this Royal Opera production is a darkly passionate reading of one of the world's favourite operas. Under the baton of Music Director Antonio Pappano, Bizet's irresistible score drives the tragedy forward - powering a landmark staging of a musical masterpiece.
This Covent Garden production of Bizet’s Carmen, makes a vivid musical and dramatic impression. Director Francesca Zambello creates a properly Spanish atmosphere, filling the stage with a profusion of detailed characters. In Act One’s town square each of the many soldiers, strollers, cigarette factory girls, and children are individuals, so there’s a bustle of continuous, realistic activity. That attention to detail carries over to the rest of the opera, involving viewers in the action. Tanya McCallin’s sets are a perfect foil for the direction: simple, movable panels that serve as lightly sketched backdrops for the town square, a tavern, the smugglers’ mountain hideaway, and the final scene in front of the bull ring. But what makes this Carmen special is the singing and acting of the principals… –Dan Davis
Anne-Sophie Mutter obviously had fun making this disc. In the quiet pieces (Massenet, Ysaÿe, Fauré) which serve as interludes, she plays with her usual exquisite taste. In the showpieces, though, she goes to town, sliding, scooping, exaggerating, & letting all the stops out. The gypsy inflection she uses in Ravel’s Tzigane & Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen is delicious. Even a ridiculous orchestral arrangement of Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata is more amusing than offensive. With James Levine & the Berlin Philharmonic providing uncommonly alert & powerful support, & Deutsche Grammophon’s realistic sound, this disc is a real treat for violin lovers.
One of the finest singers of our time and the world’s leading tenor, Jonas Kaufmann presents his personal tribute to one of opera’s most beloved composers, Giuseppe Verdi.
On 14 June 2015, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann walked onto the stage of La Scala, Milan, the home of Italian opera, for one of the most highly anticipated performances of last year. The concert of Puccini arias made national news in Italy and following five encores and more than half an hour of ovations. Kaufmann’s spectacular performance is the focus of this film Jonas Kaufmann – An Evening with Puccini, directed by Brian Large, which was broadcast into cinemas worldwide. Experience this unforgettable event on DVD and be treated to an inciteful introduction to Puccini – the man, the musician, the celebrity – narrated by Jonas and featuring rare archive footage.