Sunday Times, 4 January 2009
Hugh Canning
Beethoven: Fidelio, Paris, November/December 2008
excerpt only:
A dash to Paris before the Christmas rush enabled me to catch one of the rising star tenors of the moment, the German Jonas Kaufmann, triumphing as the incarcerated Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio – the greatest of “rescue” operas, inspired by the real-life escape of an aristocrat during the French revolution.

....Kaufmann is the show’s star, his grainy, not overlarge tenor producing sounds of heartrending poignancy. The swell of tone from pianissimo to a searing outpouring of despair at “Gott! Welch’ Dunkel hier!” (“God! What darkness here”) was a moment to make the audience stop for breath. Two years ago at Covent Garden, Kaufmann’s Don Jose, in Carmen, electrified audiences. In his native repertoire, he is surely unrivalled at present. Elaine Padmore, of the Royal Opera, was at the performance I attended, so one hopes Kaufmann’s Florestan might be seen here before too long.

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