Decca Releases Tenor Jonas Kaufmann's Latest Album 4/19

German tenor Jonas Kaufmann returns to the US this spring with a newly recorded album on Decca and in a role debut at the Metropolitan Opera. For his third opera aria recital on Decca, Kaufmann returns to the Italian roles that have excited audiences around the world and garnered widespread praise. This recording comes to the US as Kaufmann arrives for two recitals in Los Angeles and Berkeley and then the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Die Walküre. The album, featuring conductor Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, will be released on April 19, 2011.

On April 14, 2010, Jonas Kaufmann became the first German tenor to sing Cavaradossi at the Metropolitan Opera in one hundred and three years. He shaped Puccini's music with exceptional elegance, balancing the character's essential revolutionary fervor with a heart-stopping tenderness. Critics and audiences ecstatically responded to his portrayal: "Mr. Kaufmann received frenzied bravos from the audience. His russet-colored voice has body and charisma. You could sense amazement throughout the house at his thrilling top notes during Cavaradossi's defiant cries of "Vittoria!" Yet his plaintive pianissimo phrases were equally impressive. That the youthful, curly-haired Mr. Kaufmann is also heartthrob-handsome did not hurt." (New York Times)

This type of ecstatic reaction by both audiences and critics has followEd Kaufmann around the world. His recent Adriana Lecouvreur at Covent Garden opposite Angela Gheorghiu is but one of many examples. The new album, Verismo, focuses on this style of music which throbs with passion and calls for full-throated singing that harkens back to the golden age of opera. Interestingly, Kaufmann has included no arias from the master of verismo, Puccini, but he does present arias both familiar and obscure from many of Puccini's contemporaries, including the extended final duet from Giordano's Andrea Chénier.

Kaufmann recognizes that most of these roles lack the dramatic complexities of his usual opera repertoire: "In verismo it's just pure soul and passion, but that's what I love so much about it! These arias are charged with emotions that can bring you to tears. I recorded the German-aria album because there's so much going on in that music and those characters, but the most enthusiastic music - the most ecstatic music - is verismo." Two complete arias are included on the promotional DVD in the press kit.

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