IM, thank you so much for this. He has everything, voice, beauty and brains. Absloutely brilliant to get his thinking on Lohengrin. I hated the rats production though and cannot understand why he believes it was thought provoking. I would like to know why he agrees to sing in some of the productions he clearly does not approve of. Why is the artist not more influental than the director?
I am so looking forwards to his Seigfried, Tannhauser and Tristan but it looks like it will be a long wait.
06 December 2012 at 03:00 PM
He has everything - except a razor and a comb.
06 December 2012 at 03:30 PM
Rugged good looks as a result of no razor or comb.
06 December 2012 at 03:40 PM
I think the general public should be grateful that singers don't have more power to determine the staging - most of them just seem to favour very traditional period productions which, although perfectly fine, can become tedious. I think the problem is more when a director cannot communicate his ideas even to his colleagues, never mind to the paying public!
06 December 2012 at 03:58 PM
The teeth are good though!
06 December 2012 at 04:11 PM
I am plenty sick of this unshaven look, and it's no fun to kiss a porcupine.
06 December 2012 at 04:25 PM
A porcupine might say the same about you, Stella!
Nikolaus Vogel |
06 December 2012 at 04:52 PM
Do you think that your "porcupine" needs your kisses?
06 December 2012 at 08:06 PM
I was referring very generally to men with visible stubble, not suggesting that I wish to kiss Herr Kaufmann.
During my husband's interminable years of growing beards, at certain moments it was like kissing a porcupine: painful. He stopped growing beards when the hair grew out grey. Thank goodness.
Of course the unshaven look is excusable in a man who is performing a role. But I still don't like it.
07 December 2012 at 03:12 PM
hmmmm... so he says, and I paraphrase, "when you do a role for the first time, it's best to do it "is it was meant" and not in a crazy, modern abstract way"... has he seen the Parsifal he's doing in new york next year?
08 December 2012 at 01:00 AM
I just came back from a trip to Milan to see him in Lohengrin at Scala. He did a brilliant job, so did the rest of the cast and the orchestra! But it was a rather lame production...
08 December 2012 at 12:27 PM
He did Parsifal in Zurich in 2006.
08 December 2012 at 05:39 PM
I saw it on Arte. Anja Harteros was off sick. I did not like the typical Guth production, making Lohengrin and Elsa twitch,scratch and fall on the floor, Lohengrin the reluctant hero (in the talk Guth said it was modellled on Jonas Kaufmann the reluctant opera star), Elsa wooden, dark set and lighting, faceless chorus, children wandering on and off stage, aarggghh! But JK singing was wonderful and Annette Dasch astonishing, having just flown to Milan the evening before. Thought the final chorus of Verdi's National Anthem was a lovely touch. Annette Dasch was in tears.
08 December 2012 at 07:04 PM
The Milan production was a fascinating and thought-provoking new approach to Lohengrin and, in my opinion, one that worked.
The clues to understanding this interpretation were provided by Kaufmann himself in the interview with him broadcast in the second interval. He explained that the character Lohengrin was nothing more than a projection of Elsa's imagination, who had dreamed that her dead brother would return and save her. The saviour came in the form of a swan (hence the feathers in her hand; also the foetal position and twitching position as he arrived, which was the death of the swan as he metamorphosed into a human, as I understand it).
However, this saviour turned out to be far more than Elsa had dreamed of, or bargained for, making demands on her she hadn't been expecting (again Kaufmann's explanation), so that at the very end, when her brother Gottfried arrived, she turned her back on Lohengrin and accepted Gottfried as her true partner, leaving Lohengrin in a heap on the ground.
09 December 2012 at 09:48 AM
I'm afraid I'd been in tears if I'd paid to hear Harteros and got Annette Dasch instead. She sounds like the next Nadja Michael in the clips I've heard. Glad you enjoyed it, though!
09 December 2012 at 02:55 PM
I understand all this, but the story does not need "interpretation", it can tell itself. This "interpretation" just irritates me with its nervous tics and mannerisms.
Looking at the publicity video of Claus Guth's current production of Pelleas and Mellisand on the Frankfurt Opera web site I notice: characters behaving woodenly, falling on the floor and having nervous mannerisms (in this case Mellisand puffing a cigarette and twitching), dark sets, "confetti" falling from the ceiling, bare feet, odd characters wandering in and out.
Call me an old fashioned romantic, I prefer Lohengrin as a dignified, magical, other worldly character. There is a wonderful DVD of a Baden-Baden production from Nikolaus Lehnhoff, with Klaus Florian Vogt, Solveig Kringelborn and Waltraud Meier. It moves me to tears every time I see it. This La Scala production made me cry from annoyance.
10 December 2012 at 08:54 AM
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daddy I want a harpsichord