Playbillarts, 12 Oct 2007
By Matthew Westphal
Decca Classics Signs Tenor Jonas Kaufmann
Jonas Kaufmann — the 38-year-old tenor who's developing an enviable reputation for combining voice, musicianship, versatility and sex appeal — has just signed an exclusive recording contract with Decca Classics.

"One could call Jonas Kaufmann a kind of superman on the opera stage," said Decca managing director Bogdan Roscic in a statement released today. "He has a voice that is equally thrilling in repertoire so diverse that these days it is considered impossible for one artist to cover it all ... So Kaufmann's musical options are almost unlimited, and it will be a privilege to explore them with him."

In terms of the opera repertoire alone, Kaufmann's range extends from Verdi's Alfredo (La traviata) to Mozart's Tamino (Zauberflöte) to Bizet's Don José (Carmen) to Berlioz's Faust to Beethoven's Florestan (Fidelio). And these are at such illustrious companies as the Met, La Scala, Chicago Lyric, the Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden.

At the Zurich Opera House, the closest thing he has to a home company, Kaufmann has spread his repertoire wings even further, all the way from Monteverdi's Nerone (in Poppea) to Mozart's Idomeneo to Verdi's Duke (in Rigoletto) to Wagner's Parsifal.

In addition to all this — and plenty of concert work with the likes of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics — Kaufmann is widely admired for his lieder recitals with pianist Helmut Deutsch throughout Europe and in Japan.

Kaufmann's first album for Decca, titled "Romantic Arias" and recorded with conductor Marco Armiliato and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, is scheduled for release next year.

Says Universal Classics and Jazz president Christopher Roberts, "The music world is about to discover a brand new star."

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