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Surgery for Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann has canceled a tour to Japan with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in September in order to schedule surgery to remove a “node” from his chest. [Intermezzo]


  • 1
    Nero Wolfe says:

    i would have thought radiation treatments would have been just as effective.

  • 2
    pavel says:

    Best wishes, Jonas. I hope everything turns out for the best.

  • 3
    Bosah says:

    My thoughts are with him. What a sweet letter given how concerned he must be about his own situation.

  • 4
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    O Dio! I’m praying for a good result for Jonas!

  • 5
    armerjacquino says:

    I think we have to be careful jumping to conclusions here. Even in Intermezzo’s good-natured piece, Kaufmann’s ‘pretty sure it’s benign’ becomes upended into ‘he hints it might be cancerous’.

    • 5.1
      La Cieca says:

      Yes. If a growth looks suspicious, a doctor doesn’t say, “let’s schedule a biopsy sometime in the next few weeks.”

      • 5.1.1
        Bosah says:

        It seems to be under two weeks, from what he said, but we can’t know for sure, of course. Many tumors aren’t removed immediately -- for example, a relative of mine waited a few weeks to remove a thyroid growth. It ended up cancerous, but she’s fine now.

        Still, yes, jumping to conclusions is dangerous. He seemed very upbeat and optimistic. I see no reason to look at it differently than that.

          DonCarloFanatic says:

          I can see plenty of reason to look at this health situation as ominous.

          I wish him the best.

          • mrmyster says:

            Is J. K. a smoker?
            That would be the big red signal, helas!

          • armerjacquino says:

            This is precisely the kind of gleeful scaremongering I was talking about. One minute we’re talking about something that is ‘pretty sure’ to be benign, the next prurient pot-stirrers are dropping excited hints about lung cancer.

  • 6
    iltenoredigrazia says:

    It doesn’t say that he’s getting a biopsy, but that he’s having the tumor removed. To me that means either that it is either located inside where a tissue sample cannot be obtained easily or where it is causing damage to some other organ whether it is benign or not.

    Hopefully, it will all resolve quickly. It would be tragic to see his career derailed in any way. He’s got the real goods.

  • 7
    Constantine A. Papas says:

    There is no need to always do a biopsy before a tumor is removed. Frozen sections can help to make the diagnosis, and additional surgery can be performed while the patient is on the table. There is no indication where the tumor is located and “in the chest” means many places, but most probably in the lungs. Removing the lesion in its entirety without a biopsy will make the diagnosis and in many instances will cure the patient. Good luck Jonas and we’ll all pray for a quick recovery.

    • 7.1
      operalover9001 says:

      Doesn’t thoracic mean anywhere between the head and abdomen? So it could be his vocal cords too.

      • 7.1.1
        louannd says:


          Andrew Powell says:

          Lou, your diagram doesn’t name the funny little bit between the thorax and the abdomen in the guy on the right.

          • louannd says:


            Oh look, it’s a node!

          • manou says:

            Louann the entomologist.

          • louannd says:

            No, Ms. Manou, but I have a dear friend who is one, and I consult her regularly (though not on ants, per se) about strange creatures which appear in my back yard, like, this one:

            Entymology lesson #2:

          • manou says:

            That one must be Paul McCartney as he still has a dark top.

          • oedipe says:

            Jan Fabre’s entomology lesson (The Beetle Maiden):


          • oedipe says:

            Hmm…One more try!


          • oedipe says:


  • 8
    pavel says:

    OT: We just had an earthquake in Washington, DC!! The first real one I’ve ever experienced.

    • 8.1
      Camille says:

      My husband just called fifteen minutes ago from NYC to repot to me he thought he had been through an earthquake as well. He didn’t quite believe his response so called me up. As I have been through dozens and know the feeling only too well. Anyone else out there?

      • 8.1.1
        La Cieca says:

        La Cieca reports on recent events in the city.

          Camille says:

          LA Cieca. Unfortunately I cannot see your response as I am a’blackberryin’

          He called back with the news announced: 5.9 Richter scale and epicenter Washington DC. Three miles deep and felt up throughout the East Coast. White House evacuated, etc.

          • Sheldon says:

            Camille--Yes, I’m one of the DC parterriani, and my office building shook quite a bit. Now of course, the usual DC reaction--total gridlock downtown.

          • Cara Speme says:

            Yo Pavel and Sheldon…I took an earthquake to find out we are all in DC. Let’s coordinate a DC chapter sometime soon. Who’s going to see Trish in Tosca? I have tix for opening on the 10t.


            Shaken not Stirred

          • Cara Speme says:

            Whoops..better show some concern for Jo boy too in this thread. Hope all goes well for a speedy recovery. I’d like to hear him sing the piss out of Chenier one day.

    • 8.2
      ianw2 says:

      I too just lost my earthquake virginity. I am trying to pack up my place for a move. It was a much appreciated distraction. Excitement a-plenty!

  • 9
    m. croche says:

    Hmmmm…. I’ll be in Stockholm for that Sep. 2 concert, perhaps I should grab a ticket after all….

  • 10
    rossifigaro says:

    quel horror…………my povero jonas! so hoping that everything will turn out well and that all the current fears will dissipate very very soon.
    JK is just a phenomenal performer……….few singers in my experience have generated a comparable level of excellence and excitement.

  • 11
    mia apulia says:

    Let’s hope for it’s not malignant and there is a rapid and complete recovery. I know someone who sang unimpaired for many years after almost half of one lung was removed for a non-malignant tumor. The human body can be amazingly resilient.

  • 12
    FragendeFrau82 says:

    I guess the BSO Japan tour is off too, not surprisingly. Will be praying for swift and complete recovery, that we may be blessed with that lovely voice for many years to come.

    Did anyone else think that was a really good letter? I don’t know who wrote it, but I’m saving a copy for inspiration should I ever need to write a letter to someone I’ve disappointed. The English was well done; actually, the English version of JK’s official website is outstanding compared to some other English versions of German websites I’ve read.

  • 13
    Camille says:

    Aren’t “nodes” generally a type of growth and isn’t that word used mostly in reference to the vocal folds, or cords, whichever? The idea of “nodes” in the “thoracic” area has me a bit flummoxed, unless they are avoiding letting the public know he actually has vocal nodes or, far worse, lung cancer, and are skirting the issue in this manner with this rather generalized information.

    In whatever case, I am hoping that Herr Kaufmann will have the best of doctors and be surrounded by those who love and care for him, and be given sufficient recovery time so as to heal properly and not rushed back into a heavy rehearsal and performing schedule. This is very alarming.

    • 13.1
      louannd says:

      Perhaps he is having a “lymph” node removed and examined? Don’t really know anything about lymph nodes in the thoracic region except that there are quite a few of them.


      • 13.1.1
        Camille says:

        Okay, Lou! that at least explains something to me. Let’s hope that it is no more than that and not a node on the vocal apparatus.

        Love the pictures!

    • 13.2
      Loge says:

      The word node can indeed refer to vocal cord nodules but they are not in the thoracic area. Node can refer to a mass in the chest or mediastinum. It sounds as if they are referring to a mass they have seen on a chest x-ray or ct scan. The seeming immediacy implies there is some suspicion of malignancy. Many things can cause nodes in the chest--infection (maybe even a long past infection), tumors (malignant or non-malignant). Heck, sometimes one is there for no reason. They are short on details and I think that is proper especially at this early stage. I just hope and pray the procedure goes well and that it is not too invasive and that the pathology is nothing bad. (I tell my patients not to panic--I will tell them when it is time to panic.)
      Dr. Loge

  • 14
    rofrano says:

    Just a third nipple, guys. Don’t worry!

  • 15
    Loge says:

    This stream reminded me of a time I was in La Casa di Cieca chatting. I commented that I had to go to bed as I had surgery in the morning. I received an enormous wave of concern and caring which made me feel sooooo good. I hated to mention that I was the one DOING the surgery in the morning. I though La Cieca would enjoy knowing what magnificent caring people frequented her chatrooms.

  • 16
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    NO, the Munich Opera is still en route to or alredy in Japan, but today they announced the substitution of Botha for Kaufmann:

    In den Vorstellungen von Richard Wagners Lohengrin am 25. und 29. September sowie am 2. Oktober 2011 wird Johan Botha die Titelpartie anstelle von Jonas Kaufmann im Rahmen der Japan-Tournee der Bayerischen Staatsoper singen. Jonas Kaufmann muss sich einer unaufschiebbaren Operation unterziehen und bedauert zutiefst, die Japan-Reise absagen zu müssen. Kaufmann in einem Brief an seine Japanischen Fans: „Ich hatte mich sehr darauf gefreut, wieder nach Japan zu kommen, und ich versichere Euch, dass diese Entscheidung nichts mit der schwierigen Situation zu tun hat, in der Ihr Euch seit Monaten befindet. Tatsache ist, dass ich mich einer Operation unterziehen muss: Ein Knoten im Brustbereich muss entfernt werden. Ich möchte niemanden mit dieser Nachricht beunruhigen, nur haben meine Ärzte mir geraten, den Eingriff so bald wie möglich machen zu lassen…“

    • 16.1
      FragendeFrau82 says:

      Sorry QPF, I meant JK’s participation in the BSO Japan tour is off. Thanks for the clarification.