Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

2010 - The Good Parts 4

December 20, 2010


When you’re talking about good parts, it’s hard to avoid the topic of Jonas Kaufmann. At least in the world of opera these days. One of opera’s hottest commodities has only made a handful of U. S. appearances as his star has been on the rise with only a few Don Josés and Cavaradossis at the Met Opera this year. In 2011, his stateside schedule includes Siegmund in that same house’s new Die Walküre in the spring as well as a recital tour that will bring him to the West Coast at Cal Performances in Berkeley and Los Angeles Opera. But in the meantime, the fantastic Mr. Kaufmann appears as a feast for both eyes and ears in not one, but two new 2010 DVDs. First is Massenet’s Werther from Paris under the baton of Michel Plasson, a production that produced rave reviews and minted countless more Kaufmann fans. (There's a sample of this below.)

What's more, everything Kaufmann puts his voice to seems to become his. In fact, his excellence in the above mentioned French and Italian roles makes it almost easy to overlook his superiority in roles in his native tongue. This year it was all about his currently best-in-the-world Lohengrin that he sang at Bayreuth this summer after many rave reviews the prior year in Munich. The Munich production with the fantastic Anja Harteros in a Richard Jones production conducted by Kent Nagano was perhaps the best DVD release of the year.



Too bad you couldn't make it to New York. If you get a chance to listen to the Pelleas, it was absolutely a delight on the radio broadcast. I am going to miss your review of this wonderful production.
Actually in another little twist, I've found a way out to NY over New Years and will get another chance to see Pelleas as well as the opening performance of the new Willy Decker Traviata. Keeping my fingers crossed that there are no further schedule disruptions.
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