Cher Public

Poet manqué

Jonas KaufmannJonas Kaufmann est contraint de se retirer de la production des Contes d’Hoffmann à l’Opéra Bastille.” 

Je suis navré que mes annulations aient été la source de beaucoup de déception et de frustration au cours des dernières semaines.

Bien sûr, je peux comprendre l’irritation de tous ceux qui avaient organisé des voyages coûteux pour venir m’écouter. Malheureusement, les performances d’une voix de chanteur ne peuvent être garanties et parfois un chanteur est confronté à des événements qui l’obligent à prendre un repos prolongé.

Lorsque j’ai remarqué que quelque chose n’était pas normal avec ma voix, j’ai d’abord cru à un début d’infection. L’examen médical a toutefois donné un autre résultat : les effets secondaires d’un médicament ont fait éclater une petite veine sur mes cordes vocales.

Je dois donc arrêter de chanter jusqu’à ce que l’hématome se soit complètement résorbé pour éviter des lésions irréversibles. Ainsi, c’est le cœur gros que je dois aussi annuler mes représentations des Contes d’Hoffmann à Paris.

Je souhaite ici remercier chaleureusement tous ceux qui m’ont envoyé leurs vœux de prompt rétablissement par Facebook et par e-mail.

Jonas Kaufmann

  • laddie

    A decent Google translation:
    I am sorry that my cancellations have been the source of much disappointment and frustration in recent weeks.

    Of course, I can understand the irritation of all those who organized expensive trips to come and listen. Unfortunately, the performance of a singer’s voice can not be guaranteed and sometimes a singer is confronted with events that require it to take a long rest.

    When I noticed that something was not right with my voice, I thought at first a beginning of infection. The medical examination has however given another result: side effects of a drug have broken a small vein on my vocal cords.

    So I have to stop singing until the hematoma has completely absorbed to prevent irreversible damage. So it is with a heavy heart that I have to cancel my performances Tales of Hoffmann in Paris.

    I want to thank here all those who have sent me their well wishes via Facebook and email.

  • Parpignol

    nothing scheduled in New York this season even to be canceled!
    listed on Met Future Wiki for next year’s new production of Tosca. . .

  • Chenier631

    This is very distressing news to be sure. At least he explained what the “illness” is. A ruptured blood vessel on a vocal chord is a very serious condition for an opera singer. Let’s hope he has a total and speedy recovery.

    • Sirotah

      Just read your comment after posting mine. We are hearing the same thing in him.

  • Sirotah

    Distressing to read. But bad stuff happens to the best and worst of them. Don’t know if related but for a while I have been concerned (not consternation of the sleep depriving kind) about his back in the throat baritonal color and a sense of pushing and discomfort in his singing, as if trying hard to overcome this darkness with tenorial light/brightness. Also about the overuse of pianissimi. Maybe the vocal tricks are taking a toll?

    • Alagna has just cancelled Manrico at ROH/Covent Garden and scheduled himself for sinus surgery in November, and, as I previously reported, Hvorostovsky dropped out of the current run of “Simon Boccanegra” at Wiener Staatsoper. There’s a damned plague going on out there!

  • Olivero Fan

    I’m a Registered Nurse. I cannot think of a drug that would have as a side effect,”rupture of vocal chord blood vessel”. Being a bit “conspiracy theory like”, a blood thinner(coumadin, pradaxa etc..) could cause bleeding such as this. One of the things one would take these drugs for is a pulmonary embolism(blood clot in the lungs). If I’m not mistaken, a few years ago he took some time away from the stage because of a “nodule” in his chest that was never explained. Perhaps he had a PE and is now on blood thinners.

  • am very sorry to hear of JK’s ruptured blood vessel. I hope he will recover as quickly as possible and I hope it won’t cause any permanent damage. Best wishes to Dima and Alagna as well.

  • The Dybbuk

    Those more knowledgeable about these things might want to comment on the advisability of him singing Othello scheduled for ROH next year. Isn’t it a killer role for any tenor? ROH may be in need of a sub, but who?

    • rhinestonecowgirl

      It’s not till June, but I have my doubts. He and Gregory Kunde are down for 3 performances each so Kunde could probably cover. And Antonenko and Alagna (?) are at Covent Garden singing Calaf at the same period. I think they have covered their options rather well.

      • Peter Hayden

        Actually kauffman is due to sing 6 performances and Kunde 3.

  • Donna Annina

    Grande dommage. The human voice is so fragile and whatever the cause, he is right to take the time to have it heal completely. It would be an even greater disappointment if his voice were to be further damaged. Sei gesund, as my grandfather would say.

  • Fred Smith

    Agree totally with Chenier631!
    Kaufmann has contrived his production under the stave (F#) and sung increasingly hefty repertoire on this “technique”!
    At some point in time, the “bill” arrives!
    You just have to listen to live or studio performances by singers with techniques and artistry like Vickers, Bergonzi, Corelli, etc… who knew HOW to sing, and WHAT to sing!

    • Sirotah

      Not suggesting Yusif Evyazov is the second coming but notice the difference between his natural placement and projection and the Jonas Kaufmann contrivances. One is an organic tenor, the other is not.

      • Fred Smith

        Evyazov has a certain facility.. reminds me a little of Marti (Caballe’s husband). A rough diamond with a second class instrument -- but, yes, he doesn’t manipulate his voice -- unlike Kaufmann.

  • Some debatable points made here about Kaufmann’s technique. I link to the blog respectfully and without expectations. But it isn’t speculation.

    I wrote this in my blog — it comes from him and several others who knew how he studied.

    Jonas Kaufmann began, he has said, with a voice he hated, “like Peter Schreier”. Schreier had a small, bright, rather white tone but made a distinguished career in Bach, in Mozart roles and in some large character roles (he is a wonderful Mime in the Janowski Ring, available cheap from Sony). He is also a conductor. Kaufmann took the risk of changing his entire technique to build a darker, fuller, larger tone, that would make him a candidate for leading roles. He did this while married (to a singer) and raising children, so he obviously had both courage and a lot of faith in himself.

    He used the technique pioneered by an American, Douglas Stanley who was very influential across Europe, but especially in Germany. Kaufmann changed his voice with the very last living student who had actually worked directly with Stanley. Stanley’s method was controversial and still enrages pedagogues who insist that it ruins more voices than it helps (Hildegard Behrens was taught the Stanley method by Jerome Lo Monaco, who had also worked with Stanley himself, her badly tuned shrieking speaks for itself — it certainly doesn’t sing. But her motives were the same as Kaufmann’s. She started as a light lyric and wanted to sing the big roles; she praised Lo Monaco for teaching her to use her chest voice, among other things. But Nelson Eddy was also a Stanley apostle and kept a very nice tone).

    There is more (and a few others are discussed) at

    Kaufmann was definitely a tenor (someone suggested he was not) and he has a method, which is explained in the blog.

  • dittersdorf

    This is sad news and I send all my prayers to Mr. Kaufmann and his family; looking forward to the time he can fulfill what Offenbach wrote

    for “Hoffmann,”which is not properly represented in the nonetheless

    successful Carsen production.

  • Krunoslav

    The Met is releasing Ramón Vargas from the November run of DON GIOVANNI so that he can sing Hoffmann at the Bastille. Paul Appleby will pick up his performances ( as well as those of Villázon).

    Vargas may be not as dashing or house-filling as Jonas but he is a classy artist and smart musician.

    • Bill

      Oh dear -- fine for Paris, unfortunate for the Met.
      Appleby was a so-so Belmonte last season with considerable difficulty in the florid passages and no consistent beauty of tone. Vargas apparently in
      fine vocal shape for the current run of Simon Boccanegra in Vienna according to all critics.

      • Krunoslav

        As has been said here, I thin, Appleby’s Ottavio opening night was considerably better than his Belmonte: one of the better performers in the cast, in fact.

        • Well, that’s good news.

        • ipomoea

          On Saturday 10/1, the Don Giovanni came together. Good work by all. Appleby sang especially well, and the audience let him know it.