Jonas Kaufmann

Tenor

Jonas Kaufmann

Born in Munich in 1969, Jonas Kaufmann is one of the most exciting singers of his generation: after spending several years singing lyric roles, he was engaged by the Zürich Opera in 2001, where his role debut as Florestan heralded a move into more dramatic repertoire and attracted widespread critical attention. Numerous important international engagements followed, including an acclaimed Don Jose at Covent Garden in 2006 (available on DVD from Decca). Equally successful in French, Italian and German repertoire, Kaufmann's versatility is showcased in 'Romantic Arias', his debut disc for Decca, which was nominated for a Gramophone Award in 2008. His disc of German operatic arias for the same label demonstrates his particular affinity for Beethoven, Weber and especially Wagner.

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L'Opéra - Vinyl Edition

L'Opéra - Vinyl Edition


Berlioz:

La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Merci, doux crépuscule!

Inutiles regrets…En un dernier naufrage (from Les Troyens)

Bizet:

La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)

C’est toi, toi qu’enfin je revois (from Les pêcheurs de perles)

Au fond du temple saint (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

Ludovic Tézier (baritone)

Gounod:

L'amour, l'amour... Ah, lève-toi soleil (from Roméo et Juliette)

Halévy:

Rachel, quand du Seigneur (from La Juive)

Lalo:

Puisqu'on ne peut flêchir (from Le roi d’Ys)

Vainement, ma bien-aimée (from Le roi d’Ys)

Massenet:

Traduire ! Ah ! Bien souvent mon rêve s’envole… Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther)

Enfin Manon, nous voilà enfin seuls ensemble... En fermant les yeux (from Manon)

Toi ! Vous ! Oui ! Je fus cruelle… N’est-ce plus ma main (from Manon)

Sonya Yoncheva (soprano)

Ah! Tout est bien fini... O souverain (from Le Cid)

Meyerbeer:

Pays merveilleux... Ô paradis (from L'Africaine)

Offenbach:

O Dieu, de quelle ivresse (from Les contes d'Hoffmann)

Thomas, Ambroise:

Elle ne croyait pas, dans sa candeur naïve (from Mignon)


Read Presto's complete review of this recording here.

Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with “Rachel, quand du Seigneur” from Halévy’s La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet’s greatest works, “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen (1875) and “Au fond du temple saint” from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod’s “Ah! lève-toi, soleil!” from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Massenet’s masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way. “The French operatic repertory is very close to my heart,” says Kaufmann. “This fascinating music reflects a unique period in European culture. I didn’t want to choose only highlights for this album but also works and roles that have been key experiences for me. Wilhelm Meister in Mignon, for example, was my first major French role – I sang it in Toulouse in 2001. Carmen and Werther helped to open doors for me. The fact that I sang my first Werther at the Paris Opéra of all places, as a German surrounded by a French ensemble, was undoubtedly rather risky, but I had some excellent guides to help me: répétiteurs, colleagues, conductors and, not least, the recordings of the legendary French tenor Georges Thill.”

“There should be no carping at his finely judged phrasing, his psychological acuity and, when he hits a sweet spot, sheer seductive swagger. His and Tézier’s searing delivery of the famous duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers is as good as any you will hear on record...As the repertoire gets heavier, so the album builds to a terrific climax.” The Times, 8th September 2017 ****

“To my mind, the finest recording he’s made in a decade...it’s the tantalising glimpses of roles which may never feature in Kaufmann’s stage repertoire that are the real plums of this album for me: Berlioz’s Énee, Meyerbeer’s Vasco de Gama and Rodrigue from Massenet’s Le Cid bear testimony to a voice that’s ageing quite spectacularly.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 15th September 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

15th September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Sony - 88985390761

(Vinyl - 2 discs)

$24.00

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L'Opéra

L'Opéra

jewelcase version


Berlioz:

La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Merci, doux crépuscule!

Inutiles regrets…En un dernier naufrage (from Les Troyens)

Bizet:

La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)

C’est toi, toi qu’enfin je revois (from Les pêcheurs de perles)

Au fond du temple saint (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

Ludovic Tézier (baritone)

Gounod:

L'amour, l'amour... Ah, lève-toi soleil (from Roméo et Juliette)

Halévy:

Rachel, quand du Seigneur (from La Juive)

Lalo:

Puisqu'on ne peut flêchir (from Le roi d’Ys)

Vainement, ma bien-aimée (from Le roi d’Ys)

Massenet:

Traduire ! Ah ! Bien souvent mon rêve s’envole… Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther)

Enfin Manon, nous voilà enfin seuls ensemble... En fermant les yeux (from Manon)

Toi ! Vous ! Oui ! Je fus cruelle… N’est-ce plus ma main (from Manon)

Sonya Yoncheva (soprano)

Ah! Tout est bien fini... O souverain (from Le Cid)

Meyerbeer:

Pays merveilleux... Ô paradis (from L'Africaine)

Offenbach:

O Dieu, de quelle ivresse (from Les contes d'Hoffmann)

Thomas, Ambroise:

Elle ne croyait pas, dans sa candeur naïve (from Mignon)


Read Presto's complete review of this recording here.

Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with “Rachel, quand du Seigneur” from Halévy’s La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet’s greatest works, “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen (1875) and “Au fond du temple saint” from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod’s “Ah! lève-toi, soleil!” from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Massenet’s masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way. “The French operatic repertory is very close to my heart,” says Kaufmann. “This fascinating music reflects a unique period in European culture. I didn’t want to choose only highlights for this album but also works and roles that have been key experiences for me. Wilhelm Meister in Mignon, for example, was my first major French role – I sang it in Toulouse in 2001. Carmen and Werther helped to open doors for me. The fact that I sang my first Werther at the Paris Opéra of all places, as a German surrounded by a French ensemble, was undoubtedly rather risky, but I had some excellent guides to help me: répétiteurs, colleagues, conductors and, not least, the recordings of the legendary French tenor Georges Thill.”

“There should be no carping at his finely judged phrasing, his psychological acuity and, when he hits a sweet spot, sheer seductive swagger. His and Tézier’s searing delivery of the famous duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers is as good as any you will hear on record...As the repertoire gets heavier, so the album builds to a terrific climax.” The Times, 8th September 2017 ****

“To my mind, the finest recording he’s made in a decade...it’s the tantalising glimpses of roles which may never feature in Kaufmann’s stage repertoire that are the real plums of this album for me: Berlioz’s Énee, Meyerbeer’s Vasco de Gama and Rodrigue from Massenet’s Le Cid bear testimony to a voice that’s ageing quite spectacularly.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 15th September 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

15th September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Sony - 88985390762

(CD)

Normally: $14.00

Special: $12.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

L'Opéra

L'Opéra

deluxe version


Berlioz:

La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Merci, doux crépuscule!

Inutiles regrets…En un dernier naufrage (from Les Troyens)

Bizet:

La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)

C’est toi, toi qu’enfin je revois (from Les pêcheurs de perles)

Au fond du temple saint (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

Ludovic Tézier (baritone)

Gounod:

L'amour, l'amour... Ah, lève-toi soleil (from Roméo et Juliette)

Halévy:

Rachel, quand du Seigneur (from La Juive)

Lalo:

Puisqu'on ne peut flêchir (from Le roi d’Ys)

Vainement, ma bien-aimée (from Le roi d’Ys)

Massenet:

Traduire ! Ah ! Bien souvent mon rêve s’envole… Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther)

Enfin Manon, nous voilà enfin seuls ensemble... En fermant les yeux (from Manon)

Toi ! Vous ! Oui ! Je fus cruelle… N’est-ce plus ma main (from Manon)

Sonya Yoncheva (soprano)

Ah! Tout est bien fini... O souverain (from Le Cid)

Meyerbeer:

Pays merveilleux... Ô paradis (from L'Africaine)

Offenbach:

O Dieu, de quelle ivresse (from Les contes d'Hoffmann)

Thomas, Ambroise:

Elle ne croyait pas, dans sa candeur naïve (from Mignon)


Read Presto's complete review of this recording here.

Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with “Rachel, quand du Seigneur” from Halévy’s La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet’s greatest works, “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen (1875) and “Au fond du temple saint” from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod’s “Ah! lève-toi, soleil!” from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Massenet’s masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way. “The French operatic repertory is very close to my heart,” says Kaufmann. “This fascinating music reflects a unique period in European culture. I didn’t want to choose only highlights for this album but also works and roles that have been key experiences for me. Wilhelm Meister in Mignon, for example, was my first major French role – I sang it in Toulouse in 2001. Carmen and Werther helped to open doors for me. The fact that I sang my first Werther at the Paris Opéra of all places, as a German surrounded by a French ensemble, was undoubtedly rather risky, but I had some excellent guides to help me: répétiteurs, colleagues, conductors and, not least, the recordings of the legendary French tenor Georges Thill.”

“There should be no carping at his finely judged phrasing, his psychological acuity and, when he hits a sweet spot, sheer seductive swagger. His and Tézier’s searing delivery of the famous duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers is as good as any you will hear on record...As the repertoire gets heavier, so the album builds to a terrific climax.” The Times, 8th September 2017 ****

“To my mind, the finest recording he’s made in a decade...it’s the tantalising glimpses of roles which may never feature in Kaufmann’s stage repertoire that are the real plums of this album for me: Berlioz’s Énee, Meyerbeer’s Vasco de Gama and Rodrigue from Massenet’s Le Cid bear testimony to a voice that’s ageing quite spectacularly.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 15th September 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

15th September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Sony - 88985390832

(CD)

Normally: $22.00

Special: $18.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde

Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Mahler’s masterpiece is subtitled as - A Symphony for Tenor and Alto (or Baritone) – and therefore traditionally two voices have sung the six movements of the work. However Jonas Kaufmann feels differently about this and wanted to sing both parts himself. In June this year he joined the Wiener Philharmoniker and conductor Jonathan Nott in a special concert in the Goldener Saal at the Musikverein in Vienna whereby he sang the entire work himself.

“Kaufmann certainly has the “baritonal” low notes to justify his decision, and the ringing tenorial top...Kaufmann is more rewarding in the “baritone” songs, his eloquent diction always a pleasure, and with the nuance and sensibility of a great lieder singer...Not perfection, but this is a must-hear for Mahlerians.” Sunday Times, 3rd April 2017

“played with shimmering detail by the Vienna Philharmonic...As expected, Kaufmann is glorious in the tenor songs. In those for lower voice he sings with the same, unaffected sensitivity...An interesting, one-off experiment.” Financial Times ***

“It’s actually the songs usually assigned to the contralto/baritone that come off best. Once I’d got my initial inevitable ‘Can he?’s and ‘Should he?’s out of the way, though, vocal technicalities weren’t really at the forefront of my mind: my overwhelming impression is of how well the orchestration and the texts suit Kaufmann, who's always at his best when pouring out angry frustration at full throttle, or ruminating on dark nights of the soul.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 7th April 2017

“his beautifully recorded version taken from live performances at Vienna’s Musikverein has a great deal to offer, not least of which are Kaufmann’s textual insights, and the revelatory qualities of Jonathan Nott’s interrogation of Mahler’s orchestrations...Kaufmann is able to caress and float phrases at will, and enter into the composer’s more melancholy reflections at his leisure.” Limelight Magazine, 7th April 2017 ****

“Kaufmann is dream casting for the tenor songs, rising terrifically to the heroics and darker hues of the opening song but equally identifying the sparkle and piquancy in ‘Von der Jugend’ and the contrasting rapture at the heart of ‘Der Trunkene im Frühling’” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“I think [Mahler] would have approved of Jonas Kaufmann’s ground-breaking decision to take the solo part throughout. It’s not much of a stretch for him – a few low notes apart, the lower register suits this baritenor well enough, and the sensitivity to the quieter settings is undoubted in ‘The Lonely Man in Autumn’…and the desolate narratives of farewell before the earth’s resurgence sweeps all frozen grief aside…it’s certainly worth hearing” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 ****

“Kaufmann tackles Mahler with complete assurance...he has no trouble with the lower-lying songs. He doesn't artificially darken or inflate the tone to cope with the tessitura, so the performances flows naturally...Kaufmann certainly has the tenorial reserves to sail through the high-lying outbursts over thick orchestration as well as colouring his voice differently for each song...Nott's conducting is controlled and precise.” Opera Now, June 2017 *****

Presto Disc of the Week

7th April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Sony - 88985389832

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$14.00

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Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita


Anzi:

Voglio vivere così

Cardillo:

Core 'ngrato

Cottrau:

Fenesta che lucive

Crescenzo, V:

Rondine al nido

Curtis, E:

Torna a Surriento

Ti voglio tanto bene

Dalla:

Caruso

Gastaldon:

Musica proibita

Leoncavallo:

Mattinata - 'L'aurora di bianco vestita'

Musumarra:

Il canto

Rota, N:

The Godfather theme

Tagliaferri:

Passione


Includes Live concert from Torino and charming TV documentary film "My Italy" presented by Jonas himself. A 'must-have' for fans!

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Sony - 88985371649

(Blu-ray)

$22.00

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Opera Gala: Live from Baden-Baden

Opera Gala: Live from Baden-Baden


Bizet:

L'amour est un oiseau rebelle 'Habanera' (from Carmen)

Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo)

Bock, J:

If I were a rich man (from Fiddler on the Roof)

Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)

Boito:

Son lo Spirito che nega (from Mefistofele)

Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)

Cilea:

Acerba volutta (from Adriana Lecouvreur)

Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo)

L'anima ho stanca (from Adriana Lecouvreur)

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

Gounod:

Le veau d'or est toujours debout (from Faust)

Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)

Lehár:

Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (from Das Land des Lächelns)

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

Mascagni:

Son pochi fiori (from L'Amico Fritz)

Anja Harteros (soprano)

Tu qui, Santuzza? (from Cavalleria Rusticana)

Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo), Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

Voi lo sapete o mamma (from Cavalleria rusticana)

Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo)

Puccini:

Vissi d'arte (from Tosca)

Anja Harteros (soprano)

E lucevan le stelle (from Tosca)

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

Rota, N:

The Godfather theme

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

Verdi:

Giá nella notte densa (from Otello)

Anja Harteros (soprano), Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

Ella giammai m'amò (from Don Carlo)

Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)

O don fatale (from Don Carlo)

Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo)

Tu che le vanità (from Don Carlo)

Anja Harteros (soprano)

Morrò, ma prima in grazia (from Un Ballo in Maschera)

Anja Harteros (soprano)

Wagner:

Dich, teure Halle (from Tannhauser)

Anja Harteros (soprano)


Badische Staatskapelle, Marco Armiliato

The Festspiel-Saison at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden culminated with Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros and Ekaterina Gubanova all on stage in this magnificent Opera Gala. The gala presented a diverse range of solo-arias and duets. Among the highlights, included works from Puccini’s ‘Tosca’, Verdi’s ‘Otello’ and Mascagni’s ‘Cavalleria rusticana’. Sony Classical are pleased to see this final concert from the Opera Gala come to life on this DVD and Blu-ray release, a must-have for any opera fanatic.

“The playing of the Badische Staatskapelle is decent – with excellent contributions from a busy principal cellist – and Marco Armiliato keeps everything ticking along well…there’s enough quality here to make this well worth seeking out” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Sony - 88985371619

(DVD Video)

$14.00

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Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita


Anzi:

Voglio vivere così

Bixio:

Parlami d'amore Mariù

Cardillo:

Core 'ngrato

Chiaramello:

Fenesta ca lucive

Crescenzo, V:

Rondine al nido

Curtis, E:

Ti voglio tanto bene

Non ti scordar di me

Torna a Surriento

Dalla:

Caruso

Ferilli:

Un amore così grande

Gastaldon:

Musica proibita

Leoncavallo:

Mattinata - 'L'aurora di bianco vestita'

Merritt:

Il Libro dell’Amore

Modugno:

Volare

Musumarra:

Il canto

Rota, N:

The Godfather theme

Sartori:

Con Te Partirò

Valente, N:

Passione


Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Asher Fisch

Jonas Kaufmann is the biggest opera star in the world & he returns with a brand new album of (x18) favourite Italian songs - his own personal homage to a culture where the influence and beauty of opera are felt far beyond the walls of the opera houses. Features immortal Italian songs such as "Con Te Partiro", "Parla Piu Piana" from THe Godfather, "Catari Catari", Caruso & many more... Jonas recorded the album in Palermo with conductor Asher Fisch and the Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo, who bring their innate Italian flair to this music. Jonas will present the songs live in concert later this year.

“Closely miked, his singing smoulders with lustrous tone and the arrangements of the (rather scrappy) Palermo orchestra conducted by Asher Fisch bring to mind feel-good Italian movies of the 1960s. The tenor’s admirers will have little cause for complaint.” Financial Times, 7th October 2016 ***

“Kaufmann does everything with the care and intelligence one expects, and no shortage of open-throated ardour.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

Sony - 88875183642

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$14.00

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Giordano, U: Andrea Chénier

Giordano, U: Andrea Chénier

Live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


Jonas Kaufmann (Andrea Chénier), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Maddalena de Coigny), Željko Lučić (Carlo Gérard), Denyce Graves (Bersi), Elena Zilio (Madelon), Rosalind Plowright (Contessa de Coigny), Roland Wood (Roucher), Peter Coleman-Wright (Pietro Fléville), Eddie Wade (Fouquier-Tinville), Adrian Clarke (Mathieu), Carlo Bosi (The Incredibile), Peter Hoare (Abbé), Jeremy White (Schmidt), John Cunningham (Major Domo), Yuriy Yurchuk (Dumas)

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Antonio Pappano (conductor & David McVicar (director)

“Kaufmann is performing the title role for the first time, and it’s hard to imagine him bettered. His striking looks make him very much the Romantic and romanticised outsider of Giordano’s vision. His voice, with its dark, liquid tone, soars through the music with refined ease and intensity: all those grand declarations of passion, whether political or erotic, hit home with terrific immediacy.” – The Guardian

Presented in its Covent Garden premiere in January 2015, this staging – directed by David McVicar and conducted by the Royal Opera’s Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano – shows a bloody tricolour daubed with the words “Even Plato banned poets from his Republic” – written by Robespierre on the death warrant of the historical Chénier, a poet and journalist sent to the guillotine in 1794 for criticising France’s post-revolutionary government. Andrea Chénier was a great success at its premiere at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896. It established Giordano as a leading member of Italy’s giovane scuola, and has remained Giordano’s most popular opera, with occasional productions at leading opera houses. This production is the first by The Royal Opera since 1984. Of Giordano’s later operas, only Fedora (1898) has attracted some continued interest.

“The Countess de Coigny in sumptuous purple satin is sung to great effect by Rosalind Plowright, as is Elena Zilio’s Madelon…never less than compelling on screen, Jonas Kaufmann is a perfect foil to Eva-Maria Westbroek’s Maddalena who wrings every last drop of emotion out of ‘La mamma morta’…but the man of the hour is Antonio Pappano who conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House as if all their lives depended on it” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 ****

“Captivating from start to finish, Giordano’s flawed masterpiece Andrea Chenier is presented in a sterling production under director David McVicar...Kaufmann’s voice is in superb condition, expressive and compellingly projected in his arias...[Westbroek's] voice is a substantial instrument which she manages capably, as demonstrated by her Act Three showpiece aria La mamma morta.” MusicWeb International, September 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Warner Classics - 9029593779

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$19.50

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Jonas Kaufmann (Florestan), Adrianne Pieczonka (Leonore), Tomasz Konieczny (Pizarro), Hans-Peter König (Rocco), Olga Bezsmertna (Marzelline), Norbert Ernst (Jaquino), Paul Lorenger (Shadow Pizarro), Nadia Kichler (Shadow Leonore)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Konztertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Franz Welser-Möst

Staging: Claus Guth

Sets and costumes: Christian Schmidt

Claus Guth’s strikingly experimental new production drew fervent reactions at its premiere at the 2015 Salzburg Festival. On an elegantly spartan set - suggestive of Freud's ‘salon of the unconscious’ - the opera is reworked with amplified noises and ambient sounds substituting for the traditional dialogue and the inclusion of hand-signing doppelgangers who shadow some of the lead characters. “Jonas Kaufmann’s gorgeously sung Florestan”(Financial Times) and Leonora - “triumphantly sung by Adrianne Pieczonka” (The Guardian/Observer) - masterfully execute Guth’s conceptual exploration of the mind’s ability to self-impose its own prison.

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Sony - 88875193529

(Blu-ray)

$22.00

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Live from the Zurich Opera House, 2004


Camilla Nylund (Leonore), Jonas Kaufmann (Florestan), László Polgár (Rocco), Christoph Strehl (Jaquino) Alfred Muff (Pizarro), Elizabeth Rae Magnuson (Marzelline), Günther Groissböck (Fernando), Boguslaw Bidzinski (First Prisoner) & Gabriel Bermúdez (Second Prisoner)

Orchestra and Chorus of The Zurich Opera House, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jürgen Flimm (director)

Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio never ceases to fascinate audiences with its spellbinding story of true love. Staged by renowned opera director Jürgen Flimm this production is the outstanding result of the teamwork of the orchestra and chorus of the Zurich Opera House with a cast of magnifi cent singer-actors. Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund in the title role presents a wonderful portrayal of the opposing characters of the loving wife, Leonore, and her alter ego, the young man Fidelio. The internationally renowned tenor Jonas Kaufmann is her counterpart Florestan – the attractive singer plays a convincing suffering prisoner, brought back to life by marital love. László Polgár is the jailer Rocco, torn between greed and sympathy and Alfred Muff takes on the sinister Don Pizarro to complete the setting.

Under the musical direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, this production became a highly memorable event. The Austrian conductor is universally celebrated for the structural transparency of his interpretations, his intellectual penetration and his emotional understanding of both music and opera plot. He once called this opera “a hymn of praise to marital love”. Although the work has a long tradition of being interpreted in political terms portraying oppression and liberation, imprisonment and freedom, Harnoncourt is adamant that, for Beethoven, these topics were only a means to an end: “What he was concerned about is love. The real action is between Leonore and Florestan. Essentially, the work is about what can be achieved by true love and the fact that a loving wife is ready to do anything for her husband.”

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

Audio Language: DE

Subtitles: GB, DE, FR, ES, IT

DVD 9 / NTSC

Running Time: 128 mins

FSK: 0

“Jonas Kaufmann and Camilla Nylund fearlessly [pack] every phrase with compellingly truthful shades of meaning. Harnoncourt's Beethoven is famously raw and earthy: strong on struggle and on the composer's robust musical roots...The cameras' eyes direct us almost imperceptibly to crucial moments of musical and human relationship.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2010 *****

“Kaufmann sings his big aria with his customary combination of immaculate technical address, a blend of lyricism with a wide range of dynamics, including serious power when required.” Opera, August 2016

DVD Video

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Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 109223

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$23.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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