Our Own JJ in Gay City News:

If the quality of Gheorghiu’s performance is unusual in a Met “Traviata,” the exciting presence of tenor Jonas Kaufmann (Alfredo) raised the level to the downright improbable. He is the sort of singer for which the overused word “strapping” should have been invented—tall, broad-shouldered, with cheekbones a male model might envy. Surely this is the first Alfredo I’ve seen who could hold his own as an actor and personality opposite Violetta.

Kaufmann’s sexy package is completed with a big, dark-hued voice used with elegance and intelligent musicality. Unfortunately, the heft of the sound seemed to drag the pitch down from time to time, and an attempt at an unwritten high C resulted in an ungainly shout. Maybe in the future Kaufmann can figure out the top of his voice, or else he may decide to resign himself to lower-lying parts; either way, he’s a star and I want to hear more from him.

Birthday anniversaries of conductor Erich Leinsdorf (1912) and bass Martti Talvela (1935).