Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour director Andy Morton wants to make your puppy a star in La Bohème.
He’s the best, simply the best tenor of the day. A personal view, certainly, but one with which I think many would agree. The competition is stiff. Juan Diego Flórez is a hard man to beat, and newcomers Vittorio Grigolo and Celso Albelo are closing in. The singer in style and substance he is closest to is arguably Plácido Domingo, whose tenor career is now drawing to a close. Jonas Kaufmann’s spinto roles are drawn primarily from the German, French and Italian repertoires; most notably Lohengrin, Carmen, Don Carlos, Andrea Chénier, as well as lieder, namely Winterreise and Das Lied von der Erde. He ticks all the boxes. He has a superb voice and good looks and is also a fine actor. Those of us fortunate enough to hear and see Opera Australia’s Parsifal recently in Sydney, in which Kaufmann led a stellar cast, witnessed a peerless performance of the opera, one in which the Opera Orchestra also distinguished themselves. (Conductor Pinchas Steinberg told me that it was the finest Parsifal he had ever conducted.) Kaufmann was the centrepiece and held us spellbound throughout this demanding work – truly a night to remember. Meanwhile, for those who think he is