Oman Daily Observer, 17th, September 2015
Written by Oman Observer
Konzert, Royal Opera House Muscat, 16. September 2015
Kauffman dominates at ROHM season opener
Jonas Kauffmann’s clear and lucid voice attracts attention with it’s clarity, power and grace. He has the additional advantage of a powerful stage presence, full of grace, charm and a friendly disposition

Maurice Gent –

Anyone who attended the opening of the Royal Opera House new season is unlikely to forget it. The show was totally dominated by the voice of Jonas Kauffman, a man with a rich, melodious voice — extremely powerful with an almost supernatural range of tone and expression. He does not ape any other style. His technique is unique and there was no need to explain why he had been given the signal honour of leading the first performance of the season under a new management team.

Jonas Kauffmann, apart from being blessed by a clear and lucid voice, which penetrates the airwaves and immediately attracts attention with it’s clarity, power and grace, has the additional advantage of a powerful stage presence, full of grace, charm and a friendly disposition. I heard no shuffling or personal chatter. By his stance and bearing he commanded both attention and respect.

There was an additional powerful factor — the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, which accustomed to supporting Jonas Kauffman, supported the whole performance with great professional skill. It was a highly memorable occasion as the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) began to explore another chapter in it’s history.

The performance was watched by a full house and the reception was powerful and joyous. The audience greeted a performance of sophistication and charm. The hall was full of regular opera goers, all eager to see how the new regime at ROHM would work out, They were a contented crowd noting that the ROHM was keeping up it’s high international standards. The performance was appreciated both for its imagination and vigour.

The performance was described by one writer as controlled ecstasy, which is a very good description. Singing in the world’s most prestigious houses including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and Covent Garden, Kaufmann is in great demand globally. Recently he made his debut at the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert televised live from London’s famous Royal Albert Hall.

Remarks by Neil Fisher of The Times said, “When Kaufmann launches into his opening aria it’s as though the sun has come out: with his convincingly heroic presence, and the sheer beauty of his singing, he simply brings the house down.” Others have noted that Kaufmann has some qualities from each of the Three Tenors (Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Placido Domingo).

In a truly wonderful programme of famous arias, interspersed with beautiful orchestral preludes and overtures, Kaufmann sang selections from Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, and Massenet, among others.

Music lovers were treated to arias such as the hauntingly beautiful ‘Recondita armonia’ (Strange and lovely harmony) from Puccini’s Tosca, and the intensely passionate, lyrical ‘La fleur que to m’avais jetee’ (The flower you threw to me) from Bizet’s Carmen. The concert ended with what is undoubtedly opera’s best loved tenor aria — ‘Nessun Dorma’ (None shall Sleep) from Puccini’s Turandot ROHM’s Acting Director-General and Artistic, Umberto Fanni states: “In 2015-2016 Muscat will again stand among leading institutions as a world capital for the performing arts. As a new institution, the ROHM can be proud of its record in bringing the world to Oman, as we deepen intra-cultural exchange and understanding through the
performing arts, with the aim of contributing to world peace and harmony.

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